Alright real talk, “chipper” is not actually my default setting. It’s actually more along the lines of “skeptical and lazy” with a “critical perfectionist” cycle. As such it should come as no shock to you that getting things done, staying positive, working toward a complaint-free gratitude-filled life can be a struggle. On the daily. Kind of a minute by minute thing some days.
Gonna go out on an observational limb here and say that I am not alone in this. In the last month I’ve been doing a bit of travelling and let me tell you, there are tons of grumpy, pessimistic, complaining, disempowered people who are miserable and can hardly wait to tell you about it. Long about Baltimore it became incredibly clear that moping about does nothing but perpetuate a negative attitude and *action* is what is needed if you find yourself stuck in the rut of grumpiness.
Below is a list of some strategies I have learned and experienced for myself when you are ready to call it quits on the pity party and move forward with actual life…
10 things you can do right now to brighten your mood and beat the gloom.
- Move your body!
Stretch, take a walk, or simply change the posture your body is using to illustrate whatever emotion it is that you’re feeling. The brain and body work together to create emotion. It’s pretty challenging to be grumpy, sad and defeated when your body is partying, standing in a power pose, or being hugged in a reassuring and loving way. Just moving your body into a different position like a superhero stance, a playful pose or doing a little dance has the power to completely change your outlook for the better.
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, or changing your physiology doesn’t give you the lasting effect you’re looking for, try doing a bit of a workout next time you’re feeling some emotions you can’t move past. Nothing helps me move forward when I’m in a slump like getting a good workout. I’ve accomplished something which makes me feel good. I’ve done something positive for myself which reminds my mind and body that I am worth being happy. All those endorphins start pumping and I feel like I can handle the day. Just 10-20 minutes later and you can be in a completely different emotional space.
- Brush your teeth/ wash your face/ change your clothes/ grab some Chapstick.
Seriously, this is usually my go to list. If something isn’t quite right with my day and I can’t seem to snap out of the funk, I start with brushing my teeth and work from there. Usually along the way I forget whatever weird thing had my brain convinced that the only thing I was capable of was moping. Life is much easier to manage when you’ve braced yourself for it with minty fresh breath, a fresh face and your comfy pants.
- Do some double fisted drinking: a big ol’ glass of water in one hand and a coffee/tea/smoothie/iced tea in the other.
This actually has very little to do with caffeine and a whole lot to do with creating a moment of happiness. Treating yourself to a special beverage, maybe one that you save for dinners out, something that makes you think of your favorite holiday, or a drink that reminds you of a happy family memory is a super simple, healthy and inexpensive way to perk you up and kick the doldrums.
- Go get a snack!
Hanger is a real thing guys. If your body and brain are trying to function without proper fuel you’ll end up foggy, grumpy and out of sorts. When you find yourself in that space, make a beeline to the fridge and give your poor little self some energy.
- Reach out.
Whether you can grab someone nearby for a nice long hug, or shoot someone a text to start a conversation, get in contact with someone you love and who loves you. We have these people in our lives for such a time as this, honestly, and they will be happy to share some support.
- Make something that makes you happy.
Creative outlets are frequently neglected, especially in this world of hours of work followed by minimal time for leisure. It’s unfortunate, because these activities have great power to refresh our minds, restore our calm and change our perspectives.
I love to paint my nails. I own box upon box of different colors, textures and shades. I have glitters and shimmers and flakies and holos and metallics. Cleaning, painting and decorating my fingernails gives me a realm over which I have ultimate control and creative power. Sitting down with my nail-doing goodies is a surefire guarantee that I will get up again feeling calmer, more accomplished, a bit more capable and like maybe this day isn’t so bad after all.
What do you do to be creative? Are you a writer, a singer, maybe a musician? Next time you find yourself grumping out and in need of a change of mood, pick up that neglected paint brush, rolling pin or knitting needle.
- Crank up the tunes.
We all have a collection of songs that make us feel happy, or have the ability to access one. This is the moment they were created for! Just like feelgood movies have soaring soundtracks, your life benefits from a bopping interlude. Whether you jam to 80’s rock, showtunes, or TSwizz, rocking music can snap you out of a funk in about 30 seconds.
- Enjoy the things that make you smile.
Reread that Calvin and Hobbes collection, google “funny videos” on YouTube, pull out some ridiculous family videos, or just put on your favorite comedy, anything that makes you laugh will do the trick. Sometimes all you need is to remember that there is hilarity in the world.
- Make a list of the things that make you grateful.
Wanna pull yourself out of the negative headspace you currently occupy? Reminding yourself of the things that are beautiful and wonderful in your life helps to shift that perspective from the things that presently feel awful or gross or imperfect, onto positive and uplifting memories. From there you can conquer anything.
- Indulge it, *for today*, and commit to making tomorrow different.
This is at the end for a reason. The above list is effective and I have personal experience with every suggestion and have seem them work for other people as well. The thing is, some days the motivation to change is just not there. Life is stressful and messy and annoying and frustrating and sometimes the expectations and ambitions and goals are just too overwhelming or uninspiring. I get that. Which is why you should learn this lesson now. Sometimes the best thing you can do it rest up, let things slide, indulge in the easy dinner or the unhealthy snack, procrastinate, and be at peace. For now. Because nothing good comes when you have a bad day and prolong it by being angry, frustrated and disappointed with yourself.
Take a chill pill. Let it go.
Then tomorrow, make it happen.
Love from me for all the rotten moments to come! ❤
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