Sometimes life feels impossible.
My approach to this is often a full-blown, diva-style breakdown where I decide I simply must spend the day trying new pedicure styles, or reading Harry Potter, or going on three-hour walks to get away from it all. As I get older, however, these responses are less and less effective. My daughter hampers things, work must get done, the kitchen is messy. It’s not just me and my hubby and our ever-eager doglings anymore. So I’ve had to find other ways to deal.
Oddly, I often cheer up much more quickly with a small effort than by making a big show-stopping declaration. Here are a few of my favorite tricks:
1. Do something you love and wish you could do more of, but only for 10 minutes. If you love to bake, for instance, spend that time getting your ingredients and mixing bowls ready to make brownies that evening. It will remind you that there are better things are coming. If you’re out in the world, pull out your phone on break and read a post on your favorite blog. No, you won’t really have time to get into it, but you will most likely snap yourself out of your present mood.
2. Look around the room you’re sitting in and choose one thing you like about it. It doesn’t have to be glorious. Perhaps you’re at home and it’s a handmade calendar from Etsy (my current favorite, a present from a friend). Maybe you’re at the library and it’s an interesting print from a local artist. You could even be at a restaurant: nice chopsticks? good lighting? pretty bar?
3. Smile. Yep. It really does help boost your mood.
4. Find a window and look at the sky. Even if it’s cloudy, reminding yourself of the hugeness of the world often helps cheer you up. Easy.
5. Send someone a nice message (maybe using homemade upcycled cards!)
6. Take a pretty picture.
7. Get moving. Everyone knows it, but we don’t do it as often as we should.
8. Maybe my favorite idea, courtesy of FeedGooder, is to listen to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He. Is. Hilarious. Even when not trying to be, which is often. Ah, the Governator.
9. Read a good book. Sometimes you just need to get away.
10. Conversely, get back to work. It might not seem like it at the time, but I’ve found that pushing myself through something I really, really, really don’t want to do can give me the biggest mood boost of them all. Make a list of small, easily achievable tasks – everything you can think of – and check them off one by one. Then enjoy the resulting feeling of accomplishment.