This afternoon, I had a little shift from the wackiness of the morning, and I just felt a little down. In a nugget, moping. You know how sometimes you just feel it? Probably just the lack of chocolate in the week’s diet, but it just stuck around. And wouldn’t go away. So, I just let it be there, and went about the business of working. Which really is the best way to get through it anyway. Much better than lying on the bed, listening to old Cold Play songs that, perhaps, remind you of happier days, say 10 or so years ago, and approximately, oh, 9,000 miles away. With palm trees, and sunrise diving, and midday hammock time…
Digressing. Self-pity. Pity party. It’s so pathetic, because you can identify it, and you know it’s not rational, and YET. I was on my way to a friend’s house, to visit her newborn, and I really f*cking needed to shake it, at least a little. So I started employing some tactics, and I thought I would share. Yes, I still feel a bit blue, but not so much as earlier.
- Say thank you. Say it out loud, or in your mind, or in the windows-up radio-down seclusion of your Ford Focus. For whatever damn thing that comes to mind: your car, the fact that you have a pair of shoes that fit, whatever. And not in a smart-assy way. Say it genuinely, or as close to genuine as you can get.
- See the opportunity, if applicable, in the situation that upset you. In my case, I recently lost a client. If you can remove yourself from the situation (e.g. it’s so damn nice to have a regular gig), and gain some perspective on the actual situation (I didn’t feel particularly good about the type of biz said client was in), you can see that it might, somehow — in even the minutest sort of way — be a good thing. And really, it is just a matter of allowing yourself to see the tiniest speck of light that can make all the difference some days.
- Get the hello out of the house! Depression equals wanting to sequester yourself and bask in the badness of it all. If you can, get your butt outside, even if you’re only going to scowl at people at the library. Just get away, if only briefly, from the energetic raincloud you’ve been inhabiting. Stare at a tree. Buy some notebooks and new pens at CVS. Eat 15 samples of homeopathic-organic-vegan brioche at Whole Foods. Make fun of hipsters getting lunch from the food trucks. Just. get. out.
- Exercise. This should really be higher up on the list, because it’s the best one. It’s hard to cry when you’re at the gym, watching reruns of House Hunters. Also, you just feel better when you’re doing something great for yourself and your body.
- Go to sleep. Sometimes it’s just better (unless it’s a habit, then you need to talk to someone).
- Listen to a good/inspirational/high-energy song. Faves include “I can only imagine,” by MercyMe (a disclaimer here, this song is highly, highly religious, but it is bound, indelibly, to Team Hoyt [see vid below], and that is one amaze-balls story, right there. Much inspiration.), maybe a little Eminem, and loads of other either cheesy or horrible songs that I’d prefer not to make you privy to. Start paying attention to songs that make you feel good, that give you a little boost when you’re driving, check the interwebs for exercise/running playlists to get some ideas.
- Write it out. I tend to express myself better in writing than I do with the speaking, so it’s always worked for me to have a come-to-Jesus with some loose leaf. I like a little Q&A, though it can just be a rant, or a drawn-out wallow. Simply expressing it outwardly can extricate it from your body, and leave you some room for relief.
- Scream. Preferably where no one can hear you. Again, the car works pretty well for this particular option.
- Talk to someone. A friend, parent, spouse, whomever will listen. Don’t go on and on for an hour, or they may never listen again 😉 but if there’s a trusted someone you can talk to, see if they’ll lend an ear.
- Spend time with an animal. I love dogs, because they just love you. Cats sometimes let you get close to them, and they might let you pet them, and it’s possible they’ll purr. Pets don’t carry around the stuff we do, they just love. You know what they want, and they want to give it right back to you. I hug my roomy’s dog as often as I can. I kiss him between the eyes, I talk to him and call him stinky, I’m intoxicated by his dog-smell. There’s nothing more joyful than watching him swim in the lake. Even just thinking about him makes me happier.
- Find a way to gain some perspective. I lost a client. In the scheme of things, so what!? As I drove away from the house this afternoon, the aforementioned song “I can only imagine” song was on the radio and I was instantly reminded of the video below. Lost a client? Boo f’ing hoo. This dude runs/jumps/swims/bikes in IRONMAN competitions with his full-grown son in tow. I like to call this method buck-the-f@ck-up, because sometimes the touchy-feely shite doesn’t work, and you just have to knock it out of yourself. Which I think is what just happened for me (finally!).
- Which leads to the last suggestion: help someone else. Volunteer, stalk old people in parking lots to help them carry things, wait at a door somewhere and just open it for people. It feels good to help people out, and it moves your focus away from what’s bothering you.
I know I have more than this, so I’ll update when I can think of them. What works for you? Leave your suggestions in the comments! (Also, see if you can make it through Team Hoyt without crying…)