The Anxiety and Depression Rabbit Hole
We have these arguments in our head that I bet if we had out loud would make us seem downright loony tunes!! Most days, we can usually keep it together. Thinking "normal" thoughts, like a normal human being. Being fully capable to be a rational member of society. But when anxiety hits, we go down this deep dark rabbit hole of everything we need to get done. Then the depression kicks in and we're severely disappointed we didn't get any of those things done. It's a vicious cycle where we start to overthink and over-worry about the rest of the day, the week, the presidency. It's a whirlwind of emotions and panic where my day is now ruined because I forgot my 4 oz perfectly seasoned leftover chicken!
Let Yourself WallowThat's right, you heard me. Let yourself wallow for just a few seconds (or minutes if you need to). Get it all out in your head. Vent your frustrations. Go down that rabbit hole. But... only allow this for whatever time limit you give yourself. Set a short time limit, by the way. Don't get stuck in this wallowing state for hours or even days. Because we all know what that can turn into - weeks and years of self-deprecation, depression, and anxiety. Nope, only give yourself a few seconds if you can (a few minutes if you need to). Then...
Let it Go
This may be difficult to do. Especially if you've spent half the day disappointed already. That's ok. Give yourself some grace here. It takes some practice, meditation, and time to notice what's going on in your own head. The step above should help you in the realization that you're in a funk and then you can work on letting it go.
You're probably wondering, well how exactly do I do that? I can't just let it go like a balloon into the sky. Well, I've got an exercise for you that should help you on the path of truly letting a disappointing day go.
First, acknowledge what you're disappointed in. Write it down. I'm serious, get out a pen and paper or open up your OneNote and write this down. What EXACTLY disappointed you today. Write down everything that upset you. That guy that cut you off on your way to work, the snarky comment your husband made, the bird that pooped on your newly washed car. Get it all out. Just releasing this all on paper should greatly help you reduce the anxiety and disappointment of this day. But we're not going to stop there. Next, we're going to go into how you can make this an empowering experience.
From Disappointment to Empowerment
Okay, so you've written down all those things that upset you today. You did it, right? Now, I want you to read them again and at the end of each one, say thank you. Don't just say thank you, figure out the lesson in each disappointment. Because the universe is truly trying to tell you something here, you just need to open up and listen. And the BEST way to hear this is by showing gratitude.
So go back to each gripe you wrote down and say thank you for __. I'll use an example based on mine above. To that guy that cut me off this morning, thank you for teaching me patience. My hubby for making that snarky comment, thank you for helping me realize I may have said something you took the wrong way and I will learn from this and be more mindful of your feelings and how I say things in the future. To the bird that pooped on my car, thank you for reminding me that nature can be messy yet full of life.
I believe this is the most important part. Love yourself. Sometimes this can be really hard to do. Especially if you've been conditioned to not love yourself. Give yourself grace, forgive yourself and embrace your flaws. You deserve love and you especially deserve to love yourself.
Doing these steps when you've had a rough or disappointing day can keep you from having that one bad day spiral into a week. You realize it, wallow for only a bit, let it go, be grateful and love yourself.