Today I wanted to write about something that I and other women have struggled with from time to time. The blues… feeling sad…unmotivated…..maybe even mildly depressed. There can be numerous reasons why we feel like we are in a funk. Perhaps you don’t feel like you’re where you want to be in life or you’re going through a difficult season with a close family member or other relationship. First let me make it clear that I am NOT a medical provider and I am not promoting how to treat, diagnose or cure any form of mental illness. What I am sharing are some things that have worked for me when I’m feeling down.
Have you ever sat around thinking so incessantly about the things you SHOULD be doing that you wind up doing nothing? You know you need to move around and do something productive, yet you lay around and think, consequently wasting the day away and feeling even worse than when you started. Well here are some tips that have and continue to help me when the blues come a knockin.
- Write it down. Sometimes we become stressed out over all the things we want to do with our lives. So much so that it gets all jumbled up in our brains and causes us to simply shut down. Grab a journal or a planner and begin writing down the most important goals or tasks you want to achieve. You might find yourself writing down projects for your workplace, household tasks, personal goals, and maybe even people you want to reach out to. You may be surprised at the relief and sense of control you feel simply by getting it all out. Now you have something concrete to work with. Now you have a plan. You may find that your mind quickly shifts from confused and melancholy to motivated and excited.
- Act On It. So you have your tasks written down but you still feel like you don’t know where to begin? Don’t lay back down just yet. Sort that list from the smallest task to the most challenging and just get started. Something is better than nothing, and it’s highly likely that you will want to move on to the next task once you’ve completed the first. Believe me on this. You may not be bubbling with happiness at first, but you will feel a sense of movement in a previously stagnant situation. You’re no longer sitting in your bad feelings, you’re taking action. That my friend, is empowering.
- Work it out. Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re laying under your covers and feeling sad. There’s only one way to do combat this….. jump right in and do it. It can be something as simple as a brief walk, a run, or using that gym membership that’s coming from your paycheck! The almost immediate mood boost you will receive from exercise may be enough to reverse your negative feelings.
- Let Calgon take you away. Laying around letting your hair mat up and smelling less than fresh has never made anyone feel better. Sure you may not care at the moment but humor me. The simple act of bathing, a hot shower, and clean fresh smelling skin can do amazing things when you’re in a funk. Get up and at least brush your teeth, groom your hair, shave your armpits, or whatever it is you do to feel put back together and confident in yourself.
- Just get out of the house. When I force myself to shower, groom, and get out of the house, I feel so much better. Sometimes you want to stay home and close yourself off to the rest of the world, which can actually make you feel worse. You may not realize how crummy hibernating was making you feel until you step into the beauty right outside your front door. What’s an even better idea? Pick something from your new to-do list and mark it off!
- Play uplifting music and let some light in. I love listening to happy tunes when I’m feeling down. I also believe in letting in natural light and maybe even opening up doors or windows for fresh air. Whatever music gets your toes tapping or your head nodding, put it on. Turn it up and let the feel good sounds drown out your mind’s negative chatter. Try it!
- Find a good listener. If you have a close relationship with a family member, friend, or spouse then ask them to pull up a chair. Isn’t that what REAL friends are for? If you’re like me and you don’t have a lot of emotional support, then you can always see a good counselor, therapist or pastor. The ability to simply get your feelings out can bring a sense of relief and lift your spirits. Talking can also help you to identify what may be triggering your gray mood. However, when I just don’t want to share what’s going on with me, I pray. I love God and I know HE hears me, so I talk to HIM! I don’t profess to know everyone’s beliefs or spirituality but I believe praying and finding quiet time with God can be just what the doctor ordered. What are some ways you beat the blues?
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