I have this thing that I do when I have a low day.
I peel myself out of bed and head to my local shopping centre and I get myself to muffin break. And I do not order the healthy one. I get the biggest, chocolatiest muffin with a big dollop of cream cheese on top with a flat white to boot.
Now some might say I’m self medicating my emotions with food however I have gained different perspective around this little outing.
Us westerners are not so good at rituals of any kind. We have the standards like birthdays, Christmas, funerals, weddings et cetera. But when it comes to marking the bigness of life and the struggle of it all…we don’t to know what to do. It’s fascinating to look into the rituals of collectivist cultures. For example Jewish people have lamenting rituals when a loved one passes away, Egyptians wail together in the open to grieve.
What do we do? We crack a cold one, say something like “Mate everything happens for a reason” and carry on.
Why do you think we all just “keep busy”? And why do you think we’re some of the most medicated and increasingly anxious people on the planet?
My somewhat off kilter logic has concluded that when I go to muffin break on a grey day. I am doing two significant things:
1. I am acknowledging my current state, choosing to be present in it and give it space. I am not fighting how I am that day. Have you ever tried to swim against a current? It’s exhausting and completely futile. I choose to accept the fact that today I feel sad, today I probably won’t get a lot done. but I will decide to get out of bed and sit where I like to sit when this day appears.
2. I’m practicing Self Compassion. Do you know what makes your mental health spiral? When you beat yourself up about your mental health. Ironic right? These days I’ve decided that’s a completely pointless place to go. It only extends my grey day into the night…which never goes well for me or anyone around me. So I treat myself like a dear friend. This morning I lay there consumed with sandness and blanket. I had to make a choice…The old voice would say: “Look at your life Gemma, it’s fabulous how dare you be so sad, don’t be so sensitive! Go do something productive you lazy loaf about”(Sound familiar?)
Instead I had a little chat to myself that went like this:
“Hey there friend. I can see you’re really sad today. That’s so understandable because your friend left for a year to another country. And you know what you haven’t had a sad day in a while so that progress from last year! Let’s go get a self care muffin! How does that sound? You know you are so loved right? Adam loves you, your dog loves you, you have lots of great friends. Don’t worry today will pass. Let’s get out of bed and get that muffin!
And I did.
I’d love to know your thoughts.
Do you have a special ritual for yourself when you are having a hard day?
Do you practice self compassion?
Give it a try. It’s completely changed my life and the lives of those around me.
Be free my friend,
X Gem X