Sometimes bad things happen. Blame it on Mercury being in retrograde (even though it’s not currently) or just bad luck, but it happens to everyone. A couple of weeks ago, I went down to the bike cage in our building to retrieve my bike, and it wasn’t there.
I saw Fabio’s bike chained up nice and securely with its heavy duty “U” lock, but my bike that had been chained up with a standard bike chain was mysteriously missing. I noticed that all the other bikes in the cage all had the sturdier U locks as well, and sadly came to the conclusion that my bike was stolen. Boo. To add insult to injury, I was planning to bike to a barre class at Fly Wheel that I had booked on ClassPass, and didn’t have time to hail an Uber over there after spending so much time double and triple checking that my bike was missing, so I wound up having to miss class and pay the $20 fine. Ugh.
Then last week on my way to work I dropped my iPhone and the screen cracked.
I wasn’t doing anything crazy, I just went to pull out my wallet to pay my daily metro fare and out tumbled my phone onto the sidewalk. Though it still worked ok the screen was black in a couple of places and I really didn’t want to cut my fingers on the cracked glass so I made the trip to Apple and paid $109 to get it fixed (really not too horrible all things considered).
They always say bad things come in threes so I’m hoping nothing else bad happens to me *knocks on wood.* I actually thought a third bad thing had already happened but now I’m having trouble remembering what it was. Maybe I got away lucky?
Anyway all this is to say that life is not always perfect, and sometimes it’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a negative funk. This is especially true for me right now since (in addition to the stolen bike and broken phone) I am suffering from some post-fun depression after Megan’s wedding over the weekend. I had been looking forward to the wedding and all of its festivities for literally a year, and now I don’t know when I’m going to see all of my best friends again and am feeling a bit down. You know that feeling when Christmas is over? It’s just like that only add a stolen bike and $100+ down the drain on my phone. Womp womp.
This is not the first, nor will it be the last time I’ve felt like this. Luckily I do have some tips for getting myself out of a funk that I thought I’d share with you today. You know, just in case there are other people out there who had their bikes stolen or cracked an iPhone or messed up at work or burned their dinner or forgot to do something important or….well, you get the idea. Life happens! Here’s how to pick yourself back up.
1. Upon waking up, think happy thoughts. This is something I’ve always done, and I’m not sure whether other people do this too so I thought I’d share. Ever since I can remember, I have searched my brain for happy thoughts as soon as I’ve opened my eyes in the morning. When the alarm goes off and I don’t want to get out of bed, I simply think ahead to everything happy or fun that I have going on, and I instantly feel better. Sometimes it’s something big (e.g., I’m going on vacation in a month) and sometimes it’s something small (I’m so excited for that new recipe I’m making for dinner tonight). No matter what I come up with, having a positive thought in my head from the minute I wake up helps set my day off on the right foot.
2. Make a happiness list or keep a positivity journal. I’ve told you guys about my positivity journal before (read more about it here) but I truly believe that making an effort to think about and write down positive thoughts will help with your overall happiness. It can include anything from your dreams/goals to little things that make you happy in your current life. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy since you’re the only one who will be reading it. Here are some examples of things I would write down in mine:
- Jack’s tail wagging when I get home from work
- The BBQ at my mom’s house this weekend
- My new kindle (!!)
- The ice cream social at work
- The travel wall I’m planning to hang above our couch
See? It’s all silly stuff, but it makes me happy. If you want to combine tip one and tip two, write in your journal before you go to bed and read through your list first thing in the morning. I swear it helps!
3. Do what makes you happy. I am a people-pleaser and an over achiever by nature, so this one took me a while to learn. However, it is so, so important to do what makes you happy. If someone invites you to do something that you just really don’t feel like doing, don’t do it. (But also, don’t pretend to go and then flake later, just be honest and explain how you’re feeling. A true friend will always understand!) The other day I came home from work exhausted and I knew I needed to fold the laundry and unload the dishwasher and make dinner. But I just didn’t feel like it, so I picked up sushi from Harris Teeter and sat on the couch and watched the Bachelorette. And you know what? I felt great! Obviously this doesn’t work all the time but if you are a go-go-go person like I am, it’s ok to give yourself a break sometimes to do what is actually going to make you happy. You do you. Always.
4. Take a step back to identify what’s really bothering you. Sometimes I find myself in a bad mood, but I don’t really know why. I will find myself grumpy or snappy for no reason, and I know that’s not ok. Taking a quiet moment to stop what you’re doing and really evaluate your feelings can be a big step in helping you feel better. Sometimes I’ll realize something was bothering me at work, and then I’ll vent about it to Fabio. Other times I will realize something small that Fabio did was driving me crazy, and then I’ll talk about it with him and feel better. It’s ok to be in a funk “just because” sometimes, but if you think there might be something more to it then you should take the time to listen to your feelings and do something about it.
5. When all else fails, try these tricks:
- Go for a walk outside – I especially like walking Jack and listening to a favorite podcast.
- Listen to your favorite music – When I’m feeling down I like to listen to old songs that I loved as a kid/in high school, which is usually country music!
- Call a friend – These days people hardly ever call each other, but it really is the best way to keep up relationships. I am lucky enough to have a lot of friends I can call when I’m feeling down and I know each and every one of them will be there for me. I also like when my friends call me when they’re upset because I like knowing they think of me as someone they can turn to.
- Work out your frustrations – It’s amazing what a sweaty workout or a long run can do to boost your mood.
- Snuggle with loved ones and pets – There is nothing better than snuggling on the couch with Jack and Fabio.
- Wine! 😉
Question of the day: What’s your favorite trick for boosting your mood?
P.S. Anyone else think about their dinner when they first wake up? 😉