With the recent change in weather, some changes in my personal life, and lots of stress courtesy of school and work I've been feeling hopelessly sad. If you've been reading for a while you may have heard me mention my struggles with sadness in the past. Sometimes things seem rather overwhelming and right now I'm feeling a bit trapped. I've been struggling with a serious lack of motivation to meet deadlines or show up for friends. When I'm home I watch hours of TV or surf the internet instead of being creative or active. My sadness pours me into this scary cycle where I have no motivation to improve my mood so I keep feeling lower and lower.
Luckily (or unluckily?), I've been through this many times before and I've learned some quick ways to pull myself out of a funk. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this so I figured I'd share my home remedies to the blues.
1) Exercise. It's SO difficult to convince myself to go downstairs to my building's work out room but after I work out I always feel SO much better. It may sound dramatic but even as little as 20 minutes on the bike can give me an entirely new outlook on life. Plus, it's just so good for you to be active. I've been in a dancing mood recently so when I feel blue I'm going to start turning on some music and dancing a bit.
2) Write it down. I have always found great relief in putting my thoughts down on paper. I have kept a journal for nearly 10 years now and whenever I'm feeling like this I give myself time to write about it. Sometimes just the process of letting those sad thoughts out is enough to give me a bit of a boost.
3) Surround yourself with good friends. When I'm feeling depressed the absolute last thing I want to do is see or talk to anyone. But when I cut myself off from the people who love me the most I just feel worse. No matter how badly I want to stay in and wallow in my sadness, I try to make it a point to go out and see the people who put a smile on my face. It also helps to talk to someone. Don't keep your emotions bottled up!
4) Dress to impress. Another sign of my depression is when I contemplate wearing sweatpants outside. I've always found a direct correlation to the time and care I put into my appearance and the way I feel about myself. It's just really hard to be sad when you're wearing sequins and pretty heels. This may be totally superficial but it works.
5) Breathe. When things get really tough for me I notice that I am holding my breath, literally. I also notice that I grind my teeth like crazy. When I catch myself holding my breath I do a little breathing exercise that I learned in high school. Wanna learn? Take a slow breath in for ten seconds, hold it for ten seconds, then exhale for ten seconds. Do this three times. I have no idea what sort of sort of black magic happens when you do this but it always leaves me feeling about a thousand times more relaxed. Give it a try!
As for me, I'm going to do my best to get out of this funk. The holiday season should be a happy and exciting season--not one for the blues! What do you do when you find yourself feeling sad? I'd love to hear any suggestions you have.