Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ten steps towards serenity now...Or at least soon.

Ah, the winter blues. I’ve heard of them, but this is the first year I’ve actually experienced them…or at least I think that’s what this is. I’ve been a bit down since the holidays, which would explain my lack of blog posts (poo), but I’m determined to beat these doldrums.

Here are ten things that have helped me shake the sads. I hope you’ll find something that speaks to you, too.

1. Love & Be Loved
Just as one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge, says, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” I’m blessed with a beautiful husband who loves me, but sometimes I lose site of that fact and shrug off his affection with excuses—“he’s just saying that,” or “he’s humoring me because he feels he has to.” This needs to stop. I love him and am lucky to have him loving me in return. Cherish and appreciate the words and acts of affection offered by others, rather than second guessing at every turn, and prepare to welcome the warm feelings that come with that acceptance.

2. Add a Little Color
This morning I woke up before my alarm and decided to paint my nails a vibrant, sparkly shade of orange. It’s amazing what colorful toes can do for the soul.

3. Turn Off the News
Just five minutes of the news can get me down faster than a hearty laugh. (That’s a lame narcolepsy joke, because I fall forward when I laugh. Hardy har.) If you find yourself becoming bogged down by the doom and gloom in today’s top stories, simply change the channel or hit the power button. I’ve been doing this and find it’s a wonderful way to recharge the feel goods.

4. Take Joy in the Success of Others
My big bro won $200 on a $2 lottery ticket this week. My mom only has two cancer treatments left. Two of my friends have just purchased their first homes. These are all things to take joy in. It doesn’t have to be a victory directly related to you to make you happy. So, instead of saying, “I’m happy for you,” say, “I’m happy with you.”

5. Connect with Friends
My sweet friend called me out of the blue the other night, just to tell me how much she enjoys my Studio 5 TV segments. She didn’t follow that by asking a favor or fishing for a compliment in return. She simply wanted me to know how she felt. I’m going to take her lead and do the same—tell my friends how I feel about them. Making others feel good is a great way to boost your own spirits.

6. Play with the Pups
I tend to take my silly doggies for granted, when I should be celebrating the joy they bring me. The other day they were both crowded under my craft desk, even though it was a super tight squeeze, just so they could be close to me. I had to sit back and laugh at this gesture. Feeling sad? Give your pet a little TLC. I promise it will be returned tenfold.

7. Tackle a Task
Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share. If you can believe it, we just took our Christmas decorations down this week. Now, to be fair, we didn’t put them up until Dec. 23, but this was still far too long to leave them up. And even though it was a lot of work to take them down, it was totally worth it. Is there a project that’s been hanging over your head? Greet it head on, and you’re sure to find some relief.

8. Get Out
It’s far too easy to just stay in and do nothing when you’re feeling down, as I’ve learned the hard way. Well, no more. I went to the mall over the weekend. It was just a quick trip, but I left SO inspired. Take time to recharge with a little retail therapy. Even if you don’t spend any money, you’ll come home having purchased some mental uplifting.

9. Create
Don’t create because you have to (doing an assignment doesn’t count). Instead, create because you want to. I recently made a fun Valentine’s Day craft (more on that in a future post) for my cute coworkers and found so much delight in putting it together. Do something, anything, creative, and watch the serenity find you.

10. Be Okay with the Sad
Sometimes it’s hard to be at peace with the sadness, but doing so is a form of self acceptance. I read (and enjoy) the beautiful blog posts of others, with their seemingly perfect lives, their perfect photos, and their perfect ideas, and I inevitably compare—not good! I’m not them, and that’s okay. My life is far from perfect, but I’m doing my best to get by. If that means taking time to cry it out, I’m going to cry it out. If that means a messy house, then bring on the dust bunnies. All we can do is be ourselves and find contentment in doing so. Do that, and be one step closer to inner peace.

I’m still dealing with sadness, but this list has me a few steps closer to shaking those feelings. And for that, I’ll celebrate this small victory. How do you conquer the winter blues? I’m all for reading any advice you have to share.


Unknown said...

Love this post, those doggy loves sure do come in handy on a cold evening!
I look for more to be grateful for when I am down, it reminds me how much I have and takes away the "gimmies".


Megan said...

Great suggestion and reminder, Bek. Thanks for taking a minute to share your thoughts. On my grateful list--you, fo sho! :)

Unknown said...

how about some ((((hugs))))?
i miss your sweet PC emails :)
thinking of you....

vbscrapper said...

Hello Megan,
To make you feel better, my Christmas decorations are still up. I know they need to come down, but I feel so happy when I see them. Lucky for me, my husband feels the same way. Another huge positive is my cat loves to sleep under the tree (it's fake). And what kind of cat mommy would I be to take his happiness away from him. =)


joscelyne cutchens said...

Hey Megan, sorry to hear you're down. I just took my decorations down on January 31st and they had been up since just after halloween. I find more sunshine is the trick to battling the winter blues. how about a hawaiian vacation? or chocolate. that helps too. ((hugs)) seriously though. when I move back to the mainland, i'll probably need some SAD lighting.

Anonymous said...

ah sweet megan, i've missed your thoughtful (and entertaining!) insights on life. welcome back. you are very loved.


Anonymous said...

awww sorry to hear you are having the winter blues. I get them. Sadly I fine comfort in baking and nesting so i gain weight, which makes me sad. Can't win. Just think of the good things and things will pick up. Plus it will be spring soon!!!!!!!

caroline said...

usually going outside and getting fresh air perks me up, but i guess that's hard during winter when you're NOT in california. hee. ice skating helps clear my head a bit too (probably because i skated when i was younger and i've always loved doing it), and getting crafty does it for me - not only scrapping, but knitting too.

p.s. i DID see you in the pink paislee booth and wanted to say hi, but you were busy talking to rebecca and i didn't want to interrupt. next time :)