Friday, June 17, 2016

7 Ways to Feel Better, When You Just Aren't Feeling It

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This week took it out of me. Leaving at a moment's notice to drive to Maine, dealing with the drama of a family crisis while attempting to work at the same time... yesterday was my first day back in the office after the shit hit the fan and I spent most of it wishing I could curl up in the fetal position and sleep for a week. I think after being pulled in so many directions for so many days, my body just buckled at the first sign of calm. So yeah, I felt (still feel) rough, and my mind is wandering to ways to make myself feel better and I kind of want to do them all at once... which is probably pointing to the larger problem of me not allowing myself the time I need to slow down when I really, really need to. So I'm sharing them with you today, in case you need a little care, too. I'll be spending this weekend getting back to some semblance of normal, which usually means cleaning, reading, and wandering the city.

Stop checking Facebook: It will only lead to sad thoughts and the increasing realization that the world is in rough, rough shape. I'm not saying you should bury your head in the sand and ignore the facts, but maybe you don't need to be reading the updates of 500 friends and relatives of opposing viewpoints when you're feeling down and out. Take a break. And consider taking a break from all social media, if you find yourself feeling particularly vulnerable.

Buy yourself some flowers: Maybe this sounds stupid and obvious, but I don't give a shit, buying yourself flowers is one of the simplest, prettiest ways ways to show yourself some love. Plan it right, and those babies will be there all week cheering you on (I buy mine on Fridays to enjoy throughout the weekend). I like roses and sunflowers and other species that won't kill my cat when he inevitably ingests them, but it's peony season, so if you're cat-free (or simply live with a feline who isn't a jerk) buy those. Because peonies are gorgeous. And it's hard to feel bummed out when a big puffy cloud of a flower is staring you in the face.

Get moving: Right now, I'm trying to get myself motivated to hit the gym. I know if I do, I'll feel a hell of a lot better about life, and maybe work through some stuff at the same time. Exercise releases endorphins and... blah blah blah... it just makes you feel good. For me, movement is the fastest way to a clearer head and better mood, and the easiest way to lift a fog when I'm feeling down. (Update: I went to the gym. I didn't do as much as I usually do, but I did something. And I feel about 80% better than I did).

Socialize... or not: As an introvert, it's easy for me to close myself off. I have no trouble being alone, which can have its disadvantages. Instead of wallowing and over thinking everything this weekend, I'm going to try to get out and maybe see some people because I know it will do me some good to get out of my own head. Conversely, if you're feeling the exhaustion that i imagine would come with being an extrovert, maybe try staying in. Or... just do what you want to do and give yourself permission to be OK with it.

Treat yourself: Not with food, because that's a weird, emotional slippery slope (for me, at least). And not with any extravagant purchases (again... slope = slippery). But if you have a gift card or store credit or coupon to someplace, now is the time to use it. I save my gift cards to use specifically in times of emotional low-ness, to spend on something nice. Or I purchase something small, like a nail polish or magazine, that I can use right then and there. New underwear never hurt, either.

Work on a project: Something that isn't watching TV or scrolling through your phone. Work on something that enriches you, that's just yours. Take pictures for the sake of taking pictures, draw, paint... doesn't matter. Cook something. Do something actively engaging to get your mind off whatever it is that's bothering you or making you feel shitty.

Call someone: I hate the phone, but I always feel better after reconnecting with a friend. If you need to complain, call the friend who lets you complain. If you need to laugh, call that friend. If you need to feel better about yourself and told how awesome you are and how you're a beautiful flower, call your mother. If you have no one to talk to, talk to your pet (or just hug them while they struggle). If you don't have a pet, get yourself to a cat cafe, stat.


Tieka Ellis said...

I use so many of these tips to pick myself up! I always feel better after working out, even if I dread putting on my shoes sometimes. And same with socializing, I'm so quick to shut myself off if I'm in a bad mood, and later I learn that some of my friends are going through the same thing, and I wish I would have reached out! Great list, Julie!

Johanna O said...

I love this! All of these are great tips. I'm sorry to hear about all the stress you've been dealing with lately! I hope you're able to slow down soon and relax!


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