If am so Happy … How Can I Feel Blue?

or “What the Funk?”

I recently enjoyed an evening out with “the gals” and our conversations led us many strange and wonderful places… as it often does. We finally landed on the fact that we were all experiencing an unusual emotional “Funk”, which became our momentary mantra and the subtitle of this post. We are truly an upbeat and rosy bunch (rowdy, even) so it was interesting that we should notice the same subtle “Blah-ness” since the beginning of the new year and this week, in particular.

In case you missed it, this past Monday was declared the most depressing day of the year. You can read more in an article published on January 19th by the JAMA. However, I refuse to feel less than wonderful just because some scientific study says it is so.

But what’s a gal to do when not really depressed… just a bit blue?

We decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and delve into what was casting a haze over our normally chipper and sunny selves and to take immediate action. No wallowing in self-doubt or pity for this group. So, after hours of deep thought, three glasses of delicious wine and a steaming bowl of Gumbo, we finally hit on the following steps to get ourselves back in high gear. You may find that “expertise enhanced by wine” is more profound in the making, but I will share our thoughts, nevertheless.

Weather: We have had overcast, drizzly days for weeks now with only intermittent sunshine and this truly can keep you from performing at your best. We need sunshine and we need it now. Today, the forecast is sunny and cold for Houston but more clouds are expected to roll in by the weekend.  The weather is beyond our control but we can be mindful of the negative effect it has and how it plays with our moods. Check out SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to find out ways to counter this issue.

Check-Up: You might want to make an appointment with your doctor to confirm there is not an actual physical reason for the doldrums. This could be anything from an oncoming cold, hormone or thyroid imbalance or pre-mental pause… yes, that is how I look at it now that I am fast approaching that fun and wonderful time in my life.

Volunteer: Get out there and do something positive for someone else. Volunteer for a charity, mentor a child, take in a stray pet… whatever floats your boat but get out there and do it. It is very hard to be down when you are busy giving, whether of your time, expertise or knowledge. This can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer and will lift the spirits of both you and the lucky recipient(s) of your generosity.

Pick Up a Book and Read: Yes, it is that simple. You can delve into a wonderful book and be swept far away from today’s troubles all the while improving your vocabulary and usually learning something new in the process. A word of caution: Be very careful what you read. Taking in other people’s deeply disturbing problems can be detrimental to an already delicate psyche so chose something powerful and uplifting. You can always go back to the darker subjects later when you are on better footing. Just because a book is on Oprah’s list does not mean it is a good book to read when feeling blue.

Create: Do something you love that is creative. For me, writing is my catharsis. For you, it could be painting, photography, cooking, sewing, knitting, et cetera. Whatever you enjoy, just get out there and create something new and wonderful. Want to feel even better? Give your creation to someone that needs a little sunshine, too.

Exercise: Nothing gets the body in better spirits than giving it what it needs. Whether you choose yoga, running, walking or a simple stretching exercise, this will do wonders for your disposition. If you do it in the presence of others, you get to socialize as well.

Socialize: Finally, gather around your pals and figure out how to have fun. Warning here… make sure you hang out with the right friends. If this turns into a pity party, you end up worse than before. Look for the most positive people you know to socialize with for they will be your strength when you need it.

I am feeling better already. How about you?

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