Fighting those funky feelings
Have you ever been in a funk, or even a downright crappy mood, and just not sure how to pull yourself out of it? Sometimes it's short-lived, and sometimes it just lingers, while getting worse? If you've never been in that position, you're a unicorn and you need to volunteer yourself to be studied, so we can all learn from you.
As for the rest of us mortals, it happens. It happens more regularly than we'd like, definitely more regularly than I'd like. Lately, I've been so very grateful for my life, and so happy that of course life had to come with an outta timing curveball to try to knock it all down. I've evolved a lot in the last couple of years so now I deal better with these emotions and situations. Right now I don't know if this situation is something that can ever be fixed, but I'm accepting that it's out of my control. While I may not be able to control this situation, I can take control of the other aspects in my life. I'm not saying it's easy. It's not. I still haven't figured it out in its entirety, but I decided that while I'm going through the process, I'll share it so that if you need some help, you can use my methods, and share yours with me as well.
So, let's go. You're in a bad mood. Your world is not the brightest and sunshiniest. Everything might not suck, but it sure feels like it right now.
So..what to do?
Just stop and be still. Don't rant. Don't try to feel better. Just be still, and breathe. In and out. Without thinking of anything until you feel calmer. This might be all you need to feel better, but most times it will just make you feel a bit better for the time. You can call this step meditating, yoga, praying, or something else. I don't like to label it as anything except being, because in that moment that's all I have the energy and mental capacity to manage. The best part of this step is that it can be repeated whenever, and as often as needed.
"Be - don't try to become." - Osho
2) Do a self-appraisal.
I always try to ask myself what's wrong? To me, this is always two-part, physical and mental.
The physical part can usually be attributed to deficiencies in health and diet. This is always the easier of the two, so I start with that one. It involves asking what body parts ache, or don't feel right? Do I feel overly exhausted? Do they feel like flu symptoms? Have I not been sleeping well, or eating poorly which has been contributing to these problems? If I have not been sleeping well, why? Can these issues be corrected easily? If so, then take immediate action to fix the issue, whether by stocking up on the vitamins, or increasing my fruit and vegetable intake, or whatever else is needed. If it's mental issues manifesting as physical problems, then it's on to the second part of the self-appraisal.
Fixing issues that are mentally taxing are significantly more difficult but figuring out the cause is the first step to correcting it. Have you recently had altercations with your loved ones that are still not fully resolved and weighing on your mind? It would make you miserable, but you need to figure out what caused it, and what if anything can be done to fix it. If it can be fixed, then sooner is always better than later. If it's something that is irreparably broken, then you need to find a way to make peace with it, and move forward.
I always try to be positive, but I can't do this 24/7. Sometimes, when I'm in a terrible mood that can't easily be thrown, I need to just accept it. Accept whatever I'm feeling and just feel. Feel without trying to fix it, and without judging myself for feeling that way. However, I don't let myself stay in this place indefinitely. I stay there knowing that in a few hours (never more than 24 hrs), I will be taking steps to stop feeling like that, and fix the situation. Always remember when you're in this mood, as hard as it is, you feeling crappy does not make it okay to lash out at others, especially when these are the persons who care about you.
4) Give in to your comfort vice.
This might be having ice-cream, cake, binge watching romantic comedies on Netflix, or simply curling up in bed and wallowing/sleeping. Do it. Do it without guilt, with the understanding that it's not forever, but for that time being, it's okay.
If you know me by now, I'm big on lists and planning. Once you've figured out what the issues are, you need to figure out the ways to correct them, and try to avoid them re-occurring. Often, if it's a serious problem, it won't be fixed overnight, but a way forward can be constructed. Sit, and remember where your passions lie, what makes you happy, and actively plan to have more of that in your life. Plan to increase your happy. Happiness doesn't come without some effort. Don't forget that.
Until you've reached the point of being obsessed with exercise, this might not be your go to form of therapy. This isn't mine for sure. The comfort of stuffing my face with everything is, but once I actually get to the gym or the savannah, and start doing some cardio, I feel better. Once you start working out, and pushing yourself, it does not give your mind time to think about your worries. Even afterwards, the feeling lasts. You feel better that you got a workout in (burned off some of the comfort food), and you will hopefully sleep a little bit better. If you're not in the mood to do any serious exercise, still take a walk. Bonus points if it's in nature. The healing power of nature is not to be discounted.
7) Reach out to loved ones.
Spend time with them. Enjoy the company of the people who have your back, and your best interests at heart, who are positive and happy, and will ensure you have a good time. Do you have nieces and nephews? Have you ever been able to stay sad while you're around that infectious childhood joy? It may not last, but for the period, it will definitely take your mind off your problems.
8) Be grateful.
Remind yourself of everything that is right in your life. Hell, remind yourself of everything that is just mediocre in your life, because those are all positive things that you have going for you. The list of things to be grateful for is never ending, and always going to be longer than the list of problems. Give your attention and energy to those emotions, and less power to the negatives.
9) Music therapy.
What type of music makes you feel better? It's personal, and it's what you connect with, and there's no right answer. My co-worker who I share an office with listens to heavy metal when he needs an escape. This might give me a headache, but it works for him, and to each his own (especially since the invention of headphones). My happy music is most often soca, but can be instrumental, or anything inspirational and upbeat. In this past, it could have been really loud Linkin Park. It just depends on the mood. Your choice of music should be whatever speaks to your soul, and lifts your spirit. Don't wait until you're in a bad mood to create a playlist. Create it now, so it's easily accessible always.
10) Practice kindness.
To yourself. To others.
These are just some daily tips for getting through the day and days until you find your happy place again:
1) Get out of bed.
Yes, it's necessary. Of course you don't want to, but you need to get back to living, not just existing.
2) Dress Up.
When I'm in a crappy mood, I try to put on something I like, and some makeup because I really don't want my outer appearance reflecting what I'm feeling. On days when my inner glow is alive and well, I can pass on all of this, but when something's actually wrong, I need that extra armour if you will. This could be anything for you...lipgloss, a favourite shirt, just something to give you some extra confidence.
In that planning step above, hopefully you decided on what you need more of in your life. Now, you need to schedule it. And stick to it. Having a routine means that it leaves less open chunks of time to be idle, and sad. It lets you more or less operate on auto-pilot, which while you go through the process is a good thing. It's also amazing how productive you can be when you throw yourself into other things fully as a form of distraction.
Don't let your surroundings reflect your inner turmoil. Declutter. Neaten up your space. It really helps your mood to be lighter, whereas a messy cluttered space is more conducive to gloomy thoughts.
Fake it to make it? Yes! Of course you will not feel like doing it, but do it anyways. Consciously do it. Remind yourself that everything in the world is not bad, and there are things to smile about, and it's okay to smile for no reason. Smiling has been scientifically proven to not just be contagious, but also to reduce anxiety, and lighten your mood.
Life will always be hard. It will always throw you curve balls when you think you've got things figured out. But then even in the midst of depression, something will happen and you'll smile and laugh again and you'll remember that it's not all bad. When the problems pop up, go through them, and the quickest way through is often the one of least resistance. You will get through it. Remember that. How miserable you allow yourself to be while you're going through it is ultimately your choice. Not an easy choice obviously, but your choice. You're amazing and you will be happy again. Sing it like a mantra until it's true.
Forward ever towards the light.
Light and love always darlings!