Back to Basics

I admit the last few days I have not been in a ‘live happier’ place.  I would even say I have been down right crabby, not feeling well, tired, anxious, sad you name the opposite of happy and I have been feeling it. Today as I sipped my coffee and watched my dog playing in the back yard I reminded myself that part of living happier is occasionally feeling sad.  I believe, it is in these times of contemplation and struggle, that we begin the spiral up process.  These emotions all part of the yin and yang of life.

However, even though there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, these downhill phases of life are a challenge so today I am going back to basics. Back to the simplicity and self care. I am going to offer some tips for taking care of yourself when living happier really seems like an impossible goal.
Do something soothing for yourself. A hot bath (that always seems to be the one suggestion everyone gives when you think of doing something soothing but in reality, I think of that as work, cleaning the tub, getting wet, and sitting in water that only remains hot for a short period of time but if this feels soothing to you rock on!!)  Maybe it is a walk around the block, a really yummy dinner, a good book,  hanging on the couch and watching a good movie or blasting your favorite song on the radio.  Whatever is soothing for you and comforts your soul–engage, enjoy!
Remember this too shall pass.  Frequently when I get stuck in a bad mood my evil negative Nancy comes out and starts hammering me because I am in a bad mood (which SHOCKER! only puts me deeper in a bad mood).  Allow yourself the space to feel whatever you are feeling (without hurting others of course) and give yourself room to have sad, angry, frustrated days from time to time.  From those days come the fun, joyful happy days as well.
Gratitude.  I am a HUGE believer in gratitude.  Even when I am feeling bad I still try to mentally come up with my 5 things in my life for which I am grateful.  Whether it be something as small as the crisp cool weather, or as large as my health, it doesn’t matter.  But gratitude soothes the soul and is an excellent repellent to that pesky negative voice.
Reach out.  Ask for Help.  Yes, sometimes crawling into bed and camping out there for the afternoon sounds like the best plan. And sometimes it is.  But I know for me that when I go against my first reaction which is to isolate myself and I reach out to my friends and family and share my frustration, anger or sadness I tend to feel better.  Even if we don’t SOLVE the problem, just knowing we are not alone is a big relief. So call up a friend or family member or even a professional and ask for help.
So there you have it, my tips for getting through the downhill periods of life.  I would love to hear from you.  How do you handle a bad mood?  What tips would you offer for living happier when you just aren’t feeling it?