Have you ever been surprised to find that a simple activity drastically lifted your mood? Sometimes it’s the nudging of a good friend that gets you out of your pajamas. Other times it’s simply waking up early (when you usually sleep in) to catch the sun’s first light.
Over the years, we’ve all struggled with bouts of anxiety and a bit of melancholy. Take a look at some strategies that can help us beat bouts of gloom and steal back our lives.
We all have bad days, but one thing is true; no cloud is so dark that the sun can’t shine through.
- Sleep and Don’t Feel Guilty About It. Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. When I’m tired, I’m more emotional. When rested, I’m more even-tempered, less prone to act irrationally. (My friends and coworkers certainly appreciate it when I get a good night’s sleep.)
- Reconnect with Friends. Be around people who can make you laugh when you don’t even feel like smiling. Being around other people actually energizes and revitalizes our souls. It gives us the energy to make it through the day.
- Journal at Least 3 Times Per Week. Try to practice this discipline for a month. The healthiest people are reflective, not reactive. They take time to process the day’s highs and lows and to understand their own emotional responses to stressors throughout the day. You can start out with three questions. What was your high today? What was your low today? What are you excited about for tomorrow?
- Watch Only Funny Movies. Laughter is literally healing for the soul. When you laugh it actually changes the chemistry in your brain, releasing happy hormones. Laughter is a drug free antidepressant.
- Change Your Radio/Pandora/Spotify Diet. Are you depressed because you’re alone? Or going through a breakup? Probably best to get rid of “love songs” from your musical diet. Is there a type of music that lifts your mood? Listen to only that type of music or nothing at all. Silence is golden (for a time). It gives you time to think and reflect.
- Find A Creative Outlet. What floats your boat? Figure it out and go do it. This can be writing, painting, gardening, or fixing motorcycles. The only requirement is that it’s creative, making or doing something with your hands. It’s physical and experiential. Your whole body is involved, not just your mind.
- Volunteer Somewhere. Get out of the narrow focus called “me-myself-and-I.” Best way to stop thinking about yourself? Think about someone else. Happy people are people who serve others.
- Take Time to Play. As adults, we need to figure out ways to build play into our day. Play can include a walk through nature, a bike-ride, a board game, or sports. The point is, it has to be fun. Be spontaneous. Think like a child and go have some fun!