Every once in a while I flail into despair, the kind where you feel everything you do is an exercise in futility. I’m one of those highly efficient humans. I hate to waste my time, so when things are moving slowly, or worse, going backwards, I get frustrated, anxious, and depressed.
Times like these force me to take a step back.
While everyone is different, we all have our triggers to get us back in the game. For me, it’s seeing someone who’s fighting bigger obstacles than I’ll ever face. These people are my heroes. Their perseverance stops me from ever feeling sorry for myself.
For lesser degrees of mental road rash, I have other tricks too. Here are a few of my favorites.
• Weed the garden. If I’m angry, nothing makes me feel better than weeding the garden. Something about ripping weeds out of the ground. …hmm.
• Cleaning the house. There’s something therapeutic about cleaning. Much like weeding, furious cleaning makes me work out my frustration.
• Laugh. I wish there were more funny movies out there. Most comedies have questionable humor. Maybe that’s why I like to watch funny pet videos.
• Stay off social media if you’re depressed. Facebook is crazy with political fanatics and bullies. Unless you belong to friendly groups who don’t allow politicking, limit your interactions for good mental health.
• Socialize with happy people. I once had to work with the most sour person in the world. She wasn’t just a glass half-empty person. Her glass was cracked, laced with poison, and had sharp shards. You could feel her darkness.
On the other hand, funny and good-natured people are a joy to have in your company. Treasure them.
• Eat. Sometimes we need something specific in our diet. It could be chocolate, or it could be nuts. Let your body tell you what it needs.
• Get some sleep. I can’t take naps without it interfering with my sleep, but sometimes I’ll go to bed early. I make sure the bed has fresh linens and then I burrow under the sheets and try to fall asleep before Greg walks in.
• Take a walk or drive someplace new.
• Volunteer. I don’t know why it is, but helping others is something that immediately lifts your spirits. I think it’s one of those things that’s hardwired into us.
• Get a pet. You can’t be sad when you hang out with a dog (or cat).
Bonus: Appreciate those around you. You never know when God has other plans for them. If that doesn’t put life in perspective, nothing will.
How about you? What do you do to get you out of the dumps?