Are you feeling bored ? Depressed ? Exhausted ? Sad ? Is this one of your unproductive, low motivation days ? Here are 12 ways that can help you recharge your batteries. And, who knows, even trigger the growth of new brain cells (read #10) ! The first six are clues for your mind, the others for your actions. They all depend on the flexibility of your schedules. But whatever you choose to get out of the blues, keep in mind that : a) you should not fight the blues ; b) in an unproductive day, you are more productive than you think.
CLUES FOR YOUR MIND
#1. Explore the blue feeling.
Instead of trying to push it away, delve in it for information. Find the reason (there is always a reason) why you are feeling blue. Maybe you need to stay on low motivation for a moment after some important emotional, intellectual or physical effort. Elation, fear, enthusiasm, depression are all part of your emotional cycle. Take into account that the blues is a temporary feeling and do not miss the opportunity to learn something out of it. More so because…
#2. Blues is a natural emotion.
What is an « emotion » ? It is « energy-in-motion ». Both positive and negative emotions serve important functions. A « blue feeling » shows that there is something you don’t know and/or you cannot deal with at the moment. If you ignore it or pretend you are in a « good mood », you might miss noticing things that are wrong – and never be able to solve them. Therefore…
#3. Don't blame yourself.
Everybody has low motivation moments. This doesn’t mean you will not be able to achieve your goals and dreams. And…
#4. Don't blame others.
Some specific event or person may have triggered the feeling, but they are NOT not the reason why you are feeling down right now. You can choose to feel differently if you want to. But…
#5. Stay away from negative people.
They are more contagious than the positive ones. Why ? Because we naturally have so many doubts about ourselves ! Therefore, try to stay away from people who complain constantly about everything, make big deals out of nothing, blame everyone else for their problems. Instead…
#6. Recollect good moments and successes with a positive friend.
Call one of your « cheerleaders » and talk for a few minutes about your past accomplishments, about actions, attitudes and skills that made you successful – or simply joyful.
CLUES FOR YOUR ACTIONS
#7. Don’t try to organize
your wardrobe, files or drawers. Since you are in an unproductive day, you may think you must do something, anything, to feel productive and change your mood. But when you got the blues, nothing is more depressing than going through old papers, family pictures, letters or jewels, clothes that bring back memories of long gone happy days. French people call this state of mind cafard, which literally means « bug » They are right. Stay away from it. Instead…
#8. Please your senses.
Buy yourself a rose and contemplate the mysterious perfection of its petals (being in the present moment, while contemplating a flower or a tree, is a simple, effective mindfulness exercise). Cut a lemon or an orange in two, smell it, extract its juice and drink it (citrus scents are naturally uplifting). Take a bath and wash yourself with a sea wool sponge. Or…
#9. Change your environment.
If you are inside, go for a walk or for a cup of tea in a quiet tearoom. If you are outside, go home and please your senses (see #7). Wherever you go, go mindfully : be "there", focus on the sound of your steps or on the color of the tea you are drinking, while releasing attachment to the chatter that continually fills your mind.
#10. Go for a run.
As Wolfgang Ketterle (MIT), Nobel prizewinning physicist, says :
"Being a runner, to me, has made being depressed impossible. If ever I'm going through something emotional and just go outside for a run, you can rest assured that I'll come back with clarity and empowerment."Indeed, new research by neuroscientists at Cambridge University reveals that running triggers the growth of new brain cells, by reducing stress (which inhibits fresh brain cells through a hormone called cortisol). So if you go out for a run, not only you will feel better, you will help your brain matter to grow ! If you are too exhausted to run…
Take a moment to perform progressive relaxation, an easy-to-do stress management technique that I explain in this article.
#12. Do things that will easily cheer you up.
Remember this famous Johnny Cash song which says : « Get rhythm when you get the blues (…) / It'll shake all the trouble from your worried mind ». For me, listening to a great sing-along song is a stress buster. But you can also read aloud a beautiful poem, write down whatever comes to your mind, or cook an improvised simple meal for your family.
Blues is a gold mine for creative thinking. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore it.
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What do you think ?- Is "blues" a negative emotion ?
- Can one be creative while feeling blue ?
- What is your best stress buster ?