What's Behind The Mask?

Some tips of what to do when things are tough

I’m am friends with lots of people on Facebook and I have to admit, for some of them, I have no idea how we ended up as friends.

With the strange algorithm that Facebook introduced some time ago, Facebook decided whose posts I would see and not see.  One of the people’s post I see is a guy who I don’t ever remember meeting.  He’s from Dublin but lived abroad for a number of years and we have many friends in common.

I would often like his posts, and he often liked mine.

So, I was shocked the other week when I logged on to Facebook and a post came up on my feed announcing his death.  And what was sadder, is that it appears that he had taken his own life.

I am sad for him because all of the messages on his page talk about how kind he was, how he supported people who were struggling and gave various people their first break.

I had always enjoyed his posts.  Beautiful weather, sailing, his doggie and that’s the thing about Facebook.  You never really know what is going on behind the mask.

I know I do it myself – always put the best foot forward.

And I get it – we don’t necessarily want to bare our souls for everyone to see.  But we need to be aware, that these are tough times for a lot of people.  Businesses are finding it tough, which means people are finding it tough.

We are not able to make the personal connections that we are used to making – and there is a lot of uncertainty around as we have no idea when covid will end.  So we need to be kind to ourselves and to others.

There have been times when I have found things very tough over the last number of months and I have my supports in place to deal with this.

And I would encourage anyone who is reading this, if you are really struggling, and nothing is lifting you out of it, please please please reach out to someone.  A friend of family member if that works for you, or if not, a professional who can help you through this.

It doesn’t feel right to name this person, so RIP my dear Facebook friend, and I hope that you have finally found peace.

Here are some suggestions for people who are finding things a bit tough and hopefully this may help you move through it.  But if things look very black and have been for quite a while, then do seek professional help.

1. Give Yourself Space To Process

Everyone had hoped that with the easing of restrictions that we were heading in the right direction.

It seems like it is not going to be that straightforward which is very frustrating, and it may be two steps forward and one step back.

For lots of people, myself included, I have had my days where I have just had enough of Covid.

So, give yourself the time and space you need to adapt to the disappointment and frustration that we are all feeling.  It’s not easy!

2. Change Your Energy – Do Something Different

I had found myself in a real funk recently, and none of the usual things were working for me.

There was lots of work that I should have been doing and I am usually fairly disciplined about working during the day and not dossing.

But I just couldn’t get myself motivated and it was the first time that I was really worried for myself.  I needed to do something different just to change things around.

What I did was went into the city centre and had a browse around – so nothing terribly radical, but it really shifted my energy.  It was great to be somewhere different, and doing somewhat normal things.

So, do something different and shift your energy.

3. What’s Stopping You?  Just do it!

I had always looked at people who go swimming in the sea in Ireland and thought ‘aren’t they great?’ and also, that I’d love to be that type of person.

Swimming in the sea is free so there was absolutely nothing stopping me, and this year, I have just gone for it.

Each week over the last while, I have been going for a swim at least once a week.  I don’t go out very far, and I certainly won’t be setting any Olympic records.

But for me it is a great achievement.

And it may take me some time to get in, and I’m often saying to myself, WHY am I doing this to myself?  But I always feel great after and am delighted that I am now one of those people.

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to try?  Try to set a modest goal and see if you can take the first step towards achieving it.

4. Raise Your Vibration

Visualising is a very powerful way of shifting your energy, and it’s free.

Here’s how you do it.

Set the timer on your phone for 2 minutes.

Close your eyes and picture where you would like to be, how you would like to feel, what you would like to be doing.  Feel how good it feels to be exactly where you want to be, hear what people are saying to you, see what it looks like and really intensify these feelings, sounds, images and make them brighter and bolder.

You can also remember a time when you felt really good, see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel how really good you felt.  Make the colours brighter, more vivid, the feelings more intense and the sounds louder and clearer.

Keep doing this until you can really tune into this feeling.

Once your timer goes off, think of one small thing that can get you to closer to where you want to be, and do it.

Prepare to be amazed!

5. Take Yourself On An Artist Date

Julia Cameron, in her book, The Artist’s Way, talks about taking yourself on an Artist Date each week.

What Cameron means by this is doing something that you have never done before, and doing it on your own.

This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but just something that lifts your heart.

I remember that one of my favourite Artist’s Dates about 20 years ago when I was living in London and I went into the Gucci store.  I had never been in there before and it was so beautifully laid out, it was like an art gallery.  Plus I got to see a famous pop star!

Doing something different pushes you out of your comfort zone, and in doing this you really feel energised.

What are you going to do?

6. Reach Out To Someone

A problem shared really is a problem halved.  We all imagine that everyone is fine all of the time and that we may be the only ones struggling.

That’s just not true.  Everyone has bad days where everything gets on top of them.

If you have friends and family that you can talk to and they can help you to feel better, then reach out to them.

However, sometimes we need to talk to someone who is removed from our personal situation, so do seek out professional help.

I’m always happy to talk to you and if you need professional help, please contact me on info@grainnemoneill.com. 

If you have any comments, of if you are affected by anything that I have featured in this article, please feel free to get in touch with me at info@grainnemoneill.com

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