Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #17: feel better soon

I've been feeling a little gloomy about the world lately. The world, I suppose, has always been both a gloomy and glorious place. Sometimes it seems like we've screwed it up so badly that there is no hope. Then I hear my five-year-old son talking about ecosystems and solar power, and I realize there is hope after all.

Anyway, for better or worse, this world is all we've got. I figure our time is better spent doing what we can to make it better rather than sitting around moping. Next week I'll feature 13 things we can do to make the world a better place.

In the meantime, I bring you...

Thirteen Ways to Feel Better

1. Exercise regularly. This is often the last thing we want to do when we're not feeling so hot, but it's one of the most effective mood-boosters out there. If you can work some form of exercise into your routine it won't be so hard to force yourself to do it.

2. Eat healthy foods. This seems obvious, but then why do we reach for chips and candy bars when we're feeling low? Again, the best approach is to habitually eat healthy foods, and don't keep much junk food on hand.

3. Then again, a little well-timed chocolate can come in handy. A small portion of high quality chocolate will yield the most satisfaction (and the fewest calories).

4. Read a book all curled up in a comfy chair or tuck yourself into bed early and catch up on those magazines that are piling up because you never have time to read them.

5. Volunteer. Try to find something you are passionate about and donate some of your time.

6. Think through your purchases, and if possible, live beneath your means. Overspending and under-saving causes stress, especially in these uncertain financial times.

7. If you have more than you need, give something to someone who has less than they need.

8. Sit down with a child and read books. Spend half an hour on one page if that's their pace.

9. Get outside. Go for a leisurely stroll. Take the kids to a park. Just sit. Lie in the grass. Eat breakfast on the patio. (Easy for me to say now that I live in California. When I was in Iowa I preferred to stay indoors from December through March.)

10. Laugh. Whatever it is that strikes your funny bone, indulge daily.

11. Smile. Fake it till you feel it. I'm actually terrible at this. My default face is serious, so I have to remind myself to smile. I am thinking about putting up posters around my house to train myself. But it's amazing how well forcing yourself to smile works. It really does lighten your mood, and if you are around others, it makes them feel better too.

12. Call a friend to chat. Have a coffee with your neighbor. Invite someone over for dinner. Go out with old friends, or someone you'd like to get to know better. Social interaction and connection tends to make us feel better about our place in the world.

13. Count your blessings. When I am sick and tired of doing the dishes and laundry (again), I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have clothes, dishes, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, clean water, and food to scrape off the plates.

Okay, so none of these are earth-shattering suggestions, but they work.

Readers, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

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Diana M said...

I really enjoyed your list..I feel the same way alot lately..I need to follow your 13...

marnini said...

Great TT and I so agree. Life goes by too quick, at the end of the road you don't want to sit back and realized you never truly enjoyed it.

Gattina said...

I can't complain ! I am happy with my life !

Candy Minx said...

Hi, I think whats weird is that all of these things DO help us feel better and it feels so difficult to do them when we feel blue. I mostly eat healthy anti-oxidant food...and lately I just don't have snacks like chips in the house. Been trying to lose weight and find another good thing to eat is a bowl of soup for one of my meals. It feel comforting and is healthy...I make onion soup or butternut soup or cabbage soup and have one bowl a day. the exercise os a tough one...

I bought two little two pound weights nand do some arm exercises almost every day and stretching. I walk to the grocery store.

I agree about the volunteer work and think that might be the most important item on the list. It makes all the difference to actually be near people who need help and do something in the community for someone really coincidently takes ones minds off of our own problems. Like magic.

Great list, thank you!

Here is mine...not so spiritual, but hopefully helpful in an inspiring way of nice things people make:

Kara said...

This is a great Thursday Thirteen. I really need to work on some of these myself. #1 and #2 really have a huge impact as well, as much as I wish they didn't!

Star8278 said...

Great list of ideas...

my thirteen is here...

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Good TT!

I should really start on many of those!

Here's mine...

Nicholas said...

Not earth-shattering perhaps, but still very wise advice.

Cindy Swanson said...

I loved this! You're right, the world is a depressing place...but all of our suggestions are great, positive and uplifting. I plan to do more of the things on your list!