Friday, May 23, 2014

How to deal with the blues

I started writing this post a few days ago and it turned into an essay about life - not what I originally had planned.  So I'm going to save it for later and publish this shallow more inspiring post instead.

How to deal with the blues

Have you ever been in the situation where you just can't handle life anymore?  You want to quit your job, move out of your house, make new friends,  or maybe just disappear for a little while?  For whatever reason, life can be hard to cope with sometimes.  This has happened to me a couple of times in my adulthood - just about once every year of undergrad, after my first year of grad school, and most recently this past January.

What do you do?  How do you cope?  What gets you through to the light at the end of the tunnel?  I'm pretty sure every adult has their go-to methods for coping.  But sometimes it's nice to remember other ways of releasing stress and calming the anxiety.  So here are some ideas for when you are so far at the end of your rope you can't even think about what to do next!

 Escape your problems

Allow your mind to wander.  I like to find an inspiring photo and just stare at it for awhile.

Look at the some of these photos.  Think about what it would feel like to be sitting there, in that exact moment.  What would you be doing?  Who would you be with?  What would the air feel like?  What sounds would you hear?  It is weirdly soothing to imagine a different life for a few minutes.

Something to try: Write a poem based on these photos.

Actually wander.
Get up early in the morning, as the sun is rising, and wander around your neighborhood.  You might be surprised at how it looks and feels when no one is stirring.  It allows for a little perspective on life, and you may suddenly find your worries feeling less daunting.

Be still.
This is directly in opposition to point #2, but I think it is sometimes needed.  Find a peaceful place and just be still.  Try not to think about anything.

Confront your problems

A cup of tea can cure anything.
I truly believe a hot cup of tea is the most comforting thing in the whole world.

I'm not great at journaling, and it really only helps if I'm in the right mood.  But, sometimes, on those rare occasions when I am in the mood, writing my thoughts, fears, emotions, worries, etc, can be very therapeutic.  Drink your tea while you journal.

Talk it out.
I am an auditory processor.  I need to talk about something before I can forget about it.  Some people journal to get things off their chests.  I have to talk about it.  Once I talk about it, vent all of my frustrations, I can truly move on.  Be careful who you talk to, though.  When I vent to my husband he just gets stressed out along with me.  When I vent to my mom she tries to come up with solutions to everything.  I like to call my sisters because I know they will just listen and let me get it out.

Move on

Get busy
I'm a firm advocate for allowing yourself to wallow in misery for awhile.  But not for too long.  Eventually you just need a distraction from your own thoughts.  Find a ministry to get involved with, do some service work, volunteer, help the less fortunate.  It has helped me realize that the world is bigger than me, and maybe some of my problems aren't so big after all.

What are your go-to methods for coping with life when you're feeling the blues?



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