Sad and desperate days… We’ve all been there one time or another. Life can be overwhelming sometimes – too many obstacles and problems happening at once. It seems like negative emotions are always lurking around, waiting for that particularly vulnerable moment to strike you down. The sun may be shining outside, but suddenly your mind is a dark cloud preparing for a storm, firing away hard thoughts into your already aching soul – colors fade to grey, the world loses its glow, people turn into deceptive ghosts. Nothing seems to keep you interested or amused anymore. You feel empty, and instincts urge you to run, curl up and hide in a safe and warm place. Don’t! Fight it. The most important thing to remember is that these are just brief moments in time, that won’t last long if only you just accept them as inevitable and deal with them, instead of holding on and make them last wasting precious days or weeks in a state of apathy and self-pity. So, grab that tiny spark of energy you still have and don’t allow it to go any further.
Here are some of my personal tips on how to chase away the blues:
1. Breathe. You don’t even have to stand up for this one. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Focus on the way the air goes in and out of your lungs and refuse anything else. Your body will start relaxing immediately, and if you do this for about 10-20 minutes, your unsettling flow of thoughts will slow down considerably.
2. Contemplate. Now that you feel less agitated reflect on what’s really bothering you and how you can fix it as if you were an outsider looking in. Being objective can help you determine if all the emotions triggered are really worth it.
3. Visualize. Using your imagination, form a mental picture of the perfect day in every detail possible. Stay there and enjoy it for as long as you can. Try to bring those happy feelings into your real world, even if the circumstances are not ideal. Keep smiling.
4. Move. Get up. Find something to do. Your body was built to be active and not to be standing still. Exercise is the best way of regaining vital energy levels. It also helps to release anger and other negative emotions. If going to the gym or doing any kind of sport is just a little too much for you right now, go for a walk around the block, play with your pet, reorganize your wardrobe, clean your house, but do something.
5. Listen. Personally, I can’t live without music. I make my own personal life soundtrack – every situation calls for a different type of song. Get your headphones and pick a theme that agrees with your needs and then sing, scream, dance, jump.
6. Create. The mind needs to loose focus on negative thoughts. I was housebound for 5 months, and I found out that keeping my mind busy was the best thing I could ever do. so, when my body allowed it, I redecorated, I painted walls and varnished floors, I made drawings portraying how I felt, I sewed, I wrote.. Creativity is an ally.
7. Vent. If you keep things bottled up inside, they will rot and make you feel even worse. So, bring them out. Talk to someone you trust. Talk to yourself. Write poems about it. Journal it. Pour your feelings out through words on paper. You’ll feel relieved and lighter on your feet.
8. Connect. Love and support are essential. Reach out to the important people in your life, among family and friends. Nurture them and recognize their significance.
9. Help. Shifting focus from your troubles to others in worse places in life than yourself will put everything in perspective. You’ll realize that you are actually grateful for lots of things and very proud to have made an effort to help someone else.
10. Tomorrow is another day. Acknowledge the blues as a temporary thing. If you face it as a minor inconvenience that will fade after a good night’s sleep, that’s exactly was it’s going to happen. No big deal!