I think it’s safe to say that the biggest challenge that most of us face is what we can do when we are feeling down. With everything going on in our daily lives, it is almost expected that we will have some off-days. If you have been having a lot more than usual, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, as I write this, I am not in high spirits. However, I surely don’t intend on staying this way! Life is hard as it is, but when you throw in ‘adulting’ – well, that just takes things to another level.
Something I have come to realise, though, is that we do have the power to change our own moods. Our mental health is everything when it comes to our perspective on life and its challenges. So finding ways to cope with such periods is crucial to change our outlook on life.
While it is completely normal to occasionally find yourself feeling blue, there are some things you can try to kick off the stinky mood. Before you rule it off as depression, here are some things you can do when you are feeling down.
Don’t bury the feelings
Have you been told to just “forget about it” and to “move on” a few too many times? Of course, there are some instances when moving on is the best thing to do. But when it comes to our mood, it is always best to identify what is causing the feeling and deal with it head-on. Many people use the phrase “why fix it if it ain’t broke?” but on the flip side, how can you fix it if you don’t know what’s wrong?
When you are feeling down, take a few moments to feel the emotions, and identify just where the feelings are coming from. It is also sometimes a good idea to set a limit on how long you can stay in that mood. For example, when I am sulking, I usually give myself a few hours to just experience the feeling. Once the time is up, have to start finding solutions.
If you’re feeling down, you might need to recharge
You know, it really might be as simple as eating good food and getting some rest! I know for a fact that when I am hungry or sleep-deprived, my mood is not the best. Add real-life problems and it’s enough to send me over the edge! Sleep really plays a huge role in how your body functions and in the proportion of hormones released. Your mobile and laptop can’t run forever without being recharged. Your body is just the same when it comes to recharging. The last thing you want is for it to go into overdrive because that will surely make it more difficult to kick the funk!
By the same token, you also need to make sure that your body is fully nourished. And by well-nourished, I don’t mean full to the brim with pizza and beers. You can’t put diesel into a petrol engine and expect it to work well. So how can you put junk into your body and expect to thrive?
Do something you enjoy
For decades, I would simply wallow in the feeling of depression without actually attempting to get out of the slump. Given that I am basically a pro at sulking, I can assure you that it does no good. When you are feeling down, make sure to do the things that generally put you in a good mood before you try to find solutions. It can be as simple as listening to music, watching series, or as hectic as picking up some heavy weights. Whatever your thing is, do it and thank me later.
The reason you should do this first is so that you can clear your mind before having to deal with the root of the problem. If your mood is down because of some tough choices, spending some quality time with yourself will clear your mind for the tough choices ahead. And even if it doesn’t fully clear your mind, at least you would have eased some tension.
If you’re still feeling down, speak to someone you trust
As you know, mental health is a big deal here on GWS. One of the things that I cannot emphasise enough is just how important talking about your feelings is. Personally, I talk to my husband and close friends about my daily concerns but I would turn to a therapist for deeper issues. This is just because I need an unbiased opinion when I’m dealing with my demons.
When you speak to someone about your problems, you essentially lay the cards on the table and allow for an unbiased opinion to help you solve your problem. I know for a fact that I cannot always see things clearly in the heat of the moment. This is mainly because my mind is focused on how it makes me feel. If you do choose to speak to someone about your problems, it has to be someone you trust. Someone who will not hold it against you or potentially misguide you in the decision-making process. Therapy isn’t cheap though, so I wouldn’t recommend you see a therapist about simpler things.
Put your plan in action
By the time you reach this step, you would’ve already come up with a few solutions to your problems. It may seem a little obvious to some that you need to act in order to see any changes. But believe me when I say that when you’re drowning, it is easy to feel too scared or unable to act.
You’ve gotten yourself out of the darkest emotions and done something you enjoy. You have also consulted someone you trust, but now it is time to take the plunge and do what you need to. Personally, I struggle with change because I fear the unknown. But if you are desperate enough for something, you will need to act on it. One thing that I learned in all my years on this earth is that no one can make the changes you wish to see in your life. You alone are responsible for your own happiness.
Just like everything in life, once you’ve put your plan in motion, you need to be patient. This may be the hardest thing to do, but it will definitely allow things to happen organically. I personally struggle with patience, but there is something I always tell myself to keep me motivated:
The best things in life don’t come easy and if they do, you will never truly appreciate them.
Another thing to remember is that meddling with something before it materialises can potentially mess everything up. It’s true that no one really knows how anything will turn but you need to trust your judgment.