Have you ever had days that you just felt blue? Your transmission blows out, you overspend, you’re out of coffee, get a bad review, someone gets the job you want or maybe for no reason you have a pervasive feeling of sadness you just can’t shake. Sometimes it’s too many cloudy days, maybe a bad combination of food, a lack of sleep or not enough vitamin D in your day. When you find yourself feeling down, what do you do?
Make your own sunshine
I can’t always get out in the sun. I live in a part of the country that deals with a lot of cloud cover and rainy days. The only place that gets more than we do is Washington State. The creators of Starbucks. (And a good way to cheer yourself up on a dreary day if you love coffee.) Twinkle lights are up year round in my kitchen and office and when the sun doesn’t show up, I flick on a merry string of brightness.
The fragrance of lemon is like sunshine. It brightens my mood and makes me think of sunny days. I carry it with me wherever I go in case of emergency.
Take a nap
If you’re feeling really bummed out take a look at your sleep patterns. Not getting enough sleep heavily influences emotions, energy levels, motivation and your outlook on life. It’s stunning how much better you can feel after a nap and especially a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes I don’t have a good reason for feeling in the dumps. If I feel lethargic and like I just can’t get moving (especially if it’s raining) I’ll challenge myself to do 25 squats and get my blood pumping. Endorphins are natural mood boosters that are released during exercise. You’ll be amazed how much better just a quick exercise improves your mood. Going for a brisk walk anywhere but especially in the woods, now called Tree Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku means spending more time around trees) will give you fresh air, a change of scenery and a new perspective.
Your brain is 85% water and without it, your mood can be affected. Also, adding lemon to your drinking water is a surprising mood lifter (I’m having some right now!) try it! If you make lemonade with Turmeric, you get an even bigger boost. People with depression may have higher levels of inflammation in the brain. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and contains many other health benefits. See the article and recipe here.
This is a trick I learned back when I was broke and couldn’t take vacations. Pinterest makes this even easier. I type in ocean, beach or “vacation spots” and then look at all those photos! You can even be more specific if you have a future destination in mind (Greek Isles, anyone?) Who doesn’t feel refreshed and revived being near the ocean? And you can even enhance your mini vacation with ambient sounds on YouTube.
You better believe I got a handful of go-to songs to get me to the other side of a rainy mood. And if you have them, it’s the perfect time to crank them up. And if you don’t have any, or would like to check out a few more, check out these mood brighteners. There’s sure to be one that touches you. If you pick the right happy song, you might even find yourself dancing, another form of exercise that elevates mood.
Going to the movies can be a total mind cleanse especially if you choose a funny one or a feel-good flick. If getting out of the house doesn’t appeal to you, look for a few hilarious offerings on Netflix or Amazon videos.
Write down your blessings
When it seems like you’re racking up a lot of things gone wrong, take a breath. It’s time to even the score by writing down all that’s going right. Maybe your car broke down, but you have the resources to fix it. Maybe you lost a job and the next one was even better. We all have those moments of temporary defeat and where it looks like we’ve run into a wall instead of going through a door. It might be raining but the sun will shine again.
Hang in there. Bad things can’t last forever. If you’re in the middle of a rough time, just know that your better days are just around the corner. If you write down the great things, that happen to you, when you have rough days in the future, you’ll be reminded these days don’t last. Here’s a little quote I have on my wall. I hope it encourages you as much as it does me.
Did you try any of these ideas? If you have a way to get through your tough times, we’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And if you know someone having a difficult time, please share.