It happens to all of us…we wake up and something is just off.
It’s okay–we’re human and as humans it is normal for us to have some days that are a little less FabYOUlous than others. This doesn’t mean that we’re broken or that things are hopeless. It just means that we need to make a bit more of a concentrated effort to banish our blues and turn our drab back into FAB.
When I get hit with a less-than-FAB day, this list of 25 FabYOUlous Ways to Beat the Blues always provides me with some inspiring ideas on how to correct my course, raise my vibration and improve my outlook. The suggestions are simple and mostly free, so there is no reason not to pick a few and give them a shot the next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps–you’ll be feeling back to your FabYOUlous self in no time.
25 Fab-YOU-lous Ways to Beat the Blues
1.) Grab a pen and make a list of everything that is preventing you from feeling FabYOUlous today. Yes–I know that “Law of Attraction” gurus will tell us NOT to focus on the negative, but I have found that just jotting down my list of grievances helps me to put things into perspective. Yes–I may have stepped in cat yark when I woke up (stupid hairballs!) but is that really a big deal considering the fact that I did in fact wake up and that I am healthy and have three sweet kitties who love me?
Listing the things that are aggravating me also helps me to see which ones might be easily remedied and gives me the internal nudge that I need to take care of them. This list also alerts me to bigger issues in my life (relationship or career woes, health struggles etc.) and forces me to either address them or find someone who can help me deal with them.
2.) Make another list–this time of your blessings. For me, this is always a humbling and gratifying experience. No matter how badly I may think that I have it; my blessing list is always longer than my list of negatives. I’ve tried to incorporate this step into my nightly bedtime routine and now have a little notebook on my nightstand where I jot down five things for which I am grateful. This simple practice of acknowledging my blessings is one of the quickest ways I’ve found for boosting my mood. Plus–being able to flip back and read earlier entries always provides me with an added boost of positivity.
3.) If you normally watch a lot of television, decide (just for one day) to only watch one quality program. Use your new found free time to do something special for yourself like take a bubble bath, go for a walk, paint your toenails etc.
4.) Get out an unfinished project and complete it. I am the worst when it comes to starting new projects but then not completing them because I get distracted by yet another shiny new project. This “Shiny Object Syndrome” causes me to have half knitted afghans, half read books and half written articles strewn around my living space. Nothing makes me feel lighter and freer than grabbing one of those projects, knuckling down and getting it completed.
5.) Start a new project. On the flip-side of the previous entry is the excitement of starting something new. Sometimes just flipping through my knitting magazines and making a list of the yarn that I need to go buy for my next project is enough to get me excited and gives me something fun to look forward to.
6.) Give your environment a face-lift. This doesn’t have to mean an extreme overhaul–just go for something quick and easy. I’m always amazed at how something as simple as new dishtowels or a pretty new picture frame can lift my spirits.
7.) Eat foods that are high in Vitamin B (grains, fruits, veggies etc.). Not only will you reap the numerous health benefits associated with this important nutrient, you’ll also reap emotional rewards because Vitamin B is essential when it comes to healthy regulation of the nervous system and it helps to reduce levels of depression and stress.
8.) Visit with a cheerful friend. When you are feeling down in the dumps it is crucial that you NOT associate with negative people. Misery might love company but miserable company only makes things worse. Instead, think of your most upbeat friend and give her a call. Her cheerful attitude and sunny disposition might just rub off on you. Click here for advice on what types of friends to avoid and what types to surround yourself with.
9.) Spoil yourself a little. No, this is not carte blanche permission to go out and spend your entire paycheck on new shoes–it is however, permission to go out and spoil yourself with a small treat. For me it’s books and yarn but maybe for you it’s a new bottle of pretty nail polish or a candle with a scent that reminds you of your long ago beach vacation. Little indulgences can remind us that we are valuable and worthy of a little something special.
10.) Go for a walk/run/bike ride. Few things snap me out of a funk faster than fresh air and exercise–the effects are especially compounded when I can combine the two.
11.) Smile…a lot. Science has proven that we can fool ourselves into a good mood simply by smiling. It doesn’t cost a thing and it really can lift your spirits. When you’re having a bad day, turn it around by smiling at every person you pass. Not only will you lift their spirits–you’ll give your own psyche a happiness boost too.
12.) Crank some upbeat tunes. For me it’s music from the 80’s hair metal scene (click here to read more about my penchant for obnoxious music). I simply can’t stay stay in a bad mood while listening to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or Whitesnake’s “Here I go Again”. You don’t have to follow my lead though–if you’re into country, crank some Luke Bryan, if it’s pop that gets you going, try some Lady Gaga. If you’re into classical piano then by all means…crank whoever it is that does that???? The point is that it doesn’t matter what genre of music you choose, just pick something that resonates with you and make sure that you select songs that have a faster tempo rather than slow.
