What to Do When You Feel Down
Ho hum, some days just don’t feel all that inspirational. You’ve tried the usual things – taking it to God in prayer, coffee, maybe a bite of something tasty – but you’re still feeling off. What’s a body to do when she just can’t seem to get that lift back in her step?
Through trial and error, as well as some sound suggestions from others, here is a list to start you off. Please share your own ideas in the comments.
Mother Knows Best
My mother suffered from chemical imbalances that caused some pretty deep depression. She was a lively German by nature, but some mornings found her feeling hopeless and blue. Her go-to ideas came from inspirational reading and talks with others and included:
Singing a song whether she felt like it or not.
Looking in the mirror and smiling, even if it didn’t start out being a genuine smile.
Surrounding herself with positive people. She once tested me without my knowledge. After we had been together for a couple of hours she told me, “Did you know that you haven’t said a single negative thing?” Whew, I’m glad I passed the test that day because some days I wouldn’t have.
Find a change of scenery
Whether it’s going for a drive, visiting a chapel, or just sitting outside on your porch. Leave the space you are occupying now and find a new vantage point. Notice the little things. The ants, busy with their tasks, are a great example of hard work and initiative. Their tiny world is a fascinating place to visit. The breeze, as it blows through sun-speckled leaves, provides wonderful shadowy displays. There’s something uplifting about nature and the splendor of God’s creation that has no equal.
Making a visit with Jesus is always a good idea. Running to Him when we feel down has been known to be a real inspiration. Talk to Him, in the Blessed Sacrament, as you would with any other friend – only this Friend created you and you have His full attention. Sometimes just verbalizing (interiorly or with spoken words) does wonders for our mood.
If you can’t make it to church, pray the Rosary. That’s one of my never fail, pick me up, remedies for feeling ‘off’.
When You Feel Down, Get Creative
Have you been wanting to write something, sew, or try your hand at a craft? Find an idea that inspires your creative side. Better yet, find someone with similar interests and do a project together.
At the suggestion of someone I follow for inspiration writing, I have begun to keep an unusual type of journal. In it I make note of anything on my mind. Am I praying a Novena? Write down the intention, a saint to ask to join you, and a person in need of prayer. How about if I’m working on a kitchen remodel? I sketch out ideas and make notes for my husband, who then turns my inspirations into reality. Sometimes just making a list and realizing the accomplishments of the day are enough to lift my mood.
However you choose to do this, make it your own. For example, I don’t use my sketch/journal book daily. It’s just there for when I need it. I also enjoy looking back over the pages to walk back in time.
Do Something for Someone Else
Bake a cake and decorate it for someone else who needs a boost.
Look into the eyes of a child and really listen to what they are saying. Make a clover necklace and crown, even though you really don’t feel like it. The smile glowing in those little eyes with surely give your heart a glow.
Or call someone you have neglected and might be feeling lonely. Doing for others does as much for us as it does for them.
Keep a stack of blank note cards handy and jot down a brief message to someone you feel might need a lift.
Don’t Just Languish
There, you have a partial list of things to lighten and brighten your day when you feel down. I feel better now too. Sometimes, the thing that makes me feel the best is to put my thoughts down in words and then share them with others. I think it’s because it helps me to analyze exactly what it is that we are lacking and what it is we need. After all, we are the Body of Christ and can find comfort from Him, through our brothers and sisters.
Now off to enjoy some sunshine and nature! Open air Rosary, perhaps.