Tuesday, April 25, 2017 / 4 Comments

Things That Cheer Me Up When I'm Feeling Blue


I'm going to be quite honest: I've been feeling a little blue lately (pssst! That's code for "depressed"). Without getting into it too deeply (because then anyone who reads this would literally have to bill me because this would technically be a therapy session and I don't have the money for that! But nice *free* comments in the comment section are always appreciated), I've been feeling a little stuck and directionless in where I am in life and frankly where I want to be in life. I just have no idea what job or career or even LIFE is right for me now. So I'm a bit discouraged and kind of low right now, hence the blues.

I hate feeling this way: some days I feel okay and can put the blues on the back burner, but other days, my whole world is a dark cerulean hue and I just want to wallow in my own self pity. But I'm determined to get out of this depressive rut, which leads me to this post. I have compiled a list of all of the ways that help cheer me up when I have the blues. Sometimes these tips help, sometimes they don't, but honestly, just trying one or several of them is distraction enough to help pull me out of the well from The Ring (just call me Samara. Oh my god, that's kind of a genius analogy. Screw my original analogy of depression being like you're stuck under water, I'm going with my Ring analogy from now on! The creepy vibe suits me better anyway) and get me sort-of-kind-of back on track (or at least near the track). I hope my tips can help you too, if you've been feeling a little down lately as well. Maybe you've tried all of my suggestions or maybe you haven't, but honestly, it doesn't hurt to try any of those listed below! (Especially the cuddling with a furry animal one. We all deserve more cuddles with cute, furry pets!)

So here is my list of all the things I do when I'm feeling blue! ☔

1) Cuddle With a Cute Furry Animal*
What's the point of having a pet if you can't cuddle with it in times of need? I've lost count of the times I've held my cat Harriet and cried, as she tries to crawl out of my arms and then eventually just settles in because she knows I need it ("I'm feeling sad, why won't you let me just cuddle with you???"). But she also has that sixth sense of knowing when I need company. There have been many times where I've been in my room, feeling sad, and she comes sauntering in and rubs up against me like, "you feeling sad? It's okay, human, I'm here now. Pet me and you'll feel better." And you know what? It always helps!

*Or whatever textured pet you have

2) Read An Old Favorite Book
There's nothing like diving into a book you've never read and experiencing a brand new story and adventure, but usually when I'm feeling down about life, an old favorite is the way to go. Reading a Harry Potter book is my go to (especially the new illustrated versions!), but I also love re-reading old childhood and tween favorites like A Series of Unfortunate Events (because you'll probably never have it quite as bad as the Baudelaire orphans), the Georgia Nicolson series (who doesn't like Angus the cat and little sister Libby? Name a more iconic duo, I'll wait!), and anything by Louis Sachar, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, Bruce Coville, and Sharon Creech, just to name a few! Those books instantly transport me back to my childhood, even just for a half hour or so. But  sometimes a little nostalgic literary break from your current gloomy mood is all you need to help you get through the day.

3) Hang Out With Friends
This is an obvious one, but it's easy to retreat from others when you're feeling down. Which is the complete opposite of what you should be doing, because once I drag myself out of the house and I'm with my friends, I forget about my worries for however long I'm with them and it's such a nice vacation from my worrying mind and troubles. Plus, I always feel lighter after I've had a catch up sesh/gab session/heart to heart and I feel much more determined after to feel better so I can see them even more. My friends know that I struggle sometimes but they don't have to say a word to let me know that they're there for me. And after you hang out with your friends, you start to believe that old saying that laughter really IS the best medicine. (Honestly, is there anything better than your stomach being sore from laughing so much? That's the only sort of pain I'd wish on someone!)

4) Go For a Walk
Exercise is like, my third least favorite thing to do (behind going to the dentist and taking tests), but I have to admit, doing any kind of exercise makes you feel a whole lot better. Doing anything active when you're feeling glum will definitely help raise your spirits, especially if you change your location by going for a walk or a run (plus, it's free!). Getting out and getting active (as annoying as it is. Seriously, do some really athletic people just love sweating or something??) is key and will help more than you realize. And you don't even have to sign up for Crossfit or any other expensive, borderline cult exercise program to do it!

5) Organize!
Go through old clothes, trinkets, photos in your room/closet/home/junk drawer. It'll stir up fun and nostalgic memories and remind you that there's life outside your depression- even if it doesn't seem like it at the time. Also, if you find something you don't wear or use, give it away! The less cluttered you are, the more put together your life will feel, trust me. Plus, there's something sort of cathartic about giving your unused stuff away. Begone tickets stubs from all the movies I saw with my ex! Goodbye favorite sweater from three years ago that doesn't fit anymore and I have no use for but I kept it just in case! Organizing is a seriously underrated therapeutic exercise.

6) Watch A Favorite TV Show Episode (or Two)
Binge-watching may not be the cure for what ails you (apparently not being productive doesn't help being depressed, go figure), but small doses can help. There are a few TV shows that never fail to put a smile on my face, and just re-watching a favorite episode can be enough to give me that warm, fuzzy feeling, or to make my sad tears turn into the happy tears you get from laughing. The Office (the US version), Parks & Recreation, and I Love Lucy, and Gilmore Girls are all shows I turn to when I need to turn my frown upside down (I really hate that I just typed that. I really, really do) and provide the perfect distraction for maybe just a half hour or at least 42 minutes. Also, how can you feel sad when you're watching the perfect couple that is April and Andy from Parks & Rec? They are seriously (weird) couple goals! (Ben and Leslie are a close second, don't worry!)

