Slump to Pump: How to Hide
This is the second post of a new series I’m writing – Slump to Pump – which is very much based on real experience I’ve acquired the last few months. It’s all about what to do (i.e. what I didn’t do) when faced with an overwhelmingly stressful time in life. Each post will focus on a different phase in this battle and should equip you to be kind to yourself whilst getting the job done.
You can find the find the first post here – How to ‘Just Survive’. It will give you a little more context as well as a few tips on how to ‘just get through this next week’ If, unlike me, you managed to incorporate these into your situation, you should have an idea when your next breather will be. Block that time! You’ve given your all, you’ve got nothing left, now it’s time to hide.
Everyone is going to have their own methods to help them switch off. However, I know sometimes I can feel guilty when I’m not doing anything, or even looking after myself, during a breather. So here are some tips to ensure you’ve got zero guilt and are fully prepped to do sweet FA.
Turn. The. Phone. Off. This is the first thing I do for a hiding day. No texts, no Instagram and certainly no work emails. My manager brilliantly reminds me that we’re not doctors* and no one is actually going to die if we disconnect.
Tell the people who need to know that you’re safe and are tapping out for a few hours. This is helpful in avoiding any search parties (looking at you Mammy). You can always take it further and cut off TV or your laptop. Read a book! Go for a walk! Cook something yummy! …. Or binge on Netflix.
You need to set yourself up for some real slumping success and that requires a relaxing, stress-free environment. I know it might sound too productive, but it maaaay be worth tidying up a little bit (or at least throw everything in a cupboard.) This helps me avoid the guilt of doing nothing when my place is a mess.
Once you’ve got things tidy(-ish), find yourself a calming playlist on Spotify. My personal favourite is Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, you can’t go wrong with some soft, acoustic sounds. Light yourself a beautifully scented candle (I just treated myself to a Lempi) and bask in the convincing perception that you have your life in order.
Smart Stock the Fridge.
Hopefully you’re not planning to leave the house anytime soon. This is great but if you’re anything like me, you may get bored…..and decide to snack your entire pantry. This becomes problematic when all you’ve bought is made of chocolate.
Trust me, there is definitely space for goodies in this slump, but if you’re stretching house arrest for as long as you deserve, you need to be smarter about your snacking. Buy in foods that you love that aren’t terrible for you. I could happily devour a packet of blueberries and am left with zero guilt. Same with grapes, hummus, carrot sticks and cashews. Find your guilt-free snacks and buy in bulk!
This could very well just be me, but I know there have definitely been weekends where I’ve not given any f***s with personal hygiene. If I’m not seeing anyone I may be tempted not to shower. All weekend.
Don’t do this. Keeping yourself feeling fresh is an easy win in boosting your mood when relaxing. It’s also the perfect opportunity to experiment with any coconut concoctions you might have read in a self-care article.
Pen to Paper
Don’t panic. I’m not making you write a to do list just yet… but one thing that has forever helped me when I go into hiding is to write down everything I’m feeling.
Whatever you’ve felt, are feeling and want to feel, write it down. Taking a step back and focusing on your narrative will make things so much clearer in your mind. Whether it be eloquently writing in a journal or brain dumped on the back of a bus ticket, putting pen to paper can really bring you clarity.
*Apologies if you actually are a doctor, you may need a rethink…