Whether triggered by a lousy event (like your husband being away on business for two flippin' weeks), hormones, or seemingly nothing at all...we've all felt it. That glum, depressing haze where nothing and everything is wrong all at the same time. I've learned to recognize it the moment it appears: my getting restless, overly self-critical, overwhelmed over nothing, and just plain sad. 

Hopefully, none of you are feeling down these days, but maybe someone out there can benefit from a few tricks I've learned to to prevent the blues from spiraling into something long term. And a reminder for myself couldn't hurt either.

1. Upbeat Music
 There is just no hangin'-around-feeling-sorry-for-yourself with Michael Jackson rocking out in the background. Favorite tunes instantly energize me out of a slump. And I highly encourage singing (and dancing!) along.

2. Let the Sunlight in
Open you blinds! Draw back the curtains! And if it's warm enough, open those windows all the way. The sunshine, fresh air, and an open feeling lifts moods. Sitting in a dark, closed-off house will only make things worse.

3. Exercise
It's all about the endorphins, people. Why not take advantage of the body's natural, safe, self-produced morphine-like euphoric? These endorphins are produced, among other ways, through physical exercise. Another benefit is the self esteem boost as your hind parts lose inches.

4. Get Out in Nature
Go take a walk! Nature seems to have a calming impact on my psyche. God's creations in all their forms are simply beautiful. To see nature doing its thang puts life back into perspective and reminds me who is really in charge of my crazy life. 

5. Bring Nature Indoors
Who says you have to wait for your man to buy the flowers? Go pick out a bunch of your favorites and display them in a vase where you spend most of your time in the house.  If you can't afford the  big, beautiful bouquets at the flower shop, go for a $3 bunch at your local grocery store. The added happiness is worth the expense in my book.

6. Make a To-Do List
This gives needed structure and motivation.Write down everything you hope to accomplish in the day...even as simple as brushing your teeth or making the bed...and then stick to it.  Drawing a line through it afterward will make you feel so purposeful. And go ahead, add something to the list after you've done it, just for the satisfaction of crossing it off!

7. Clean the House
Cleanliness invites good feelings. Try setting the timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes and cleaning like mad until the timer buzzes. Those few minutes of putting things in their proper place and wiping the counters will make your house a happier place to be.

8. Rearrange the Furniture
Stir things up! There is something about a little bit of change that is just...fun. Try putting the dresser on the opposite side of  the bedroom. Rearrange the decor on the entertainment center. Or put that arm chair in a different room entirely. Maybe I'm crazy. But a fresh view in my house has worked for me!

9. Purge
Clutter will only make you feel stressed out. Do you really need five wooden spoons? Thirty-six pairs of shoes? Seven years worth of Parent magazines stacked in the corner? Gather twenty-five items from around the house that you can donate. Then put them in a box, drive to Goodwill, and get rid of it today!

10. Dress Up
I lived with an aunt who would put on her Sunday best on days she was feeling down. Makes sense. I'm not going to feel great about myself if at 5 o'clock I'm still in sweats and yesterday's makeup. Take a hot shower (which is happy enough as it is!), put on a favorite outfit, and apply that lip gloss. It mentally prepares you to tackle the upcoming day.

11. Be with People
When you're all alone, it is easier to feel sorry for yourself. Stop moping around and call up a friend, go to that weeknight church activity, join a book club, visit family, or even treat yourself to ice cream...anything to remind you you're not alone in the world. Or the only one with problems.

12. Do What You Love
What's your favorite hobby? Personally, jumping in to an activity that gets my creative juices flowing makes me feel alive and invigorated...whether that's photography, drawing, decorating, teaching, or arts and crafts. 

13. Turn to God
I know that when scripture study, prayer, and worship is a priority in my life, I feel better able to bear any unhappy burden weighing me down. There is no greater source of strength and comfort than through the reality of the Lord's atonement. 


Jodi said...

Vitamins for energy and mood help also :) had a crazy rough patch last winter and vitamin b (12 i think) really did wonders for me... in addition to running of course! Winter/too many evening dark hours can be pretty daunting, but I love your list of things like cleaning and rearranging and purging items..
hope hubby comes home soon! :)

Shari said...

Love this list. I'm even pinning it for easy reference later!! I totally dressed up today just because I was in a bad mood getting ready this morning. I think we all feel like this at one point and these are great reminders to be able to change your mood from being selfish to a feeling of gratitude. Thanks again!

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