We all have days when we feel really down. Struggling with functional neurological symptoms is tough and its hard, if not impossible, to be positive all the time. Here are some tips for getting through the down days.
Be kind to yourself
You can have days when you feel well and able to face whatever the day brings and other days where you don’t even want to get out of bed. On the bad days, always treat yourself with kindness. Don’t think it is weak or feeble to just take a day out, stay in bed and sleep. Just don’t let that turn into every day.
Often, we may feel like we are a burden to our friends and family, especially if we need someone with us all the time. It’s important that you sit down with the people who love you and talk about how you are feeling. Think about what you would do and feel if the shoe was on the other foot. See if you can find a balance between what you can do for yourself and what you need other people to do for you. Remember, communication is absolutely key. Other people aren’t mind readers…tell them how you feel or what you need.
Get help if you need it
If you are feeling very depressed, perhaps having thoughts of self harm, then reach out to those around you or to your GP. Don’t try to struggle on alone. You are not wasting anyone’s time.
Don’t talk trash about yourself
It can be so easy, on a bad day, to say some pretty horrible things to yourself. “I’m so useless, all I do is feel ill all the time!” Our brains process that kind of self talk in exactly the same way as if someone else was saying it and it sets off our stress response. If you find yourself getting into a negative spiral of running yourself down, take a deep breath and stop yourself. Instead write down three good things you have done in the last couple of days. It can be really small things like giving the dog a big cuddle or helping your child with his homework. The act of having to stop and think about the good things you have done will help change your mindset to a much more positive one.
Find your happy place
When you are feeling well, think of some little treats that you can put in place for those down days. Perhaps you could stock up on a couple of feel good movies, or get in some lovely bath products to only be used on down days or some magazines that you can just flick through when you don’t feel able to concentrate. Have some yummy snacks stashed away just for you. You could even set up a little ‘In case of yucky day’ kit with a selection of nice things!
Down days will happen but there are better days and good days ahead.