7) Do Something Thoughtful For Someone Else
This is something I always forget to do when I'm feeling blue. I just get so focused on myself and my own troubles that I sometimes forget that there are other people in the world (that's an exaggeration, by the way), going through their own struggles. Which is why when I get too down on myself, I try to shift my focus on others instead of myself. From planning the perfect birthday or Christmas present for someone, reaching out to a friend I haven't talked to in a while via text or Facebook to just say "hey, I've been thinking of you!" and volunteering (I've recently started volunteering at a food bank, boxing up food for those in need), taking a break from thinking of yourself and your gloomy thoughts and putting others first is a great way to regain your perspective on yourself and life. Plus, it's productive and you're being thoughtful at the same time! Wouldn't you want to receive a little random act of kindness every once in a while? You never know who else may need a pick me up! It's amazing how one little gesture can change your whole day. And I bet you that after doing something good for someone else, that karma will come back around to you. So spread that love and be thoughtful!

8) Look At Real Estate Online
Hear me out! I know this sounds super weird, but it literally never fails to cheer me up. Looking up houses on real estate sites in other cities or even other countries, is so much fun. Yes, everything I look at I could never afford and are located in places I'll probably never even visit- but it sure is fun to look at the super fancy, super expensive ones that are for sale and think, "Well, I never would have spent thousands of dollars and made it look like that!" or "I totally would have done this instead! Ugh, rich people." Plus, I love looking at cottages in picturesque country towns in England and imagining a quiet, simple English life, where I'm just a train ride away from London- where, of course, I also have a house. And don't get me started on French chateaus and castles! (Because I totally own at least one French chateau and castle in my imaginary, unlimited income life) Plus, it's fun to pretend how you'd decorate said home (or castle, cottage, or chateau). Add a Beauty and the Beast-esque library? Of course! Build a secret passageway? Duh! Design a large hedge maze in your giant backyard? Sign me up! Is this all silly and unrealistic? Totally! But fun, creative, and distracting? Heck yeah! Because sometimes that's all you need in a dark moment. A look into the bright, not-so-distant future, even if the one you're currently thinking of is imaginary.

But just remember: you may feel down now, but I promise you, it won't last forever and it will get better (That's been my new mantra lately). I promise. 😘

*If you're feeling depressed, please find someone to talk to, whether it's an understanding family member, friends, or health professional. There's no reason to feel alone when you're feeling depressed and it's totally okay to ask for help or support!*

What did you think of my list of things that cheer me up? What do you do to get yourself out of a gloomy mood? Let me know in the comments!

-Emily
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4 comments:

  1. The lacking direction bit: you're like mid-20s, yeah? I'm mid 30s and have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I think no one does, they just pretend.

    These are all good tips and 4 is massive. I used to be really bad, really down, and when it ended for me, I started getting fit, took up jogging. I used to hate exercise, but now I love it and want to train for a marathon.

    Number 8 - what self-respecting Beauty and the Beast French castle wouldn't already have a secret passageway?



    I think you're list is great, I think you're blog is great. I'm definitely a fan.

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    Replies
    1. I've finally started to figure that out, haha. That literally no one knows what they're doing, they're just making it up as they go. It's so disheartening to find out that you just don't know automatically what the hell you're doing once you hit your 20's ;)

      That's awesome! Let me know how the marathon training goes. That's really impressive. I love going for walks/jogs, at least when the weather permits here.

      So true! If a French castle doesn't have a secret passageway, can it really be called a French castle? I don't think so ;)

      Thank you so much! I'm also so surprised and flattered when anyone reads my blog at really means a lot to hear that you like it :) Thank you for reading and commenting!

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    2. Well, advance warning... you don't automatically know what you're doing when you hit your 30s either. 40s... that's still years away, but I doubt it ever becomes clear.

      I'm not even running 5k yet. I only been doing it like a month. But you're on my Instagram, so you'll see how it goes (it's pretty much all I post. I'm actually really boring but shh, I'm pretending to be cool).
      I mostly run in the rain - I live in Scotland so I have to run in the rain if I want to run.

      Absolutely not. Talking about castles, I was really disappointed when I found out what a flying buttress is. They don't fly at all! That's rubbish.

      If I wrote a blog (I keep starting them and ditching them, I'm trying to get the courage to try vlogging next), it would probably be this - books, adventures, life, side stories on mental health. I keep reading that a blog should be themed, should be lifestyle or make up or whatever, it is so refreshing to read someone writing the kinda things I wish I was writing. You're doing awesome :)
      You're welcome, Emily :)

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    3. That makes me feel slightly better that even 30 year olds and 40 year olds are still pretty much making it up as they go!

      That still a big accomplishment to set a goal to run a 5k! And running in the rain doesn't sound that great, especially if it's cold out! But I'd take the cold over the heat my state usually is in! It's supposed to be autumn here, but it still feels like summer!

      Flying buttresses sound so much cooler than they actually are! They were probably named that to make it seem like architecture is much more cool and dangerous.

      That really means a lot, thank you! I really am trying to write about what I believe in and what hopefully other people would like to read. (And trying not to conform to being a stereotypical beauty/lifestyle blogger at the same time) I've read that a blog should just have one theme too, but who just likes and can only focus on one thing?? You should start blogging again! If we have the same interests I'd love to read your views on books, mental health and everything in between (and other people would as well) :) Or start vlogging! That's always fun to get a visual peek into someone's life and their opinion. Thank you again for the kind words. They mean a lot to me and my little blog!

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