How do you maintain emotional balance? Aha! That is an interesting question indeed. Now you may wonder how this topic could possibly relate to Parade Handmade.. Well read on...There is so much to say about this topic and it is something that could be taught as a subject in school methinks... I believe you cannot leave your mood to chance unless you are one of those lucky people who are perpetually 'up' even when the vitamn D in the Winter months is low...
Sometimes you feel that you are in such great and happy form that it would be difficult to feel any other way. You feel at ease with yourself and your surroundings and your relationships with friends and family are in the main, happy and fullfilling. You are feeling successful and are getting things done. Yes!! The bills are paid, you are on top of the housework and there are a couple of fun things on the horizon. You are even feeling creative. The day looks bright. Nothing and noone can bring you down. You are impervious to slights, disappointments, major or minor setbacks etc. You are on the pigs back, as they say...
Those days are easy enough though, not without their challenges either, but that's for another time... There comes a time when the tide has turned...where you feel the opposite to all of the above. You are not feeling great at all. You feel diminished infact. Small, flat, insignificant even in the great scheme of things, not really effective in any way and you don't have alot of hope for yourself either...etc... Most of us have been there and/or have been there regularly...
These feelings while legitimate and real, are in fact just that. Feelings and moods. They do not tell the real story, the facts, the reality. Your value and importance as a human being. The good feelings are good and the bad feel bad and upsetting, but letting your value as a person be dictated by how you feel on a given day or a given moment, is like judging your worth as a person by the weather.
You Need a Personal Arsenal!
So in order to keep an even keel through all the different emotions that surface, I have my own methods that are personal to me to keep me positive in the face of adversity. I call this list, 'My Personal Arsenal'. This is an ever evolving arsenal by the way. What was once great may now need to change. Everyone needs to develop their own personal arsenal of things to help and encourage themselves to keep positive when outside factors and inside feelings say otherwise!
Set yourself up for happiness.
What does that mean? How do I set myself up for happiness? I mean, give yourself every opportunity to feel happy today. Surround yourself with colours you like, books you like, words or quotes that speakto you and perk you up. Set up a meeting with a friend who gets you and vice versa. You don't have to burden her or him with the complete anthology of your problems every time but even to be able to say 'I'm not feeling on top today so I thought a cuppa and a catch up with you would be fun/nice/would help.' That way both of you feel good. Ask yourself..'What do I need to do to feel a little better today?' What would I do for a friend who was not feeling great today? You may not wish to, nor is it wise, to feel you have to achieve something everyday, but on a given day, give yourself time to notice what the things are in life that bring you happiness no matter how small. Now over time, set these things up for yourself rather that waiting for them all to happen by chance! This usually means doing or not doing a few different things for your well being..
Remember, your own unique personal arsenal of positve things for a happy life will help you over the road bumps of life and ease you through the rollercoaster of low moods, setbacks, problems, illnesses, losses, embarrassments, bad hair days the lot...
Be good to yourself every day & especially on a day you are not feeling great.
Think about the little things in a day that make you happy and try to set some of them up for yourself. eg. If you like the sight of daffodils get a few or even one and put it in a vase on your table.
Take time out for a 15 minute relax with a cuppa and a book or magazine you like or write a letter.
Think good thoughts. Seek out wisdom from clever people who live or lived lives you admire. Find out what got them through adversity. Ask yourself what they would do or how they would tackle similar difficulties you may face. You can seek out professional help to get to the root cause of some trickier aspects and use their guidance and support to reassess your approach to life.
Do a small job you have been putting off or part of it. Maybe you could simply get a pen and plan a big job that needs tackling.
Go for a short walk or do some other sort of exercise. It might not sound like huge fun or make you high but that is not the aim. It will at least distract you from yourself for a little while, give your mind a rest and give you a natural hormonal boost.
Give yourself a break Give yourself options not to do certain things you don't feel up to today. Things you can do tomorrow or maybe you want to stop doing something altogether?
Surround yourself with supportive people and support them too. It doesn't have to be physical help or your 'expert advice' and often you can just be a sounding board so a person doesn't feel alone in a situaton they are excperiencing or dealing with. It doesn't need to be only when there are huge problems either. The day to day endeavours are very important and worthwhile too. A few supportive words about nothing related to problems such as mentioning how good they are at doing something particular can make a big difference to a person in general.
Set things up to look forward to. A proverbial carrot, so to speak. Especially when you have to do things you would rather not. Like ironing..only joking..
So how does this relate to Parade Handmade? Well, I find that part of my own personal arsenal is to create something or mend something. My mood medicine is creating. Something for the house maybe like tackling the hems on trousers or a hole in a cushion, making a nice dinner, arranging a surprise for someone special. It has been a great help during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Creating a nice corner in a room with a new handmade cushion or throw can be a quick thrill. I have set up my life so I can create, design, make, paint, you name it. It is my job. The people whose stock populates Parade Handmade are, I observe, of a similar ilk. I cannot say I know how they all feel, but I see that creating makes many of them tick. What makes you tick?....
Check this 'Psychology Today' blog post out. I found it really interesting and helpful. You might too. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ie/blog/some-assembly-required/201410/moving-toward-emotional-balance