I get into my mental/emotional ruts fairly often, and I know a lot of my friends do too, so this is for you. These are things I do to get out of my ruts:
Make a list of the things that make you happy, even if just a little bit. Favorite foods, shows, books, people, etc. Partake of those things.
Do any places or events make you happy? Make a slideshow of images of the things that make you happy and use it as your screensaver. It’ll bring little smiles to you when you start up your computer or whenever you don’t have any windows on the screen.
Who or what inspires you in life? Who are your heroes? Who do you admire? Watch videos of their stuff. I find TED Talks to be very uplifting. Check out http://www.ted.com/ and watch the ones that interest you. There’s a lot of great, innovative stuff there. Watch some stand-up comedy or whatever you find funny. Laughter helps.
Even if you don’t feel like it, put on some music and clean up your place. Having a lot of clutter only exacerbates depression. Plus, movement of any kind will help. A clean place is a lot more uplifting than a cluttered place. Plus, not having it clean then nags at you because you know you should. If it’s clean, it won’t bug you. One less thing to feel down about.
Sometimes I’ll sing karaoke at home just because singing uplifts me. I have a program called KaraFun which you can download for free here: http://www.karafun.com/ There are lots of karaoke torrents out there that you can find at your favorite torrent search sites.
Get out of town. Save up enough to go to the coast, or camping, or to a city that’s less than a day’s drive away. I like San Diego, and I’m not terribly far from Las Vegas, Tucson, or Rocky Point. Just a small trip can keep you sane and change your perspective.
You’re unhappy because you want things to be other than they are. What can you to do make them less like they are, or more like you’d like them to be? Any small steps at all? Do them.
Think of a meal you really like and make it yourself. It’s a small sense of achievement and it’s comforting.
Do anything physical. Walk somewhere, hike, dance, some calisthenics, wank, whatever. Physical activity of any kind gets you clearer and makes you feel better. Do anything but sit there and sulk.
Remember that other people are in their own shit and don’t exist to come to your rescue when you’re down. That’s up to you. No one is going to make you happy. Sometimes you really just need to be around people, and sometimes those people will have to be strangers. That’ll be hard sometimes and may make you feel that others don’t care. If you’re down a lot, they might not want to be around you because they don’t want to deal with your drama. They have enough of their own.
I’ve realized this about myself lately and am endeavoring to be more positive, or at least less outwardly negative. No one likes to hang with a sad sack. They probably need some uplifting too, so why should they hang with me when all I’m doing is bitching or feeling sorry for myself? We’re adults. Sometimes we gotta slog through some lonely or difficult times on our own.
In the end, it’s all you. You have to take steps to change things. Maybe you even need some help. Find some, in whatever capacity you can. If you can do something about your situation, do it. If you can’t, say “fuck it” and forget about it.
Finally, remember these words: this too shall pass. Your bad times won’t last forever, nor will your good times. We go through waves of up and down, and that’s life. Nothing is permanent, so enjoy what you can and ignore what you can. Sometimes life just sucks, and you have to ride it through. Remember, it won’t last forever and something good will eventually come, but it will most likely require at least a little effort on your part to come about.
Of course, when you’re in the shit, all the words in the world mean nothing. That’s why sometimes you just shut off your mind and do something. Maybe learn a new skill or take on a new hobby, or just find something to occupy your mind for a while. Just don’t sit and do nothing, as that is probably the cause of half your problems.
Hope this helps, my friends. And yes, I need to take my own advice much better. I find that writing things to help others often helps me feel better. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to do something for someone else.
© 2015 William Suphan
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