When we're feeing down/blue/depressed (whatever you want to call it), it tends to be the basics that we ignore; an action that ultimately doesn't make us feel any better or work to steer us out of the low tide. Down feelings are a fact of life for everyone at some point in our lives. But throughout it all two things remain certain. The feelings will pass... eventually, and we have a choice to what we can do about it.
There's a tendency when feeling down to wallow in the fog and let our emotions over take us for a few hours, days or even weeks (longer than this and you really should be seeking some form of medical attention). What I'm talking about here are the simple blues, regrets... the day to day common stuff... not clinical depression. Here are five things to get you through it quicker or at least make the low spots a little more tolerable. And guess what, you already know them:
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast - Are you sick of hearing that yet? There's a reason you've heard this time and time again since you were a kid. It's true! A healthy start to your day gives your body and your mind the energy it needs after a night of starvation. Start off with a cup of water. Work your way to a slice of whole wheat with peanut butter or a bowl of quick oats. Include a high biotics low-fat yogurt (I like Bio-Best) and a piece of fruit in season. Make a healthy breakfast an important habit and your day will be more bearable.
Physical Activity - Not to beat a dead horse but what are you waiting for... get moving! Our bodies are meant to move. So move it, move it. If you work sitting in an office get up every 50 minutes and move (set a timer if you have too). Stretch, walk to the cooler and get a drink of water (not pop). Get up early and go for a fifteen minute walk before breakfast. Take a fifteen minute walk at lunch. Take a walk after work to wind down. Take a walk any time to help clear your head and feel better. If you are having a particularly low day stick in an aerobic tape in to the VCR (DVD) player and work it out. One of my favourite stress relievers is a punching bag. Talk about anger management.
Shower - They not only clean away the sins of the day, they are invigorating. Skip the bath and go for the massage of a shower. While you're in there visualize your cares going down the drain with the water. Too hokie? Then just the beads of water tapping your body. Some of my best and most creative ideas come to me when I'm in the shower (I keep a note pad and pen in the bathroom drawer just for these occasions).
Journaling - I harp on this one a lot; that's because journaling helps us to say the things to people we wouldn't normally say (like frak off), it helps us to rant and vent and to get out our anger, frustration and sadness; unlike sitting around and brooding over and over it. If you are ever concerned with someone reading it, you can destroy it afterward. WE have a deep connection with pen and paper as it is one of our earliest tools we learned how to use. We can practically do it in our sleep. Unlike typing which most of us learned at least ten years later. Try journaling to make yourself feel better. Even if you don't think it will work. Try it and then go to bed.
Laughter - It really is the best medicine for when you're feeling down. Even if you fake it. Go ahead, fake it for ten minutes. Yes, studies have been done on this. What hasn't had a study done on it. Rent a funny movie, call a funny friend (or any friend) and ask them to tell you something silly or a joke. You ever notice how there are some people that make you laugh when you're with them (usually for no reason)--call that friend. Take advantage of their friendship and laugh it up.
*Bonus* Music Therapy - Music is primal. It has the ability to lift us with no effort at all. Here is my list of Big Girl Music I love. Remember those day camp/guide songs? You never felt bad when you were singing them. Dig out the lyrics and give it a go. Here are twenty other inspirational or uplifting songs I like to through in the CD player to uplift my spirits:
Time Warp (O'Brien Richard)
Hooked on a Feeling (Blue Suede)
Wild Women Do (Whitney Housten)
Hakuna Matata (Lion King)
We Will Rock You (Queen)
Respect (Aretha Franklin)
Searching My Soul (Vonda Shepherd)
YaYa (Lee Dorsey)
Getting Jiggy With It (Will Smith)
I Won't Back Down (Tom Petty)
Yer So Bad (Tom Petty)
Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Footloose (Kenny Loggins)
Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes (John Cafferty)
Groove is in the Heart (Deee-lite)
I'm Every Woman (Whitney Houston)
This Little Light of Mine
Ding-Dong! the Witch is Dead (The Munchkins)
Staying Alive (Bee Gees)
Climb Every Mountain (Sound of Music)