Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Doing Nice Things for Yourself

In my women’s group, we talked about what we do when we get hit with triggers or bad feelings or are just having a short blue spell. I don’t know if everyone goes through these things, although I suspect a large number of people do. They may or may not be tagged into them the way we gals are, or they might try so hard to identify the cause that they get caught up in the blame aspect and forget about looking for a cure or an exit. I don’t know.

Anyway, one of the ladies was talking about three people, whom she can’t omit from her life, who tend to trigger blue spells for her. She asked for suggestions as to a mantra, a procedure or a list of some things to do so that she doesn’t spend the rest of the day feeling down. There were a lot of suggestions.

“Just mentally tell them to go to hell,” was one idea that got a lot of nods and laughs.

“Wear your favorite outfit or colors when you know you’ll be seeing or talking to them,” was another idea.

I suggested doing something small that you like to do immediately afterward to take your mind off the negative event and redirect it. That got a lot of “ooh, that’s good one” responses. We talked about the small things we like to do that cheer us up.

I like to go read the funny cards in the Hallmark store or the drugstore. By the time I’ve worked my way through the “you’re my friend” section of the ShoeBox greetings, I feel much better. I may even buy a couple of cards or finger the little doo-dads in the store. If I’m in the drugstore, they usually carry gag gifts, like singing and dancing monkeys or otters or Santas, and I like to press the button on those and smile at them as they dance and play their recorded songs. I also like to smell all the new liquid soaps. I do usually buy something while I’m there.

Another lady likes to go to our local Dollar Store and just look at stuff, thinking about what a good bargain such-and-such is, or pick up something to donate to a charity or school. Another one likes to shop for used toys at the thrift store, which she then uses when teaching a pre-school class. Yet another one likes to go to the fabric store and see what’s new in prints for quilts.

Quite a few of us like to go to the library, where it’s always quiet and friendly, and we can look up things we don’t normally encounter in our daily lives and read about them, or just have a quiet moment thumbing through magazines. I like that one, too.

I also like buying one piece of fruit that I normally wouldn’t buy, like a pineapple or a horned melon or star fruit. I feel like I’m getting double-return on my investment – healthy fruit and something new to try out and share with the kids if they want any. Working crosswords, word finds, or Sudoku puzzles are other ways I can take a short exit from a rough moment and re-center myself.

I’d love to hear about your way of taking a quick break for a re-charging, cheering up moment, if you have one! If you don’t mind, I could share it next week with my group!


Anne on the Jersey Shore said...

I go for a walk. Fresh air always helps me regain my equilibrium. I'm lucky enough to live near the ocean so I walk on the boardwalk for some "wave therapy." Another option for me is a session of knitting or spinning.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this qualifies because I do it when I drive (not just when I'm feeling down)...
I always celebrate the green traffic lights. When I get to a traffic light and it is green I always say "Woo Hoo", smile and... chuckle at myself for being so happy about a green light. Try it; you might find it actually makes a difference! :-)