13.) Buy yourself a bouquet. Everyone loves flowers–they add beauty, color and a wonderful aroma to our environment. When you’re feeling down, buy yourself a small bouquet of pretty flowers and notice just how much brighter your day becomes.
14.) Write a note of appreciation to someone who makes a positive difference in your life. Whether they are a celebrity who inspired you in some way or your neighbor who returned your puppy when he escaped your yard and didn’t call the dog catcher. Showing appreciation for someone else is a sure-fire way to take your mind off of your own problems and the act of writing is therapeutic for many people.
15.) Add some order to your environment. It can be so nerve wracking to have piles of paper laying around and dirty clothes on the floor. This feeling is compounded even more when you’re already in a bit of a funk. Try setting a timer for ten minutes and use that time to pick up/organize/put away as many things as possible. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in just a short amount of time and how much better you’ll feel when some semblance of order has been restored to your area.
16.) Let yourself daydream. Some of my best ideas and thoughts have come to me when I was daydreaming. Let yourself break free from monotony by indulging in some occasional daydream time. Imagine what you’d like for your life to look like in five years–what career will you have? Where will you live? Who will be sharing your life with you? A little bit of daydreaming can pull you out of your doldrums by revving your creativity and narrowing your focus. Don’t forget to have a pen and paper handy while you daydream because every great accomplishment once started out as someone’s daydream–you’ll want to jot down any insights that your daydreams reveal.
17.) Learn a new joke and then text it to someone. Here’s one that you can start with: Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide. HAHAHA! Laughter truly is the best medicine and when you’ve got the blues, nothing feels better than sharing a chuckle or two with friends.
18.) Declare a “Be Kind to Your Body” Day. Get a haircut, facial, massage or pedicure. Treating yourself to a little pampering will not only help you to feel better, it’ll help you to look better too and let’s face it, it is easier to feel good when we know that we look good.
19.) Lose yourself in a good book. I love to read and nothing can help pull me out of a funk faster than a good book. It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy literature, just something fun that helps you to escape reality for a while. Right now I am reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. It is a series of paranormal romance stories based on members of a sexy, bad ass vampire clan. Okay–clearly, this is not Oprah’s book club material but still…the stories are fun to read and doing so provides me with a nice little break–something that is especially valuable if I’m feeling low.
20.) Do an anonymous good deed. Doing good feels good–it’s as simple as that. The more good we do in the world, the better we will feel. Don’t do good as a way to garner recognition for yourself or as an attempt to place others in your debt. Do good simply because it is the right thing to do. Try feeding the meter for someone before the parking attendant gets a chance to ticket them or leave a little extra cash with your next tip for a hardworking waiter. The gestures don’t have to be big or flashy–just sincere and done with the intention of making someone else’s day a little brighter. You simply can’t brighten someone else’s day without bringing a little more sunshine to your own.
21.) Stroll through a park. Soak up a little sun and enjoy a little fresh air. Sunlight boosts serotonin (our body’s feel good chemical) levels and fresh air energizes the senses. Even if it is chilly or rainy, a few minutes spent outside can have lasting positive effects on mood.
22.) Plant some flowers. Get your hands dirty and do a little digging. Not only will planting flowers (whether in the earth or in pots) beautify your surroundings, it will also help to ground your emotions and boost your level of happiness and overall satisfaction.
23.) Connect with a favorite animal. I have three cats (yes–I’m that person) and I love each one of them immensely. When I’m feeling low, having one of my kitties curl up in my lap and revel in my affection is an instant blues beater. Maybe you’re more of a dog person…or a ferret person (really??) It doesn’t matter what kind of animal you favor as long as you are able to enjoy a little bonding time together with your critter. If you don’t have an animal of your own, no worries–there are animal shelters in every community that are full of animals who need some extra love and attention. These shelters are always looking for committed volunteers and the rewards are immeasurable for both the animals and the humans who love them.
24.) Learn to meditate. Simply put, meditation is quiet, relaxed contemplation. It is a FabYOUlous way to ease tension and anxiety and get in touch with your truest thoughts and feelings. If you are unsure as to how to get started with a meditation practice, try downloading the Insight Timer app from iTunes or visiting the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center’s website (click here for the link) for free guided meditations that you can download and listen to. You can also click here for more great tips on incorporating a sustainable meditation practice into your life.
25.) Remember that having a good day is a choice that we can all make. We might not always be able to control the things that happen to us but we absolutely can control our reactions to these things. Despite the things that may be weighing you down, you can make the choice to have a positive attitude and you can choose to take positive actions in your life. Enough positive choices will add up a more positive life–it’s as simple as that. To read more about the impact of choices in our life click here.
Hopefully this list will provide you with some quick and easy ideas to incorporate into your life the next time you’re feeling a bit more drab than FAB. If however; your funk just keeps getting funkier and you can’t seem to shake the dark cloud that is following you around, please seek out professional help. There is no shame in seeking counseling (it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself) and it really can make a difference. You are FabYOUlous and you deserve nothing less than a truly FabYOUlous life.