Can’t. Even. (the basics)

There’s lots of basic things that can make a difference when I’m feeling awful, that simply don’t occur to me at the time, or just seem too hard to do. The following list can help. I’ve found it really hard work to do the things on the list, and when I’ve been able to, they really have helped.

  • Have you eaten recently? Eat something.
  • Have you drunk any water recently? Drink some.
  • Are you tired? Nap.
  • Have you moved at all? No? Just move a limb really slowly, in a way that feels good.
  • Can you feel your body? (body scan meditation; ultra-slow movement; notice fingertips)
  • Have you had a shower? Crawl there dramatically (I’m willing to try that), shower in fetal position, then put on clean clothes that you usually love.
  • Brushed your teeth? It will only take a minute.
  • Can I be with just this moment, this feeling in me, right now? … yes
  • Would doing something be helpful right now, or not?
  • Do you know what you’re feeling and needing? (NVC feelings list)
  • Have you spoken with anyone? Call someone who is able to hold space for you. Just tell them you’re hurting. [Prep work for well self: write letters to people to tell them how to help when you’re like this]
  • Would a guided meditation help? I like Insight Timer for this, or anything by Sarah Peyton.
  • Have you cuddled anyone? Can you? Pets?
  • Do you need distraction? Distractions that work me are: sort Evernote notes or tags,  watching Netflix, or checking Pinterest for “cute” (cuteness releases dopamine!)
  • Are you surrounded by mess? Can you take 2 minutes to hide it or move it? Can you focus on, or sit next to (or bring in) something pretty?
  • Would a different posture help?
  • Is there a smell you enjoy? For me it’s peppermint oil – what’s yours? [well self – prepare some of these!]
  • Is there a texture you’d enjoy? Playing with a squeeze ball, or stroking velvet, or holding a smooth rock?
  • Would rocking help? Swinging?
  • Have you asked your higher power/higher self/the Universe for help? Or another human being? I like to ask how to see this differently. (There’s a book called “Listening” which taught me to hear the voice of my higher power – it’s awesome).
  • Do you need to mourn the state of the world?
  • Pray for things to be just as they are (sounds weird, but it works) – I learned this from Adventures of Wim

This post is partly based on a wonderful post Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up, which has also been turned into an interactive website, check those out too.

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