Clear Minds CBT

Coping With Set-Backs

No matter how positive your mindset, how much you take care of your body and mind, how nice and kind a person you are…bad stuff will still happen.

Trauma, grief, loss, job loss, redundancy, illness and health conditions can – and likely will – happen to all of us.

Sometimes life is just rubbish.

All the inspirational quotes in the world don’t help. You’re overwhelmed and drowning with the weight of the world on your shoulders, unable to see a way through.

How we cope with these life changing moments – the way we think about them, how we act during them, and the way we self-care – will impact how we walk through and out the other side.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on the “here and now” to understand how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours/ actions interact, at times creating a vicious cycle that leaves you feeling stuck in your turmoil. It is a recommended talking therapy for people struggling with stress, anxiety and low mood.

Your CBT therapist works with you to understand your unique cycle and how to break out of it so you are reacting in the most helpful way for you.

The importance of self help at these times becomes immeasurable.

Here are some ideas to help you through those times when it feels as though you are breaking and you can’t see how you will ever get through, or be able to breathe again, without it hurting.

Remember emotions aren’t static, even those that feel as though they are drowning you will move on because nothing is permanent.

Don’t assume any one thing is right for you all the time. Some days it might be good to talk to your bestie, other days it might feel good to hide away from others. When you’re in the midst of a nightmare do whatever feels right.

Just a note of caution – it can be really easy to stay hidden away once you’ve started. So at least every few days push yourself to see another person.

You will likely want to avoid eating, or the opposite – you’ll want to comfort eat. If you’re anything like me, you’ll do a bit of both!

Allow yourself to do what you need to, whilst still trying to ensure you are eating and drinking what is healthy for you – plenty of leafy greens, clean proteins, staying hydrated. 

The body and mind can’t be expected to serve you well unless you take care of them, and both under and over eating can become problems themselves if we do either for too long.

The same might be said for drinking alcohol – a glass of wine or a G&T isn’t going to hurt. But a bottle of wine and 4 G&Ts every night probably will hurt and make you feel worse.

Smiling and laughing does not take away from what you are experiencing. 

You are allowed to laugh, even amid horrific loss or bereavement – it doesn’t mean you are ok, that you have forgotten the person you lost, or that it doesn’t matter to you. It means you are coping the best you can.

Getting out in nature and fresh air can be so good for the soul. 

It gets you moving, allows you to breathe and is great for allowing your mind to think whilst moving forwards.

Let people look after you, even if you really hate being fussed over! 

Allow people to phone or message to check in on you, let people cook you some food, allow your friends to take you out.

Wash, dress and clean your teeth every single day. 

Even if you dress in your most comfy jogging pants, it doesn’t matter,  just make sure you don’t stay in your night clothes. 

Don’t let dust and rubbish build up in your home, it will just make you feel more overwhelmed. 

Again, let others help you, if your besties want to do your dishes – let them! Doing practical things can also help your loved ones feel useful when they know you’re suffering.

Always remember to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Each breath and step forward is strength when you are going through your own horror story.

As an experienced and accredited CBT therapist I can help you navigate these difficult and painful situations. Please contact me to find out how I can help you reclaim yourself and your life as you navigate towards a clearer future.