We all have them. They come and they go, but they never stay away forever, and that’s ok. Everyone has demons that manifest themselves in different ways over different things at different times, but it’s how we deal with them that truly matters.
There was a time in my life, a few years ago, when I caved in at the presence of my demons. I couldn’t defeat or deal with them, so I let them defeat me. I didn’t know what to do to tackle them so I gave up; I let them win. By allowing them to overtake my life, it resulted in me restricting my eating.
I think an important part of dealing with the demons in your mind is firstly to accept that demons are part of life’s parcel. You aren’t alone in having to battle against them, we all have demons that resurface at different times and manifest in different ways. However, the key thing is to learn how to deal with them in constructive rather than destructive ways.
So, what do I do now?
When I feel the demons resurfacing, something that helps boost me is being positive in other aspects of my life. For example, listening to happy music, watching upbeat films or tv series, or putting more energy into my writing. If I encourage positivity throughout everything I do, it sets a tone for how I feel. Listening to cheery music as opposed to slow, deep music, always helps lift my mood and gets me to realise that I don’t need to be feeling low.
As an individual, I always try to be a positive person and look on the bright side of life. In every situation, no matter how bad it may seem, there is always a positive to be taken away. Whether that’s the negativity of coronavirus, we can be grateful for the extra time we’ve had to dedicate to other things, or the more time we’ve had at home with our parents. Whatever the situation, there is always a positive there! Even when the s*** hits the fan and you feel at rock bottom, there is something great to be taken from the situation... even if it is just that things can only improve from now. Don’t give up searching for the positives and your demons won’t take over!
Something I find incredibly powerful in helping you when the demons resurface, is talking about how you’re feeling. If you keep your worries and stresses to yourself it can be easy for them to manifest and become more of a problem than they actually need to be. Talking to others not only allows you to put your worries into perspective, but also, more often than not, you realise that somebody else has felt the exact same way as you have before. We aren’t the only ones who have demons to deal with, everyone does, we just don’t realise it! This will allow you to see that you aren’t alone! Everyone has their own battles to face, and by speaking about how you’re feeling, you may help them as well as yourself!
Defeating the demons when running.
Following a period of my life where I was severely undernourished, I had developed a lot of demons when running. This was simply because I was so weak and tired when I was running that I had come accustomed to feeling this way. Even when I had become a much stronger athlete, I still carried the demons I had when I was weak with me. It took a long time to erase these, and sometimes they do still crop up, but I have developed different ways of dealing with them. Firstly, I try to stop my mind from drifting. I do this by staying focused on the task at hand. This may mean focusing on each single rep, counting my strides or focusing on my technique. If I am able to keep my mind focused it prevents it from wondering off to a place where the demons surface!
It sounds cheesy, but I also work hard to remind myself that I am strong! This way, if any weak thoughts enter my mind and try to tell me that I’m not strong enough, I remind myself that I am no longer that weak athlete from before, I am instead a strong, positive runner. Whilst it may not work the first time, if I continually remind myself, a time comes where I am genuinely able to believe it!
So, with the tightening of restrictions in some areas and the reminder that coronavirus is very much still here, when you find it hard to remain positive, remember that we are all in this together, and you aren’t alone in the way you think. Look after yourself and look out for each other, because talking to someone else about your struggles might help them as much as it will help you. Also, stay active. Even if it feels a struggle, getting out the door, even if its just for a short walk, will do you the world of good!
I have learnt to accept that, maybe our demons can’t be defeated, but that’s ok, because it is how we deal with them that actually matters. If we can learn how to cope when they resurface, this will allow us to stay strong in all situation
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!