We’ve all been there. Feeling blah. Woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Self-inflicted alcohol-induced depression. No matter how you describe it, or what may be the reason, we all have our days when we are just not ourselves. Sometimes it’s tough to break out of it. We make excuses, minimize our social activity and sleep it off until the next day.
Why not be proactive instead? (Unless you enjoy this state of mind, which is fine, but please keep your negative energy to yourself.) There are many things you can do to break the blues.
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
1. Take a walk.
Enjoy the trees and the birds if it’s sunny and warm. Walk without an umbrella and get wet if it’s raining or snowing. Enjoy the clouds and cool breeze if it’s cold and dreary. Getting outside alone is enough to stimulate some good feelings.
2. Get some head-space.
It’s easy to get caught up in our heads when we’re feeling blue. Try deep breathing by simply inhaling and exhaling for a count of five. Inhale for 1-2-3-4-5 and exhale for 1-2-3-4-5. Slowly. Getting some head-space can help to get rid of negative thoughts and leave space for happy thoughts.
Sometimes certain foods can bring us down. (Hello, sugar, anything white, and alcohol!) The best way to reverse this is to not act like a slug on the sofa and watch I Love Lucy episodes for eight hours straight. Get outside to run, bike, hike, practice yoga, or whatever works for you. Work the toxic food out of your body. And keep it out!
Drink water. Drink tea. Drink veggie juice. Dehydration can make us feel sluggish, unclear and downright blue. Drinking water is stimulating and hydrating. Drinking tea can bring peace. Green tea’s theanine has even been shown to enhance mood. Juicing with green veggies, lemon and ginger can enliven you. Water, tea and veggie juices are pure goodness for your body and mind.
5. Eat dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate helps to release serotonin and relax blood vessels, which may enhance mood. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural substance found to possibly stimulate the same reaction in the body as the feeling of falling in love.
6. Get your omega’s.
Many studies have shown a link to the blues with omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Grabbing some walnuts for a snack or adding ground flax or chia seeds to oatmeal are great omega-3 mood-boosters.
Madonna, Nicki, M.I.A, whoever makes you want to move…tune in and dance. Instant happy meal.
8. Break out into song.
Put on your favorite music and sing it loud. (Suggestion: Something silly and fun like "I Like Big Butts" by Sir-Mix-A-Lot over "I Know It’s Over" by The Smiths would probably work best here.)
9. Call an ex-friend, ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend with whom you’ve ended things badly.
Tell them your sorry things didn’t work out and you wish them the very best. (Don’t cringe, just do it. You’ll feel great afterwards.)
What’s your favorite mood-booster?