Sometimes we simply need an exercise of patience as we wait for a mood to pass. However, there are coping skills we can use to get ourselves out of a negative mindset, or otherwise depressed mood. These skills are best acquired through practice, practice, practice. They should become habit. And, they are often uniquely effective based on the individual.
Here are 5 activities to try when needing to get rid of the blues and get out of that funk:
1. Designate A Crying Chair
The key to managing emotions is to allow yourself time to feel and release them. This exercise is simply finding a comfy spot like a chair and giving yourself 10-15 minutes to cry. Then, get back up and brush yourself off to carry on with your day.
Tip: Focus on something that makes you sad, angry or fearful. Use that focus to recognize and accept the feeling, then release it through tears or screams or pillow pounding. You’ll feel so much better once you let it out!
2. Just Look Up
Every day when you decide to put two feet on the floor, make a point of stepping outside. Then, tilt your head completely back and look up. Find the blue in the sky -- somewhere. You’ll notice that looking up forces you to smile. Make it a habit.
Alternative: You can do this same activity at night before you go to bed. Look all the way up at the sky, let yourself smile, then focus on either the north star or the moon. Whatever inspires you more!
3. Smell The Spices
It used to be a game of mine to smell spices and try to name them. If you are down and out, start by simply enjoying the aroma of your spice cabinet. Then turn it into a little competition with yourself. How many spices can you identify by smell?
Alternative: You can do this same activity at a lawn and garden center, or in your neighborhood, using flowers. But instead of smell, use sight and touch to identify flowers. Look them up on your phone while walking by. This is a great distraction for when your mind wants to be gloomy.
4. Dash In And Out Of Bed
The best thing about my bed is it’s cozyness. It is a comfort zone for the unmotivated moments in life. I decided to put it to good use. Instead of sleeping, I dash in and out. When I dash in, I talk myself into doing an activity, then I dash out. I will repeat this process until I’m feeling better again. Try a dash!
Tip: You can go through many ideas of what activity you will do next. Keep sorting through them until one strikes you as possible. Use the time to pump yourself up as well.
5. Take A “Bold” Shower
Cold water is known to rev the metabolism and inspire creative thoughts. While it may be a shock to the system, it is a jogger for the brain. Try starting each day with a few seconds of a cold shower before switching to a hot one. Use this time to say at least 3 things that you love about yourself.
Alternative: In Spring and Fall months, try using a cold pool as your place of inspiration. Dive into the cold water and stay until you’re feeling motivated, creative, and happy.