It gets really crowded in here. I don’t hang around long and I recommend you don’t get a membership either. Not worth it. Trust me. But hey, get your bucket filled up with sympathy. Then let it go.
How do you do that? The let go part?
First, I need to make something clear. I’m not talking about depression. I have friends and relatives that endure agony so deep and bitter most of us couldn’t be there more than a few seconds. I’m talking about the sometimes, feeling in the dumps, just leave me alone kind of blues stuff. Okay?
Growing up, I often put on “the mood” and my mother called it Logo on the Bogo? What the hell is that? I thought it was a real thing because I associated it with the way I was feeling. Who knows what set it off? Anyway, I have now come to know it was a household malady and not known to the general public.
But there were certain feelings attached. Loose ends, bored, out of sorts, cranky, not pleasant to be around, wanting to be alone but wishing to be with others, doing regular things does not bring happiness. Lots of wandering around and staring at nothing. Doesn’t last too long and can’t really remember much about it later. Stuff like that.
Ring any bells? I’m sure you have your own version.
Now back to how to let go. First of all, look at it. What’s going on in your life right at the time. Did someone or something disappoint you? Did you disappoint yourself? Is it the weather? Has it been raining more than forty days and forty nights? Has the winter been dragging on too long or maybe the temperature has been over one hundred for so long your thermometer melted.
Sometimes external things are a trigger to more subtle internal things and that is where it gets tricky, doesn’t it?
I don’t remember any of the reasons I was blue and out of sorts as a child, just that it happened fairly often. However, I do remember times as an adult. Mostly it had to do with continuing to do something or be with someone when I knew it was the wrong thing to do but didn’t seem to have the oomph to change it. The struggle seemed easier than any alternative at the time and being an optimist, I kept looking for the magic wand to wave and have it all be different.
I would put on my old Frank Sinatra records like “Only the Lonely”, sit in the dark and feel real sorry for my disgusting pitiful self. Those were the old days.
Now that I am mid-life (aka old), I have the new and improved methods of kicking the blues. And I have never looked back. Oh, I still listen to Frank but now I smile a knowing smile and say “I got this Frank. Thanks.”
Do you know Bored Panda? If so then you know this is a good site to get your mind off yourself on onto something more wholesome and active. If you don’t know it then check it out at www.boredpanda.com and get it coming to your email about once a week. IT is for creatives so be prepared. Some of the stuff is so schlocky you have to roll your eyes. I scroll through and see what I am interested in (mostly animals and kid stuff) and some cartoons and the rest I don’t bother with. You will find your interests too.
Watch comedy. Watch a lot of comedy or listen to it. That works too. Netflix and YouTube are great resources for comedy. Indulge yourself. Get the liquid refreshment of your choice, some nibbles, and sit back. There are lots of comedians and you might have to test out some and see if it is your kind of humor. If you aren’t laughing, then switch. This is about you having a jolt out of your blues.
Read a trashy book. This might be more for women, I don’t know. Fifty Shades of Grey was the fastest selling book of all time. I haven’t read it so I cannot make comment but go for something like that. There are lots of them. I prefer adventure of the wildest imagination, and sex is good too.
Listen to music. Sign up for Spotify or Pandora or one of the other music sites. Put together a play list of music that makes you want to dance. And yes, dancing goes with the music so find a private place in your garage or basement or even the bathroom and practice a few moves. None of the fancy ballroom stuff where you need a twirly skirt and some nice shoes. No this is dancing in the nude stuff. Yes, you can turn off the lights if you don’t fall on your butt and hurt yourself. Partners are not necessary and most often not wanted or needed either. Night is a good time to practice this or far away outdoors would work too. I promise you that if someone saw you, they would be too embarrassed and mortified to let you know they saw you or they would ask to join you.
Take a drive. A long drive. Don’t plan it. The best would be if you could rent a convertible if you don’t already have one and put the top down and go out into the country somewhere or along the coast or around the corn fields. It doesn’t matter. If it is cold, then bundle up. Turn the radio up too.
Are you getting the idea here? Jolt yourself out of whatever funk you are in by whatever method it takes after wallowing in it for a few days. That’s all you get.
Another way that works, even if you might think it is woo woo, is writing down some gratitude statements. If you don’t know where to start then start with the obvious things such as I am grateful I am alive, I am grateful I woke up this morning, I am grateful I can write this sentence, I am grateful I can see the paper to write on. Very obvious things. Then other things will creep in. Your dog or cat, your spouse and kids, your home, your friends, the park near your house. Keep going on that and do it every day for about 2–5 minutes.
When you write down what you are grateful for your mind calms down and you breathe more slowly and your body and that ever vigilant guardian in your head quiets down too. This is the place to look again at why you were feeling blue. This is probably a good time to review your purpose and see if you are on track with where you want to be in your life.
Now my little secret and what works for me 95% of the time is to open the door and get my butt outside moving. If you can walk by some water that is even better. Many greenways are along rivers and streams. But a pond is fine too and a lake. Humans are mostly water and we are drawn to it. It is part of who we are on a deeper level.
No water, no problem. A park is good too. Even a small one. I’ve found a lot of solace walking around a plant nursery. For those of you who live in crowded cities, try to get to the roof if you can or even the fire escape. In New York city there are lots of tiny parks here and there as there are in other crowded cities.
Now it is spring and soon all of the fresh markets will start opening up. When I am in Portland, I can find one every day of the week in some neighborhood. My favorite right now is the one at Portland State University in the park blocks.
Listen to yourself and your special place will appear. This is your life. Don’t give it away.