Tuesday, 11 December 2012

“Feeling blue” days survival guide

I consider myself a fairly positive and energetic person but once in a while I get into miserable mood due to external factors like bad weather, inability to afford to buy something uber expensive, a rude cashier in a grocery store or unexpectedly high cell phone bill. Things happen and frankly can make one’s mood to fluctuate from happiness to sadness. Another day I was feeling blue for no apparent reason: I was snapping at people around me and hating myself for not being able to fit into size 6 dress. In the middle of my self-pity loathing session I realized that my negative thinking is clouding my judgment creating a “snow ball” effect of “problems”. I got to snap myself out of this “poor me-my life is not as good as I want it to be” mood I thought to myself. What are the ways? I am not the one to go look for a shoulder to cry on -I am not a fan of nagging personas myself. So what takes? A few simple changes in a routine as I discovered can elevate the mood and serve as a temporary pick me up strategy.
  • Start moving! Go for a walk. Yes, regardless of the weather- bundle up if it’s winter and spend 30min-60min strolling in a residential area or better so on the trails/forest. There is something enchanting and soothing about walking solo in the forest away from busy streets with its annoyances. Take a deep breath of a cool, fresh air and pick up a pace: brisk walk will break a sweat and energize you!
  • Try meditating. There are numerous techniques and practices in yoga that promote the state of “thoughtless awareness” and relaxation. Some involve gentle stretching and static poses, some call for a foot soak accompanied by calming music. I usually just lie down on the bed or carpet, close my eyes and let everything go.  Doing just that feels exceptionally good considering most of us are in a constant motion and have hard times slowing down let alone laying still for 20min. So give a few meditation techniques a try and you can discover what works best for you.
  • Write a journal entry. Put your thoughts on paper: your worries, concerns, moods. If you are feeling exceptionally creative- try writing possible causes and solutions. It’s sort of a “cleansing” act that allows you to rid your brain of “unhealthy” thoughts. It works. I have found some of my older journal entries recently- it was an amusing read!:)
  • Do a quick workout- a 30min circuit of body weight exercises accompanied by a funky beat is the best pick me up method for me! During exercise, our bodies naturally release “feel good” hormones serotonin and dopamine. Any kind of exercise will do the trick be it running, swimming or punching a heavy bag- depending on your fitness level and personal preference.
  • Cuddle your pet (if you have one!). It might sound silly at first but it is a proven fact that our furry friends have healing powers and might just be the cure for those “feeling blue” days. So go ahead and spend some time playing or just relaxing with your dog/cat and harness some of their boundless affection!

Here you have it. Next time the “blue days” hit you will be well equipped to fight back!;)