Before my move to San Francisco, I had a lot of alone time — since my husband James moved a month before me. I did a lot of reading (which I always love to do). I read the book The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin. She took a year and found personal ways to make her life happier, and she blogged about her journey and wrote a book. Her journey was not unlike what I do about my fitness/weight loss/charity journey. I loved the book and learned a lot about the search for happiness.
It never escapes me that many people are out in the world dealing with sadness and depression. Some of us are just dealing with what I like to call situational sadness: the blues that comes on briefly (or sometimes not so briefly) related to a life issue that is not too severe but still wrecks havoc on your daily mood. For some it may be work, or the struggles of the mundane realities of life and living; stress. I am not speaking of the bigger issues of life, but the small but seemingly monumental moments that take us to a place we may not wish to go.
I have five things I do to chase the blues away and get back to being me, in love with life and living.
1. Take care of your temple, your soul vessel, your body. Get some sleep, and get some exercise and eat right. These things combined will do so much for your mood. Sleep is a no brainer, when I am well rested everything else just comes so easy. Endorphins? It is a fact that exercise raises your happy hormones and ups the ante on your mood. Eat right, and lose weight if need be, I have noticed such a change in myself, my mood, and my self esteem since I have lost over 45 lbs. If you are trying to lose weight, my advice to you is to enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination.
2. Listen to Happy Music. Ok I have so many genres of happy music that I could write all day about them. Big Band from the 1940’s is happy music for me. I play it while I am cooking or doing a little light writing. It puts me in place long gone by, Hollywood movies of yesteryear and war time optimism of the 1940s. It was a difficult time in our history but you would never know this by listening to swing music. I love to swing dance, and it makes me want to find a partner and lindy hop forever. I have music for running, music for dancing, music for writing. Everything I do is motivated by music. The right beat has can literally turn my cloudy skies to blue.
3. Get out into nature: I loved working out in LA outside, using the tree to do TRX. I called it mobile meditation and I still do my cardio outdoors. Running in the great outdoors, hiking up a cliff with the gift of a magestic view when you arrive at the top, walking on the beach and breathing in the sea air and listening to the waves crash against the shore. If you are in a winter climate bundle up and go sledding, just get outside daily and get some sunlight.
4. Do something for someone else: Get out of your own head and into someone else’s problems. Chances are you will really make a difference in someone’s life and in your own the realization that your issues were not so big after all.
5.Muse off how you are feeling: I write poetry and essays and now I also love to snap photographs of nature. I draw and I dance. I used to perform in Musical Theater. I love to be creative and I am always looking for an outlet to muse off of. Whatever works for you. Are you a crafter? Do you love to cook or bake? Just get up, get inspired and be creative.You are never too old, and it is never too late. As long as you wake up breathing you have a chance to be whatever you dream to be. Just be your authentic creative self.
Be fearless, be ageless, and if need be make the changes to be happy. You can choose to be happy or choose to be miserable. You can write your own script and paint your own portrait. It is your choice to make so do not be hesitant. You have control over your life. Life is not prison, we are free to go and do as you please. Climb that mountain and move cross country.Own your own freedom and beautiful gift of life.