We all have them on occasion. The “blues” come to call like the persistent ringing of the phone. Your whole body seems like it’s in slow-mo and life just isn’t the greatest. Oddly, the blues are a form of anxiety turned inward; the mind circles the same blank thoughts that veil what is really bumming you out. Been there, done that, own a condo on the beachfront lot.
There are things that you can do to change it: but you have to take the first step all alone. You have to want your mind to settle down. Are you ready and wiling to feel joy just because you’re alive and breathing?
Find a space where you can have five minutes of peace. Go outside if possible, into the sun and the fresh air. Stand up tall and stretch with you shoulders back, opening your diaphragm. Big deep breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. Give your body a good shake and breathe in again. Welcome back to the land of the oxygenated blood. If you feel that stress start to dissipate, stretch for several minutes, giving your muscles time to tighten and relax. Be deliberate about giving yourself all the time that you need to become centered. Scents like fresh orange or lavender are very soothing to the senses.
Sing a song. Yep, pick out that music that makes your blood pump and sing out loud. Do yourself a favor and don’t play the songs that you’ve imprinted to a loss or memory that bums you out. Pink’s “Perfect” is tuned to my iTunes, along with One Republic, Linkin Park and lots of people that I can kick box to. Let your body absorb great lyrics that reinforce what you need to know: you’re great, just where you are. We all have room to grow, and you’re not alone. While you’re dancing to the tune, be incredibly grateful for your life, for the people that love you. Bring their faces to mind and just let yourself feel the love. Someone in the world thinks that you’re the most incredible, beautiful person alive.
Write a letter. If that thing on your mind won’t give you peace, write a letter. When you’re in the blues, you’re emotional…so calling or email is typically a pretty bad idea. Say what you need to say and set it to the side. I write letters that I will never send all the time. I keep them in a box, and rarely take them out. Sometimes, I need to hear what I’ve said in the past and they’re there for me to acknowledge that time in my life. If you love, say you love. If you ache, say you ache. Be totally honest. It’s up to you if you shred the thing or keep a journal, but let it out. What ever you bury alive, never dies. Let your emotions out in a constructive, healthy way. You can also take a few minutes to write cards out to a few people that you really care for – just a note that says “You’ve made such a difference in my life. Thank You.” Being grateful for love is an amazing, powerful feeling.
Affirm Yourself. Look in the mirror and straight into your own eyes. Say “I love you.” Can you mean it? I love myself ~ really! It’s taken me years to love the girl that is Alison with all her craziness and energy. My self esteem has been knocked around with an emotional bat for the past year, and still I am here going strong. I believe. I believe in hope, love, faith and that everything has good in it. I take time …. intentional time…. to laugh. I wear pigtails. I paint toenails and smell great. I love myself, the fact that I’m smart, that there is no one just like me. I’m worth knowing. Sound like I’m being vain? No, this is my game state: this girly girl lives life full on with passion and promise. I think of myself as capable and resourceful, so you won’t find me using negative statements like “I’m so stupid” or “I’m not loveable.” Those thoughts destroy your self esteem. Elaine Sihera, author of “How Do I Love Myself When I Feel Like Crap” writes:
“. . .in a nutshell, we have to stop beating ourselves up over past actions, stop aiming for perfection and stop comparing ourselves to others. Otherwise, we will always feel inadequate. You also have to appreciate your limitations, praise yourself DAILY for being a wonderful and unique human being. Stop seeking the approval of others when the only standard should be your own, and look outwards to others in love and appreciation than just focusing on yourself.” Read her article here.
You know, it’s not what other people think of you that matters, or what degrees/certificates you have on the wall. It’s not how much money you have or what you do in life that makes you happy. It’s love. That begins with loving yourself and having a tangible faith that encourages you. A life under the “law” of what society tells you is your role…you’ll be miserable. Love yourself, compliment yourself for those things that you really do admire. I love being me. This is the type of thing that you need to affirm in yourself. What are you great at? Where is your smile? Compliment yourself in gratitude…you really are unique in the whole of the world. Be genuine…love yourself.
Take Action. Dreams without action are called wishful thinking. Make a plan, a simple direct simple set of steps that will help you go to the place you want to be. Every day, do something toward that goal. Never give up. Change you plan when you need to, but have a plan. Nothing is really impossible: it’s your attitude that makes you able to succeed. Clear cut, achievable goals for one day will help you gain a feeling of self esteem and control. Clean out that clutter on your desk, house, table or bedroom. Just making a slight difference in the chaos around you will keep you balanced. Give it a try.
When you find yourself in the blues, exercise is one way to change your physical metabolism and your attitude at the same time. I remember moments at the first of the year when, in a time of great depression, I would run five miles on the treadmill with tears streaming down my face. By the time I was done, the tears had eased. The top things to avoid when you’re feeling blue? Binge eating carbs, alcohol (you’re already depressed), and isolation from friends or rusted companions that can talk with you.
Looking for more ideas that promote lasting happiness? There is a great blog post on 17 Ways to Love Yourself by Abundance Tapestry that also provides some great information.