Feeling in a rut? This flashback post may be just the what you need.
Every day we make so many conscious and unconscious choices its easy to forget that we actually have a choice. We have a choice to hold the door for someone or the choice to give up our seat on the bus to someone more deserving. We have the choice to be sad or we have the choice happy.
This morning I was feeling pretty down. My mom, husband and dog are all not well, I am really tired, I am sick of winter and the control it has over my life, and I am still trying to figure out when I can find the time to go dress shopping and get my haircut before the wedding next month.
Even blogging couldn’t cheer me up since I felt like I had nothing to say that mattered. There are a million mommy blogs out there, I know because I make a point of reading hundreds (which I have to stop). Post after post of the same thing, mommy wars and people thinking they are the only ones in a situation when if they would just look around there are 10 other posts about the same thing. Not to mention the posts that just serve to remind you that there are lots of people out there who are “better” than you.
I tried writing a gratitude list, then I visited some of my favourite websites like Tiny Buddha for a pick me up, and I even did some online browsing for dresses but nothing got me out of my funk.
Later in the day I ran into a colleague that I don’t see very often and then a volunteer who I see on occasion. All of the sudden I was laughing and joking, smiling as I gushed about the twins and how busy things were. When I walked away I felt different. I wasn’t just acting happy, I was happy. I was back out of my head and engaging in life.
So I am writing today as a reminder to myself of the tools we have to snap ourselves out of the rut we are stuck in and get back in the game.
1. Let Go. Ha ha ha you chuckle. Two simple words that actually have volumes behind them. Letting go of whatever is bothering you and weighing you down can be so hard, but you need to do it in order to move on. Even if it starts with just a conscious understanding of what you are holding on to and why, it is a step in the right direction.
2. Smile. Like I said, you are actually overriding your body’s wiring when you smile when you are sad. It makes your brain come out of panic/depression mode and think that things are okay again. Because they are ok.
3. Do a good deed. There is a joy that comes from doing a good deed, and an even greater joy in knowing that you put yourself aside to do it. It could be something as simple as holding the door for someone or as grand as making a donation to your favourite charity, but I guarantee you it will lift your spirits.
4. Focus on something else. I am one of those people who is happiest when they are busy. Too much time to think is a bad thing for me. It’s amazing how rehashing something in your mind can actually make you physically feel the negative emotions all over again even though the moment is gone and there is nothing in the present to be upset about. Occupy yourself with something else. Not just anything, it has to be something that requires focus and concentration to shift your thoughts away from the negativity.
5. Do something different. Do you always order a coffee? Get a smoothie instead. Always take the same route home from work? Try a different way. While the goal is to always see the world with fresh eyes, sometimes actually refreshing our lives helps by bringing back the focus and engagement we have lost from being on autopilot.
6. Get outside. There is an amazing feeling that comes from stepping out the door and taking a deep breath. Connect with the ground beneath your feet and stand tall and proud as you are completely aware of your surroundings. That moment is perfect there is nothing wrong, you are alive and in the present moment.
7. Learn something new. One good thing about feeling low is that I feel like I have a lot less to lose since I am depressed anyway. So why not try doing that thing you have been wanting to do or learn. If it doesn’t work out it couldn’t make you feel and worse, and the odds are, it will work out. After 30+ years of being a nail biter I decided I was going to start doing my nails. It was hard at first and I had a lot of “learning” experiences (read: gluing my hands together) but now doing my nails are one of my favourite pass times, and it makes me smile to look down at my lovely blue nails taping the keys on the keyboard.
Now it’s your turn. What are your tips for getting unstuck? Share them in the comment section below.