Ok, I’ll admit it.
I’m a little crazy.
At least a few days a month, I get in these downward-spiraling funks that are hard for me to beat.
Are they because of real problems?
They’re always these existential anxieties about things that I probably don’t need to think about.
****Pouts while lounging in Lululemon pants, while sipping on an iced coffee***
“Does anyone actually like me?”
“I’m worthless. I bring no value to this planet!!”
“I’m not good at anything.”
“I try so hard to be nice… and get nothing but negativity back.”
“Chelsa, stop it. You have a relatively good life. Some people would love to have the things you have.”
So then I feel guilty for feeling sad, and then I feel worthless again.
Instead of fat-shaming… it’s SAD-shaming.
And I do it to myself, a LOT.
So how do I pull myself out of these awful moods?
- GO OUTSIDE
If it’s even REMOTELY nice outside — go for a walk. Sunlight does wonders for bad moods. Bonus points if you can go somewhere with nice scenery.
Obviously — this is harder in the winter or on a dreary day. But simply getting off the couch can be a good distraction.
It’s a lot harder to be depressed while looking at views like these!
2. STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE / IPAD / TV!!
Unless you’re using it to call someone.
Phone calls are highly under-rated these days. Texts are good, but when you need someone to lift your spirits — hearing someone else’s voice can help so much.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows that social media can be a mood-killer.
The “discover” page on Instagram can be a recipe for depression if you let it. But remember — you’ll probably never meet any of those people. There’s a good chance some are not as great in person, and “one flower does not make another flower less beautiful” — we can ALL be great!
Also, looking at a screen for long periods of time isn’t great for you either.
Plus, when you’re old and grey — you’ll remember your first-hand life experiences.
The places you go. The people you meet.
NOT that time you watched 3 hours of The Office on Netflix.
I think it’s important to live your own life.
The other day I spent an HOUR looking at pictures of Lake Tahoe on the internet. Then I was like, I live less than an hour away from Lake Tahoe! I guess I could just go?
In the future, will people just live life through the internet?
Will we just look at pictures of places we like?
Will we have no real-life friends? Just friends on social media?
Our society keeps inventing ways to be lazier.
Hey Siri, order me a cheeseburger off of Postmates!
Get whatever you want WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR HOUSE!!
Will “house arrest” even be a punishment anymore??
I don’t know if you’ve ever spent an entire day on the couch, but I’ve never felt great about myself afterwards. It can feel good at the time (especially if football is on), but not a great way to combat depression.. ha.
3. TALK TO A FRIEND / ACQUAINTANCE / CASHIER AT PUBLIX
There’s a reason inmates go crazy in solitary confinement..
If you spend a lot of time alone – it’s EASY to drive yourself crazy.
Whenever I’m having awful thoughts, I call my best friend, Holly.
We have these rules:
Nothing is too small to vent about.
Having down moments don’t make you crazy.
It’s ok to cry.
I’m very thankful that Holly will stop whatever she’s doing and talk to me if I’m having a meltdown. Even a five-minute phone call can put the brakes on what could be a downward spiral.
However, there are times when you won’t have a friend to call.
It’s still important to get out of the house, and at least go surround yourself with other human beings. If nothing else — sometimes this shames me out of crying. Ha.
Also, I remember this one time I was feeling like an ugly slob. I went to Publix to get a magazine and a snack.
While I was checking out, the cashier told me I pretty eyelashes. Even though I was fake-smiling, and wondering if she could tell if I had been crying, it was still a good feeling!
OR If you can’t find a real human — listen to a podcast! It’s almost like having someone talking to you..
or… find an animal. How can you be in a bad mood around dogs??
Sometimes I go to the park just to look at other people’s dogs because it makes me happy. Is that weird? Probably. Do I care? Not really. *Shrugs*
4. DO SOMETHING PHYSICAL
Physical activity has been scientifically-proven to help depression.
Even if it’s just a walk. Or a hike. Or a quick workout at the gym.
Swimming is my number one go-to activity to clear my mind.
I’m pretty sure no one has ever regretted working out, either.
I hate going to the gym, but I always feel better afterwards.
5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Mindfulness is a great way to combat bad moods. It’s easy to forget all the GOOD things we have going for us in life. So write them down! Physically!
Sometimes it’s hard to balance gratitude and ambition.
The ambitious side of me always wants MORE.
But that can lead to always feeling like you’re never good enough.
Chances are, you’ve accomplished some great things, beat some tough obstacles, and have been blessed with things that others wish they had.
Somewhere, someone is praying for the things you have.
Everyone’s path is different. You should judge your success by how far you’ve come with the hand you’ve been dealt. Do what you can, with what you have.
6. POUT.. BUT LIMIT IT TO 30 MINUTES
I think it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself sometimes. Obviously it’s not productive, but if you treat yourself to a small amount of time to “get it out” it can be helpful.
Do something that makes you happy. Or distract yourself. Watch *one* episode of The Office. Not twelve.
Then, when time is up — do something productive! Or just easy mindless tasks. Fold laundry. Go for a hike. Workout. Get coffee! Treat Yo’SELF!!!
One day you’ll wish you had more time on this earth.
And you will wish you didn’t waste a single minute of it being sad!!
Hope this helps someone!