If you find yourself in a situation that you don’t want to be in, time can move incredibly slowly. You can slip in to an off mood and feel like you’re stuck. But everything passes. Moments in life can last weeks, months, years or even just a few minutes. I taught myself a technique a few years ago to get through these troubled times.
Firstly you need to segment whatever is happening. For example. You’ve got a great big long journey that you’re dreading. You might be worried about traffic getting to the airport, being in the airport, getting through security, take off, being stuck on a plane for hours, landing, getting your luggage, meeting your transfer, it goes on and on.
Being anxious about the whole thing and all of these components at once will make your head spin. So you need to break down the journey into manageable chunks. The first part might be getting to the airport. Plan your timings, check the traffic, now get in your car and throw your favourite music on. Enjoy your hour in the car. Eat some sweets. Just be in the moment. Sooner than you know it you’ll have arrived at the airport. High five. You did it!
Next, check-in. Just get through it. Don’t worry about security or the plane taking off. Woohoo. You’re checked in! Next, get through security. It’ll take maybe half an hour. That’s not long. There’s a nice coffee waiting for you on the other side!
Breaking down every step and living in that moment will help calm your mind and stop anxiety about things that haven’t even happened yet.
Take off lasts all of five minutes. Just breath through it. It’ll pass quickly. The plane journey might be ten hours so that’s a big chunk of time. Break it down. Watch a movie, eat your plane food, have a drink, read your book, have a nap. Don’t look at your watch. Just be happy on the plane. There’s nothing you can do to get out of this situation, just enjoy it.
So you can see that to get through difficult times you need to be present, live in the moment. Know that it won’t last forever and don’t worry about what’s coming up next. Break it down into manageable chunks and get through those chucks one at a time.
It’ll give you one more example. When you’re in a bad period with mental illness you need to take one day at a time. So don’t worry about getting through the whole day and certainly don’t worry about tomorrow. You need to look after yourself right now.
Here’s what’s that day might look like. Get out of bed and eat something. You’re awesome. You did it. Have a shower and get dressed. See this is getting easier. Go for a walk. Not today? That’s ok. Read a book. Drink some tea. That was a productive hour, well done you. You might wander around aimlessly with brain fog. That’s ok. Realise that you’re brain foggy and choose to do something about it. Take a nap, do some meditation, do the hoovering. Get through it. This too shall pass. Before you realise it you’ll have got to the end of the day. You got through it. Do the same tomorrow. Break it down. Get through it.
So that’s it really. The key points are: live in the moment, enjoy what’s happening right now, don’t worry about what’s coming up, break this difficult period down into bitesize chunks and get through it one step at a time.
Most of all. Just keep thinking to yourself this won’t last forever. It’s just one period in my life. Good things are coming up next!