Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Come on and Shake Those Blahs

Do you have the blahs?  They don't just happen in winter.  They can happen anytime, set off by a loss of a loved one, health problems, work woes, a spiritual crisis and more.  A string of little, seemingly insignificant things that bugs you could trigger the blahs, too.  So, how do you  shake these pesky feelings?  Here are some tips:
1.  Call a trusted friend.  Talking to someone about your blahs, or simply talking to them about anything, may boost your spirits, depending on if you would like to try to remedy the situation by venting and asking for advice, or by attempting to forget about it for awhile.  Either way, a good talk can help.
2.  Change your living space.  Sometimes little changes can help shake us out of a downer mood.  Rearrange the furniture, add some house plants or a pretty bouquet of flowers, or frame some personal photographs to hang on the walls--anything that can perk up your personal space.
3.  Try a new hobby.  Shake things up by trying a new hobby.  Pick something you've always wanted to try but never made time for before.  Maybe you've always wanted to take piano lessons, or take a ceramics class, or collect antique radios.  Give it a whirl and you might find your spirits starting to soar.
4.  Join a club.  You may find relief by joining a club either locally or online.  What are you interested in?  What would you like to learn about?  The Internet provides many opportunities to get together with others with similar interests.  Seek out related clubs, attend open houses, become a member, or start your own club.  
5.  Exercise.  Whether you work out at home, the neighborhood park, or the gym, regular exercise is a great way to boost your mood.  Find the time, place, exercises, and activities that work best for you.  If you enjoy your workout routine, you'll be more apt to stick with it.  If you're new to exercise, remember to take it slowly at first.  Ease into it.  Always exercise smart and safely.
6.  Scratch something off your bucket list.  Is there something that you haven't done that you'd like to do during your lifetime?  Well, maybe now is the time to give it a go.  Accomplishing a long-held goal can recharge your batteries, big time.  Maybe you'd like to travel to your ancestral homeland, learn to swim, write a memoir, or hike the Appalachian Trail. Start preparing for this adventure, really dig into it, and have fun.
7.  Play games you enjoyed as a kid.  Sometimes bringing out the kid in yourself can help boost your spirits.  Games are a great way to do it.  What games did you enjoy as a child?  Some examples:  Hopscotch, Hide and Seek, Tag, and Simon Says.  What others can you think of?  I've been tempted to break out Twister.  Am I still flexible enough to play it?  I'll just have to try it and find out.  Give your favorites a try, too.  Have fun and let yourself be a little goofy.
8.  Volunteer.  To me, there is no better way to help conquer the blahs than to get out into the community and volunteer.  Help a neighbor move, deliver flowers to patients at the hospital, read to nursing home residents, raise money for a favorite charity, take dogs for a walk at the local animal shelter--the list of possibilities is endless.  Go to it!
9.  Join a support group.  Joining a support group related to something that is contributing to your blahs can help you find some relief.  Talking to others in similar circumstances can help you deal with yours.  This can really help those of you who may feel you are alone in the world; that no one understands what you're going through.  There are empty nester, new mother, exercise, and griever's groups, to name a few.  Check your local newspaper, or ask your doctor for information specific to your needs.  
10.  Distance yourself from friends and family.  Okay, now I don't mean ditch them altogether; not necessarily.  But if you find you don't have a lot in common with a current friend or group of friends, or you feel a bit smothered by your family, it might be time to back off a bit.  And if you end up seeing them less and less over time, that's telling you something.  It might be time to make some new friends who may actually treat you more like family than your blood relatives do.  Do what feels right to you, and avoid feeling guilty about it.  Change is good.  This may be a temporary change or a long-term one, but if it feels good in your gut, it's good for you.  Listen to yourself and what you really need to make your life the best it can be.
11.  Move.  This is a more drastic approach, but if you feel it's right for you and you can realistically make it happen, go for it.  Whether it's across town or across the world, a move can do you good.  Moving can recharge your batteries.  That's what happened to Jim and me.  The move across the country to Utah was a great decision for us.  We are more active since the weather is nice year round, I'm not afraid to drive here since I don't have to deal with icy roads,  (Well, we do get snow now and then, but not often.  I just don't go out if the roads are icy.) and we've gotten more involved in community than we ever have anywhere else we've lived.     
12.  Change Jobs.  Sometimes jobs can get boring if you're doing the same thing day in and day out.  Or you may no long find your current career rewarding.  If a change in attitude or a promotion isn't in the cards, it may be time to look for another job.  Be patient.  It may take awhile to transition to a new job.  Consider the possibilities, decide what you are good at and what you love to do, seek the help of a career counselor, look into educational requirements for your new career choice(s), scope out job opportunities in your chosen field, and make it happen.  
13.  Act the way you want to feel.  This is one of Gretchen Rubin's 12 Personal Commandments.  If you act the way you want to feel, you could go a long way toward kicking the blahs.  Of course, if you have the blahs, it takes determination and resolve to attempt to snap out of them.  But give this trick a try.  Say you're invited to a game party and you just can't muster the energy to go.  You may also be on this tropical vacation with your whole family and you're the only one who is not one bit interested in playing in the ocean or relaxing on the beach.  Family reunions, the theatre, hiking, watching a movie, playing dress up with the kids--whatever it is, you're just not in the mood.  Dig deep and, instead of moping around, find a way to act the way you want to feel.  You want to feel happy at least, but try to work up to energized and fabulous if you can.  It just might work wonders for you.
If you aren't seeing any relief from trying these tips, contact your doctor for a physical exam.  If your mood is related to a health condition, talk it over.  Sometimes getting the answers to your questions can bring relief.  Even if your doctor gives you bad news, at least you'll know what's going on.  The sooner you see about it, the better chance you'll have of finding a solution to your problem, whether it's medication, surgery, dietiary changes, psychotherapy, or some combination of these.  
If you try these tips, I'd love to hear how it worked out.  You can post a message below or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Take care.

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