Don’t be surprised by the this post. I am not turning my blog into lifehack blog. 🙂
I am just writing about what worked for me when I was sad or depressed. I am not going to ask you to turn to music. Because it does not work for me. my brain completely switches off sensations to ear. Music keeps playing and I lost in my sad thoughts. Not a word goes in my ear. 😦
1. Read: Read as much as you can. It keeps your mind entertained as well as engaged. An engaged mind has no time to think of personal sad thoughts. I did my maximum reading in this period. I went for happy, popular books. I read 1 Harold Robbins (too much sleaze), 1 Bridget Bardot (or whatever her name is, it was a bland book), 4 Roald Dahls, 3 Sophie Kinsellas (I can’t say I liked all of them) and 1 J.A. Konrath (I am sure you do not know him, I will soon write a review of his book.) I read more of magazines. I am picking up books from my unread book pile. I also picked up Adam Bede by George Eliot. I was not reading the book because it seems to be written in 4 point size (Though my friend says it could be size 8 ) and it (book) is also written in archaic, native English. All in all, I read obsessively because it relaxes me and makes me feel productive. Ah, what pleasure in counting the number of books you finish in few days!
2. Take a Walk: This certainly works. Before you take a decision in anger or frustration, take a walk. Fresh air cools and clears your head, frustration kind of ebbs aways. It gives you time to think over things in peace, prevents hasty decision.
3. Watch a Movie or Nice Show on TV: For a movie buff like me, it works. If it is good movie, you are completely engrossed for 2-3 hours. No time to think about your own “sorrows”. I can curl up in bed and watch movies in go. I watched Day After Tommorrow Part 1 and 2 (had nice special effects about global warming), Cast Away and Desparado. All old movies I know, but they served my purpose.
Nothing perks me better than watching a nice, classy dance show. I avoid music shows, there is overdose of besura singers. Though is it easy to find a nice dance show on TV, a nice soap on Indian telly is a rarity. But there are a couple on NDTV Imagine (Radha ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi and Ek Packet Umeed) that are good. Or you always have old episodes of Friends, My Wonder Years, Sex and the City and so on. Watch a reality show like MTV Roadies never fails to de-stress me. Who wouldn’t laugh watching guys stripping because of stupid answers by their female teammates(they called it strip SMS by the way) or watching guys (they waxed and learnt feminine dance moves) perform as beautiful “ladyboys” of Thailand. Ha ha!
5. Go Out with Old Friends: Don’t worry if you have not been able to call them in previous months. No good friend worth their salt will dismiss your troubles because you did not keep in touch. They would understand. Meeting people is good way to relieve yourself. Talking always helps, you are lucky of you have a sympathetic ear. I always make meetings with friends when I am upset. Yes, there are times when you would better be alone. You are your own best judge.
6. Talk to a Friend: Talk to a friend or cousin who understands you. Avoid friends who you know will add to your woes by provoking and urging on to make hasty, angered decision. Idea is to cool off by getting unpleasant things off your chest. Look for good listeners and not provocateurs. It always works for me to talk to my sister and first cousins. They do not rush to offer me solutions, just give a patient hearing. They don’t trivialize my woe either. They have all the time in the world to listen to me. And they do follow up. 🙂
7. Write Your Hurt on Paper: Putting it on paper is always relieving. Sometimes, it is not so easy to talk about things. It may be too intimate, personal or embarrassing to discuss with anybody. Write everything down. Sometimes I have ended up writing letters with horrific thoughts, but trust me the whole exercise has been worth it. It relaxes you completely.
8. Spread a Smile: Lend a helping hand to your loved ones. Offer to run a chore. Hug the ones who are stick by you in thick and thin. Drop a note to an old friend who has been nice to you. Do not take them for granted. Feed the children on street, teach at a NGO. You might have wanted to do it for long time. But you thought, let me sort my sister’s issue then I will go. Let me get a job near-by, then I will go. Let me party this weekend, I will go to NGO next weekend. Let me sort out this personal issue, then I will meet the kids and the elderly at the NGO. Don’t wait, just do it. This is also write time to write about Amyth’s NGO Elaan that deals with Child sexual Abuse (CSA).
9. Pamper Yourself: Buy yourself the wardrobe you have been wanting to. Pep up your appearance. Get a haircut or a face/body massage. A back rub and foot massage will lift your spirits anytime. Get manicure and pedicure done. I have not tried this last one, but it works for some young women in my family. Of course, this last one does not work for guys. 😉
10. Express Yourself Creatively: If you like to paint, then paint with passion. If you are a designer, put all your nervous energy in creating beautiful designs. You love to write, then write more when you are melancholy. Write a poem or a story. A research says best of poems were written in worst of mental turmoils. I had read about a woman who invested all her energies in cooking for herself when she was upset. Dance to heart’s content. Choreograph. Idea is to indulge in your creativity. And all that working with creativity takes your mind off negative thoughts.
11. Take off to Travel: A change of scene always works for me. There are few days when we don’t want to go to work or do anything. We just want to laze around in idyllic weather. Staying out too late and waking too early on travels is not my idea of rejuvenation. I don’t even want to keep running for sight-seeing. I like to take it easy. I like adventures though. I loved all adrenaline-pumping activities: parasailing, cliff jumping, rappling. I think I am not really cut out for too much of vigorous physical activity like trekking but I want to try it all the same one day.