Tuesday, January 8, 2013

how to feel better when you're down

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

5.5 simple pick-me-ups you can’t ignore on some bad days

a couple of days ago, i woke up to a familiar tune. it was a tune that told me that day was not going to be as pretty as the day before. have you had days when you wake up to some sort of premonition about how your day’s gonna go? rarely happens, really, but when it does it makes me want to push the fast forward button so tomorrow would slide in and kick today’s butt off.

there is no fast forward button.

when i opened my e-mail the first thing that i noticed was the absence of notifications for new comments on “running in red stilettos”. when i checked my stats it sure looked like a forlorn place, a playground for zombies. that stung a bit. all the photos i took that day mysteriously turned out to be disastrous as well. both my kids woke up on the wrong side of their beds and little people who are unusually in a bad mood are like a 10,000-piece puzzle. when i sat down to continue working on a story on counterfeit makeup that i was developing for the magazine, my mind went blank, dot dot dot empty. it was a situation not new to my bank account.

empty is my least favorite word.

with a bad day confirmed, i thought  there was no use fighting against nature. so i made me a cup of tulsi (the indian tea i’m currently crazy about), went out to sit on the hammock in the balcony and rested my eyes on the clear sky that sat on top of the blue mountains and the not-so-distant lake. right that instant i was seized by a sudden pang of conscience for allowing myself to complain even before i counted my blessings.
however, bad days are real as real could be and none of us could really run away from them. here’s me sharing my 5.5 pick-me-ups that i hope would work for you, too.

#1 kiss the sun.  we’ve grown to become “sunphobic” over the years after getting more acquainted with studies that reveal the harmful effects of the sun. there is, however, nothing that could replicate the mood-enhancing effects of the sun.  the big yellow ball activates our endorphins, the neurotransmitters known to induce euphoria. just make sure you keep it at a safe level, which means avoiding the sun after 9 am and before 3 pm. 10 to 20 minutes out there will yank the grouch out of you.

#2 dance. exercise does wonders to the body and dancing offers nothing less than miracles to the mind and soul. it’s a way of reconnecting with your inner self, and tapping unused energies so they don’t go to waste. if you’re quite bashful about moving those heels and swaying your hips, find yourself a place where you could not care about a thing in the world. play a tune you love moving to then permit yourself to get lost in the beat.  i’d bet my blueberry cheesecake you’ll be smiling before the fourth song.

photo by alexander young
# 3 give sweet tooth a chance. chefs didn’t name those luscious delights “death by chocolate” for nothing. and well, some experts also said chocolate was better than sex and i wasn’t ready to accept that until studies showed that eating chocolates release substantial amounts of endorphins, thus giving you that much needed “oomph!” when you’re stuck in the dumps.

# 4 lather with lavender. when you’re feeling low and slow, a shower would do you good. you’ll feel fresher afterwards with a renewed sense of energy. running water over your body also symbolically washes away anguish and letting that water flow away from you means you’re allowing negative energy to leave your body. choose a scent that relieves you. lavender is known as a mood enhancer so you should keep a bottle handy. now go, lather with lavender and don’t call me grandmother.

# 5 dare yourself and look for something new to do. it doesn't have to be anything outrageous like skydiving or rappelling. i mean, who just suddenly goes out through their backdoor to do that anyway? it can be as mundane as getting to know a new author, experimenting on a new recipe, trying out a new restaurant, exploring genres of movies you didn't think you’d ever like. if your bad day happens on a weekend, then great. that means you have time to go out, get lost and discover what’s around you. trust me, you’ll find something that’s been there for the longest time and you didn’t know it because you were too caught up in the real world to see that there’s actually a better side to it. two months ago i found a withering row of plants and when i bent down to see through the lifeless stems, i was whisked away to my own narnia.(will post that photo here as soon as i unearth it from the cavern i also call my files)

.5 remind yourself that the purpose of your existence is not defined by the number of virtual likes you get. you are a tiny speck in the virtual world and if you’re able to put a smile to a few faces through your writing, that should mean the universe to you because that’s what you intended to do since the beginning.

okay, so .5 is for me.

endorphins, sunlight, chocolates, tulsi, indian tea, lavender, mood enhancers, dance, exercise

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