Monday, June 27, 2011
How to feel better
I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. It started from being sad about Atlas departing, but has carried on to a general flatness and loss of interest in things that usually excite me. I also feel a little burnt out and detached from others.
I’ve never had proper depression but from time to time, right back to my teens I have had the occasional bout of mild melancholia. It’s also mid-winter here so that may have something to do with it, even though I normally love the cosiness of winter.
I know it will pass with time, but meanwhile I’ve been doing the following to help it on its way.
Being gentle with myself, not doing too much if I don’t want to. Rather than a whirlwind marathon housework day (which I just don’t have the energy for at the moment) I do the basics and spend some time pottering, sewing, reading and relaxing.
Having early nights – I start winding down about 9pm and am in bed reading well before 10pm lights out. I’ve been sleeping like a log thank goodness. I also find I feel worse in the evening, so it’s nice to wash my face good and early and hop into bed. I think my body needs lots of good, pure rest. One night last week I made noises about heading off to bed. ‘But it’s only 10 past 8!’ my husband said incredulously. That was quite funny. I managed to last until 9.
Not medicating with food and drink, but following my WW propoints guidelines. When I did decide to let loose with food and drink, I felt a lot worse. Being in control of my diet and my weight goes a long way towards feeling happier.
Remembering to breathe. Often I find myself holding onto my breath. It feels such a relief to let it flow in, and out. I need to remind myself many times a day.
Keeping to my daily routines.
Talking to someone. I told my husband last night I was feeling low. I feel better for having shared it, he had some helpful suggestions, and now he is looking out for me too.
Yoga twice a week – I have missed it a few times lately and have been only attending once a week. I’m sure this has not helped my low mood as I always feel great - energised, relaxed and positive after a yoga workout.
Walking outside. I walk to yoga and back, and I also like to do errand walks on foot as long as it's not pouring with rain. A light sprinkle is ok, I take an umbrella. I met two old colleagues for lunch one day last week, and walked to meet them. It was the next suburb over and took about 45-50 minutes each way but it meant I didn't have to find a park, and got some exercise and fresh air at the same time. It was inner-city too so quite interesting.
Reading – I have been alternating my positive thinking books with pure escapism (currently the first Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic book – that series had me laughing out loud they are so crazy).
Also escapism tv/movies. Nothing gritty or real for me I’m afraid (now or at any other time). Keeping up with the Kardashians and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are great medicine I find. Not hours on end though. Just an episode here and there. I also like to rewatch favourite feelgood fun movies at times like this.
Clearing out clutter corners at home and at work. If an area is bothering me, even if I have other things to do, I attack the clutter corner. It often only takes a small amount of time, and I feel infinitely better and more able to tackle the harder jobs instantly. I went through all my trays at work on Saturday, filing and throwing out. A clear in-tray is a thing of beauty isn’t it? Even if it doesn’t last very long, but I will keep on top of it.
Taking vitamin C. I go through phases of taking vitamins, and at the moment I don’t take any, but I always have vitamin C in the cupboard for when a cold threatens to come on. I read in a model beauty book ages ago that models take a 2000mg dose of vitamin C to give them a boost. As shallow as I am, I have been taking the models advice.
Be selfish and say no. No to library books that don’t hold my attention, no to tv programmes or movies I have taped and decided I don’t like. It feels hard to do, and I don’t like to let people down, but learning to say no is so beneficial to our mental health. If I get a niggling feeling in my stomach when I think about something, I have been making a decision there and then to do something about it properly (not just putting it off).
Indulging in the little luxuries. I use all my lovely things and don’t feel guilty at all.
Don’t go shopping! No good purchasing decisions could possibly be made so I’ve been staying away from the shops.
Daydream about the future. I do this both by myself by writing down lists of my ideal lifestyle, home, personal style, person I want to be, and with my husband about what type of home we want to purchase, what we would do with tons of money if we won the lottery (not that we take out tickets, but still, it’s fun).
Plan ahead little treats. We are booked into our favourite 5-star luxury hotel right here in the city we live in a month or so’s time. Just for a night. They always have good package deals and it’s a mini-break we can still have while running a seven-days-a-week business. Looking forward to going really is half the fun.
Actually, I’m starting to feel a little bit better already. Have I missed anything off the list? What makes you feel better when you’re low? I wonder what a chic French woman would do to combat malaise?