by Wendy Keller, author, speaker, woman who cares
Are you spending your life sad? Here’s a big surprise: life sucks sometimes. It’s hard. You get thrown things that are difficult, unfair or even devastating. People die or disappoint. You know, because if you read my blogs, you’re dealin’ with sumthin’.
It’s easiest to just say “Forgeddaboutit” (especially if you’re from Brooklyn!) and slip into the warm current washing you further and further downstream into depression and sadness. NEWS FLASH: We ALL feel like that sometimes. It’s a lot of work to apply good principles, discipline your mind, manage your emotions and relationships, take care of yourself mentally, spiritually, physically, financially and so on. Especially when your life slaps you in the face and you figure out Life Isn’t Fair (to anyone!)
There’s that old quote about how it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up. What about when it’s just been one too many punches? What about when you used your last teaspoon of energy getting back up last time? Then what the heck are you supposed to do?
Get back up.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Psych yourself into it. Tell yourself tomorrow is a new day and then take action – even a tiny little mouse-sized step forward. If you’ve been down in the dumps so long you don’t recall which way is up, here are a whole bunch of crazy, tiny mouse steps to get you heading back in the direction of joy, happiness and peace. Doesn’t matter if you LIKE any of them. Just pick one and do it right now, today, in this instant. Pretty soon, you’ll crack open a window in your brain and a little breeze will blow in some new ideas, some hope. Keep on taking mouse-sized steps and one day, you’ll find you’ve become an Olympic pole vaulter…or at least a happier, more joyful, more peaceful person.
Pick one of these little things to do today to begin yanking yourself back up to the surface:
- Commit to smiling at 5 strangers today.
- Go outside. Pick a flower, bring it in and stick it in some water. Put it on your bedside table.
- Give $1 to a homeless person.
- Take an extra five minutes to do your hair or makeup or put on an outfit you like on yourself.
- Make your bed. (Studies show increased happiness in people who do this simple task daily!)
- Choose to smoke one less cigarette or joint, eat one less cookie than you’d like or take one less drink than you might normally.
- Park in the furthest space from the door and walk.
- Get out in nature for just 10 minutes.
- Take 7 deep breaths in a row.
- Call someone who is hurting and ask questions. Don’t talk about yourself or your problems during the whole call.
- Get a piece of paper and a pencil (or finger paint or crayons) and play around drawing the object you like most in your home. (Da Vinci isn’t watching!)
- Play a half hour of your favorite songs – and dance to them alone.
- Read 10 pages or more of a spiritually uplifting book. (If you don’t know where to start, try “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho)
- Write a card – or make one – and send it to someone you care about, ideally someone you haven’t communicated with in a while.
- If your parents are still alive, tell one of them you appreciate that they did the best they could and you know how hard it was.
- If you have a child, hug it for no reason today. You don’t need permission nor need you give an explanation.
- Make yourself something healthy for dinner.
- Splurge on a pedicure or manicure.
- Send yourself on a treasure hunt: walk around the block and see if you can find three bird feathers, a yellow flower, a coin and a stone.
- Turn down the lights, light a candle and breathe deeply, letting your mind quiet down.
- Buy a flowering houseplant.
- If you have a pet, play with it for five minutes. What’ll it be? Fetch or chasing a string?
- Help an old person in some small way.
- Invite someone over for dinner tomorrow. Doesn’t have to be a fancy meal, or fine china.
- Pray, meditate or introspect – without begging any deity for a single thing, just expressing gratitude.
- Take one dollar out of your wallet. Put it in an envelope and mark the envelope “Savings Account”. Paste a picture or two of your dream goal on the outside of the envelope to motivate yourself.
- Journal about your happiest day so far
These aren’t major life changing strategies, are they? They may seem silly or not even worthy of your time. In truth, like most things in life, they are deceptively simple. Each one moves you that tiny step closer to joy, one step out of despair.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you do nothing, you’ll keep getting more of what you’ve already got. The purpose of this list is to give you simple, easy, inexpensive ideas to get you thinking about what you CAN do to get yourself feeling better.
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“The Top Ten Tips to Coping with Crisis” today!