25 September 2013, 10:25
I had a very human week last week. I don’t know whether it was PMS, jet-lag, crazy astrological influences or the post-holiday blues. Maybe it was a combination of all four. But maybe it had more to do with the fact that, after racing around Europe for two weeks, it all hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally had a moment to rest.
I didn’t post anything on the blog. I didn’t answer any emails. Mostly, I lay in bed. I wore sweatpants more often than usual. My husband took me out for vegan ice-cream sundaes and held my hand a lot. (He’s a good man.)
A week later, I snapped out of it.
But it reminded me that we’re all human. We all have those days, weeks, months even. And we have to be gentle with ourselves. You can get impatient about it all you like, but it won’t do you any good. You just have to ride it out.
I did a few different things which I felt contributed to busting me out of my bad mood, and I’ve written them down here. I did so partially for my own reference, but for yours too. I think the major thing I’ve learned from this last week is that there’s not necessarily one way to explode a bad mood. There is no magic bullet. (Though having said this, I totally forgot about EFT, and I’m sure it would have done a lot of good!)
Here’s the combination that did it for me…
I browsed Pinterest.
Usually I think of this as a relatively pointless activity, but when you’re really feeling down in the dumps and you stumble upon some art which wakes you up and inspires you, it can make a world of difference. You simply cannot underestimate the power of art.
I watched things that made me laugh.
I spent plenty of time on the couch watching old episodes of New Girl and, unbelievably, Zoolander for the first time ever! (How had I never seen it before?! I do not know!) If you need suggestions, check out 33 Movies To Watch When You’re Sad, Glum Or Bummed Out. Anything that makes you laugh out loud has to be good for you!
I worked out as much as possible.
It shocks me to the core to say this, but I’m a confirmed gym bunny. In school, I would always blame my asthma and claim I couldn’t participate in any kind of physical activity, but these days I like nothing better than really using my body and testing the extent of my abilities. And I don’t just love the way it makes my body look, I also adore the way it makes me feel. It gets my endorphins firing, and I walk out of the gym feeling like a new woman. Bonus points if you work out with someone you like. My personal trainer and Pilates instructor always make me laugh.
I went for walks and took photos.
This is one of my favourite activities: just walking around in the city, slowing down and noticing the great things around you. The weird outfits, the wacky hairstyles, the cool, funny, subversive and bizarre street art, the way the light hits the buildings… It gets me out of my own head, and encourages me to see with new eyes.
I focussed my intention and lit candles.
Pick a candle colour that relates to what you want — pink for happiness, yellow for joy, green for prosperity, blue for calm, etc. — close your eyes, focus on what you would like to transpire, and then light that sucker.
I went out and saw my friends.
...Even though I really didn’t want to. #hermitlife! After two and a half weeks of non-stop socialising, truthfully the last thing I wanted to do was see more people. But I know that when I force myself out of the house, see my friends, laugh and have some kind of adventure, I always feel so much better. So that’s what I did… And it was great.
I talked on the phone.
And crucially, I talked to people about their problems rather than my own. (Especially since I actually have none. I was just in a slump, which is even boring to discuss!) Concentrating on someone else and talking through their issues made it easy for me to forget about my own stuff for a while.
I surrounded myself with good fragrances.
Never forget how marvellous a beautiful fragrance can make you feel, and even if you still feel awful, you’ll get a momentary boost any time you lift your wrist to your nose. I lathered up with Pacifica Persian Rose Body Wash, spritzed my office and hair with Level Naturals Jasmine Rose spray, and dabbed Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille on my wrists. (I love to layer scents, clearly, and this is a winning combination.)
I got a massage.
This was the thing that really pulled me out of my slump. Getting a good tenderising, aka being massaged into another dimension by someone skilled and competent (in my case, Emma at East Village Spa) can work wonders. (If a spa day isn’t in the cards for you, see if a massage school needs any volunteers, or talk your lover/BFF/sister into giving you a good rub-down.) I use any massage as an opportunity for meditation: when anything comes into my mind, I make a practice of just dropping it, and I visualise it falling from my head and down through the floor. By the time you hop off the table, your mindset is totally transformed.
I listened to good music in the sunshine.
After my massage, I put on my headphones and walked home in the sunshine, listening to Fat Freddy’s Drop... And I felt the final clouds around my mind and spirit lift.
I’m so thankful to be back to my old self, and to be feeling sassy and optimistic again. PHEW. What a relief.
I’m curious: what do you do when a bad mood grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go? Add to the conversation on Facebook!
Illustration by Michelle.