As a lover of all things health and wellness, I would love to say that I am a happy and positive person all of the time, but it’s just not the truth. Yes, the majority of the time, I love my life. I mean, just looking at my most recently used emojis, it’s filled with smiley faces, hearts, hand clapping, and yes, the kissing heart face. There are times, however, when I just feel down. Sometimes this is related to a failed relationship or a big career letdown, but other times, there’s no explicit reason.
As “creative types,” we are prone to being a bit more emotional than the norm. While being more sensitive can really help serve us in our art or business, it can also, unfortunately, hinder us. Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I have become quite the expert at picking myself up out of depressing moods (10,000 hours, right?). Here are 5 tips that work for me when I am stuck in a rut:
1. Self-care is of the utmost importance.
When you find yourself in a funk, it’s really easy to sit at home, drowning your sorrows in gluten-free pizza (and maybe a pint or two of ice cream) and binge-watching Stranger Things, but, trust me, that’s not going to reinvigorate you. Putting forth so much time and energy into your career, business, and relationships, it is essential to take some time to focus on you. Schedule a massage or a day at the spa. Maybe go get a manicure and pedicure, even something as simple as making yourself a cup of tea and spending an hour reading your favorite book can help. Self-care might be different things to different people, but find what works for you.
2. A healthy body equals a healthy soul.
Now, as a Integrative Health and Wellness Coach, I am an expert in this topic. I have never been more sure of anything, when your body is healthy, your soul is healthy. Cut out all sugar and processed food from your diet, and watch that black cloud over your head dissipate. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, and even most grains can spike your blood sugar, which then drops quickly, causing you to crash and leaving you feeling lethargic and cranky (we’ve all been there!). Exercise goes along with this, as well. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which triggers positive feelings in your body. I know it’s difficult to get up and going when you’re feeling low, but I know I always feel better after a workout. I find that intense exercise, like sprinting, is the most effective for this.
3. Set new goals and work on them everyday.
Most experts agree a major key to happiness is to be working towards something. Setting goals, both short-term and long-term, forces you to think about what it is you want in life and to realign yourself with that. Set some new goals, and don’t be afraid to reach for the stars on this one. Setting goals that feel a little out of reach can help to re-inspire you, but be sure to also set some smaller, more attainable goals, those you can quickly reach and check off that list. The type-A in me loves checking anything off a list!
4. Go have some fun and get out of your comfort zone.
Have some fun, get excited about life and all of it’s spontaneity and craziness. This could be as simple as taking a new class (painting, ceramics, or ballet), pushing yourself to sit right next to that hot guy/girl at the airport bar or striking up a conversation with a stranger. Do something, anything to get unstuck from the everyday routine. Shake it up, and remember that life is all about growth! Be uncomfortable, learn something new, share a new connection.
5. Emotional Freedom Technique.
This might be a bit too new-agey for some of you, but this has been one of the most helpful tools I’ve been using. EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, is a psychological acupressure technique, that uses tapping with your fingers on acupressure points (forehead, under your eyes, collar bone) while reciting positive affirmations to clear any emotional blocks. It’s been used to help with depression, anxiety, food cravings, insomnia, self-esteem, among many others. Just doing a quick search on youtube, you can find tons of videos to follow along to for depression, increasing energy, or just having a great day. Don’t trust me on this one, try it for yourself, and see how it works for you.
It is so important to find what really works for you in those down times, and have a plan for when those bluesy feelings begin to arise. Life is glorious, surprising, inspiring and beautiful…let’s not forget that!