Had one of those days when you felt frustrated, blocked, irritated, a little emotional, and generally out of sorts? But not quite sure what was underneath it all? A day when you were pulled in multiple directions, without knowing which way to turn?
You weren’t pressured enough to call it stress, and your irritation wasn’t strong enough to be classed as anger. You weren’t on on top of your game, and you’d lost contact with your usual brilliance. You were a little impatient, and you may have put it down to tiredness. Or maybe something else entirely. You might be feeling feeling confused and perplexed as to why carefully laid plans just weren’t working out. Someone you were relying on let you down unexpectedly. Or you felt you had to compromise your authenticity in a situation that has now left you wondering why.
A possible (though multi-syllabic) way to put a name on what you’re feeling is to call it ‘discombobulated’. It’s a word that sums up the kind of generalised anxiety that you can’t put your finger on, but you know that something isn’t quite right. Feeling discombobulated can be a low-level but disconcerting fear of something not working out the way you’d like it to, and you may not have control of the outcome.
Here’s what I recommend for coping with a day of feeling discombobulated:
- Pick one thing that you can be in control of. Put something in order. Post that letter. Clean the sink. Finish painting the skirting board. Whatever it takes for you to feel you have at least completed something today.
- Lift the pressure of trying to make sense of the day, and why it didn’t go as planned, by simply saying that you feel discombobulated.
- Just sit for two minutes without giving yourself anything to do.
- Now stop your inner critic running riot in your head, berating you for all the things you haven’t done today. It can’t sneak in when you’re paying it no attention (at least for those two minutes).
- Do something you love, that makes you feel like you again: go to the gym, for a walk, watch a favourite programme, cook your best meal, look at your roses).
- Gift yourself with an early night, preferably with some pampering beforehand (scented bath, good book, whatever your favourite wind-down routine is).
- Remind yourself that this discombobulated day will end when you go to sleep. No feelings or thoughts ever last.
- Write down the difficulties of the day into a journal, if you keep one, or onto a piece of paper that you can rip up afterwards. You don’t need those thoughts and feelings to disturb your sleep. Give them to the page to hold for you.
- Whichever deadline you haven’t met, report you haven’t written, or email you need to send – you can do it in the morning.
- Forgive yourself for having a bad day.
If those off days are becoming more regular, and feeling discombobulated becomes more like regular anxiety, then do get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07956 823501 so we can help you work on further strategies that are personal to you.