Saturday, November 12, 2016

20 Ways I Snap Out of a Funk, Especially When Cold Weather Gets Me Down


"What's something you've been wanting to do that will bring you happiness?" Mike asked me recently. I'd been feeling a little down that day - for a little while now, actually - & I told him I had been meaning to order Seattle entrepreneur Moorea Seal's 52 Lists for Happiness journal. I loved her first journal, The 52 Lists Project, & have been working through it all year, so the new one sounded pretty appealing. "Go order it now," Mike told me. So I did.

By the time it arrived, I'd already started working on a list to get me started. Earlier, I'd posted to Facebook: "Hit me with your best tips for combating the seasonal blues. Please." The result was 50 comments worth of ideas - everything from exercising to Michel Bublé songs to antidepressants to Melt Bar & Grilled's turkey sandwich. Reading through the list of suggestions inspired me to create my own list of go-to pick-me-ups.

I plan to revisit this list on days when I've got the blues - & truth be told, there are more of them during cold weather seasons than there are during the spring & summer months, & perhaps even more of them post-election. Without further ado...
  1. Write it down. I've started keeping a journal again, a place to vomit out the thoughts I can't seem to sort out in my head. This is, hands down, the best way for me to start feeling better.
  2. Listen to '90s radio on Spotify. It's full of some of my favorite long-forgotten hits from bands like Vertical Horizon, Destiny's Child, & Matchbox Twenty
  3. Pet my cat. He's the softest little dude in the world & doesn't usually mind when I try to use him as a pillow, especially if I seem down
  4. Read a book, especially fiction. Losing myself in someone else's world is the perfect way to get out of my own head.
  5. Take a nap. I have to be careful not to overdo it on this one, though, especially if I'm feeling too sad, because although sleep can sometimes be the perfect pick-me-up, sometimes it makes everything worse. 
  6. Hang out with friends. Sometimes the best way to snap out of it is to force myself out of it. I can't be a mopey bummer while I'm out with friends, so sometimes, even when I'm down, I'll accept an invitation to hang out - & it almost always helps me even out.
  7. Switch up my routine. Whether it's eating a cuisine I don't usually have or switching up the coffee shop I work from during the day, doing something slightly out of my ordinary always shakes me up in a positive way.
  8. Do yoga. I haven't done this for awhile, & there's really no excuse for it, but I do still love Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley, a series of videos I can do from my living room when I need to stretch my mind and my body.
  9. Go for a walk, especially when the weather is nice. Even when it's not, getting out of my apartment & into some fresh air does wonders for my mood.
  10. Make plans to look forward to, even if they're not big ones. If I'm feeling down, I plan my next trip or set up a dinner date with a friend so I have a calendar I can be excited about.
  11. Call my mom. Unless my funk is induced by an argument with my mom, a quick chat with her can almost always raise my spirits.
  12. Have a dance party. I can only do this when I'm home alone, but when I do, my favorites are anything by Taylor Swift or on the aforementioned '90s radio station. Dance it outtt.
  13. Clean my apartment. I don't particularly enjoy cleaning, but I do love the feeling of a clean, put-together apartment, & the I dig the sense of accomplishment that goes along with it.
  14. Give myself a facial. This is a new-to-me way to relax, but I've started to love face masks & my charcoal mud mask from Perfectly Posh. So refreshing!
  15. Write snail mail. This is a great way to touch base with my friends without having to actually be too social - & getting snail mail always brightens people's days!
  16. Light candles. I have a living room full of delightfully scented candles that I've been lighting after the sun goes down. They make everything feel cozy.
  17. Get dressed up. The better I look, the better I feel - & so sometimes, even when nothing sounds worse than changing out of sweatpants, that's exactly what I need.
  18. Take a hot shower. Along the same lines of the above, wallowing in sadness & dirt never brought anyone out of a funk. I don't do baths, but long showers are lovely.
  19. Turn on some comedy. This could be my favorite funny movie, Bridesmaids, or my favorite funny podcast, The Shepod - anything, really. Laughter is the best medicine, right?
  20. Take my antidepressants. Speaking of medicine, I make sure to take mine, especially during times when I know I might be moire prone to bouts of sadness. No shame, folks. 
I'm also loving this post, "How to Hygge," which includes 29 ways to embrace the Danish art of warm coziness during the winter months. So tell me: How do you combat the blues, especially those brought on by cold weather & lack of sun? Anything I need to add to my list?
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