Over the past few weeks I just haven’t been myself; I have been very unmotivated, tired, irritable and really wanting to do nothing else but lay in my bathrobe around the apartment all day, not talking to the outside world, even my friends and Mark. It seemed strange to people close to me since I am a fairly outgoing person and always looked forward to see them. This week, I tried to cancel plans with my best friend to go see a movie we both had been looking forward to but I didn’t get in touch with her in time and forced myself out of the apartment without even running a comb through my hair, I just didn’t care how I appeared. She finally sat me down in a food court where we had gone for coffee before the movie and asked how I was doing. I replied by almost immediately balling my eyes out and explaining to her how unhappy I felt. Truth was I had felt unhappy for a while but did not mention it to anyone since I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why I was unhappy; I have a job with my friends (I am not too crazy about the job itself but I do love the people I work with), an apartment to live in, my family and I are in good health, Mark is great and super supportive so why was I so unhappy?
I felt really ashamed that I could feel this way without any real cause. My friend assured me while handing me a napkin that these things can just happen and I shouldn’t apologize for my feelings since I wasn’t hurting anyone else but myself. After this conversation I felt a lot better and a weight on my chest had been lifted even though I did get a couple of stares from people in the food court (Remember that episode of How I Met Your Mother about living in a big city too long? I was Robin in this case: crying in a public place and not giving one damn who saw me.) We laughed out loud at American Hustle and questioned just how the women got their hair so big, wondering if we could do it for each other. My friend and I have a serious addiction to big hair and gaudy makeup, not that we would do it ourselves (in public anyways) but we admire it in others.
Later at home, I decided to write out an action plan about how I would make myself happy again by writing out a list of things that make me smile and look forward to something. I had been so consumed by the routine of getting up, going to work, coming home tired, search dumb stuff online and going to bed that I had forgotten to do things that I actually enjoy such as: cooking, writing, taking pictures, planning and researching recipe ideas, singing (please note I can’t sing a lick but it makes me happy to pretend) and dancing around to 90’s female pop singers. As silly as these things sound they do make me happy in some way. Mark also suggested taking a yoga class since he is a big yogi (Am I writing that correctly? Yogi? Like Yogi Bear?) When I opened up my email the next morning after the big cry fest and saw a Groupon for yoga classes near my house. I felt it was a sign and purchased them right away.
Since my slight meltdown, I have begun writing more, taking more pictures and not just of food and unfortunately to anyone with ears I have begun singing in the shower before work, really dramatic stuff like Disney, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera (It helps to do the Phantom singing parts by covering half of your face with your hand but be sure to rinse your hand of all shampoo before doing this since it really does sting)
Though most of these actions do not help me in my goals or milestones in life they certainly make me feel happier as a person every day, which should be everyone’s life goal.
My advice to you when you are feeling sad is to accept that it is ok to feel sad every now and then because once you can believe that you may suddenly not feel so blue anymore. Writing lists motivate me to get out of a rut or self-pity pit but it may not be for everyone. Happiness doesn’t just fall onto your lap, you need to plan for it like anything else. Either you can hole yourself up in your house or you can brush you hair, put on your jacket and go do something about it. I am choosing to do something and I highly encourage you to do the same.
What do you do when you are feeling down? Please leave your suggestions below.
Over the next few weeks there will be posts dedicated to my action plan for being happy in hopes that people will be encouraged to do the things that make them happy. I hope with this post that someone feeling sad may read it, try something they wouldn’t have thought of from someone’s suggestion and it helping them feel like more of themselves again.