This past week a subtle gloom settled over the greater Los Angeles area. Heavy grey clouds nestled themselves among the tops of the buildings and let their weight rest on all who sat unsuspectingly below. It’s strange, I never thought myself one to succumb to the pressure of the dreary days, but boy did I cave! I was inconsolable for days on end. I deemed myself a futureless nobody without talent or potential and wanted to burry myself under a mountain of blankets and never come out again. Thankfully I am far too stubborn and can not sit still to save my life, so staying in this overly dramatic, mildly depressed state was not an option.
Given the fact that I now know just how incredibly affected by weather I can be, I am determined to make some adjustments. All that being said, I still love rainy days every now and again to snuggle under blankets and read a good book (ok thats in my dreams, I am far to “productive” minded to actually do that, the idea however, sounds great) but days and days of grey skys that drip sad-rainy tears over and over make my heart sink into a dark twisty place and not want to come back out again. This is slightly ironic given the fact that I hail from the land of grey skyed doldrums that last seventy percent of the year.
Normally when you get a case of the blues it’s just a matter of time before you snap out of it and are back to your jolly old self. This time around I fear I may have contracted a case of “the mean reds” as Holly Golightly would say. I was anxious, worried, exhausted, and sad all with out really knowing why. I would wrack my brain for reasons, spinning webs of lies to support the ridiculous statements I believed to be true, I am a rather convincing liar when I am trying to sway my own ideas of myself. Realizing the situation and the danger it could lead to, I knew that I needed to pull myself up by my boot straps and get on with life, other wise I would stay in the red (and no one should stay in the red).
Here are some things I decided to do:
Overly communicate. I am a 2 on the enneagram scale, meaning I am a helper. As a helper my greatest flaw is that I, myself, don’t like to be a burden, there for I am a person of un-communicated thoughts, wants, and desires. So after sulking for a day or two I decided that telling Drew all of the thoughts that were careening dangerously through my mind would help to clear things up. This was incredibly difficult for me and at times for him to work through. In the end however, it was immensely helpful. One of the best pieces of marriage advice we received was to “talk even when you don’t feel like it” and we try our best to live by those words.
Get out. When I started to spiral Drew would be sweet and try to help me see how good life is and just how lucky we are (because we are, so lucky!) but in those moments it was the last thing I wanted to hear. Removing myself from the situation and taking time to breath, workout, go do something creative or simply take a walk allowed me to clear my head and rethink the situation. Some days this worked better than others, but for the most part taking myself out of the moment and reevaluating where my heart was at made a huge difference.
Do something, ANYTHING! One of my greatest struggles is feeling stagnent. I get frustrated when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. But who says doing something great or accomplishing something has to be difficult or time consuming?! Take a walk and go explore, read inspiring interviews or a good book. Watch a documentary or make that DIY project that has been rolling around in the back of your brain for months on end. Hell, I will even write a to-do list with things I have already done on it so that I can cross them off and feel a small sense of accomplishment (pathetic I know, but hey, it’s the little things that help make the big things possible).
I realize none of these ideas are earth shattering, but having the small, basic, tools allows me to know that I can place one foot infront of the other and concur the mountain that stands before me. Celebrating the little things that make up our everyday allows perspective to come much easier. InThe Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin talks about “acting the way you want to feel” and though this may sound easier than it is, I love the concept.
What do you do when you are struck with the blues or contract a mean case of the reds?