I’ve noticed quite a few of my friends with the blues this week. A large number of my close friends struggle with depression and/or anxiety, or some other mental illness, and they are far more susceptible to the negativity in the world, be it a nasty comment made by someone towards them, a horrific news story, bumps in the road of life, or the loss of someone or something special to them.
In previous posts, you’ve read about what my husband and I have gone through and the struggles that were thrown on us. Y’all, honestly, I wanted to lose my mind. We made it through though. This past week was kind of a brutal one for me. We were ravaged with storms last Monday. Trees were bending over to the point I thought they’d snap, the rain was sideways, the wind was awful. Tuesday was a good day, as we spent the day building garden beds, but I was exhausted by the end of the day. And then we were scheduled for more storms on Wednesday that were supposed to worse than Monday’s. We spent the day with off and on thunderstorms while sitting under tornado watch. Since I rescheduled that day, I ended up running errands on Thursday. It was awful. People were driving like morons, people in the grocery store were just rude, I couldn’t find any sweet potatoes to plant in the garden. I was just ready to go home. But when I arrived home, I was greeted by Mr. Cozy Cottage telling me that our mower went kaput. I broke down. I cried. I was so upset, and he just couldn’t see why. But he ordered me inside to have a cup of coffee and relax, telling me that the mower was just a bump in the road.
As happy as our life is, we still encounter a lot of frickin’ bumps in the road. I hate them. I like my life organized, planned, and happy, so when something unexpected comes up, I’m not happy. Especially if that unplanned event is negative, squished together in a long day of negativity. It hurts. But my wonderful husband is the eternal optimist and usually perks me up by reminding me of all the good.
Surround yourself with positive people.
This is first on my list. I am usually the positive person for a lot of my friends. They love coming to me to vent out their frustrations, and I try my best to listen, offer advice, and make them feel better. They do the same for me when I’m down, and, of course, I can always rely on my husband. I’ve tried, in the past, to befriend some people who were blue, but they never wanted to try to be positive. They always focused on the negative, never did anything to help themselves. Eventually, I had to either cut them out of my life completely or cut down my social interaction with them.
Look for the good in every day.
This is something I tell people all the time. My horrible day last Thursday ended with me reflecting on all the good I encountered that day. I bought food for my family. I bought the plants and seed to grow a beautiful, edible garden. We have an awesome house and property, our bills are paid. I have a family who loves and supports me. I mean, when you get to thinking about all of that, it’s hard to beat yourself up.
Watch your words.
They way you talk to yourself and others has a definite impact on you and the world around you. Words with a negative connotation often bring about negativity, even if the subject is a positive one. You’ll find this in marketing and advertising. In the news world, they call it “spin.” Think before you speak, and make sure you are choosing your words wisely to achieve the desired effect.
How do you start and end your day?
Much of how we handle our day comes from how we handle our morning, and how we handled the previous day the night before. Set in place a positive morning routine. You don’t have to stand in front of the mirror and say daily affirmations, though some swear that it works. Personally, I’ve tried it, but I feel really silly talking to myself in the mirror. My morning routine is simple. Since I’m the first one up, it’s up to me to get coffee going and let the chickens out and set the pace for the day. Afterwards, I enjoy my morning coffee while admiring our beautiful property, snuggling critters, and planning out my day. You can read more about it here. I also have an evening routine that involves relaxing with my family, reminding myself of all that I have to be grateful for, and a nice cup of hot tea.
Surround yourself with positivity.
Read books and articles that make you happy, that inspire you. Have pictures of your loved ones in every room of the house. Find a pretty painting that makes you cheerful and hang it on the wall. Surrounding yourself by things that make you happy is one of the easiest ways to be positive. If you’re in a comfortable environment, your mood is likely to be a good one.
Connect with animals.
There are times when neither my husband or my friends and family can perk me up. During those times, I hunker down and go within myself. I love having the critters around for those dark times. There is something about the purr of a cat, the softness and warmth of a snuggling puppy, or the clucking and squawking of my chickens that really does the trick. It’s soothing, and their antics are highly entertaining. They always seem to know exactly what to do to make you feel better. If you can’t have a pet, visit a friend or family member with pets, go to a duck pond, or volunteer at a shelter. Often, they need love as much as you.
Disconnect from the world.
Nothing will ruin my day faster than social media. Someone posts an article, a political rant, or just a negative post, and just like *that* my good mood goes right out the window. Sometimes you just need to put the phone down, walk away from the computer, turn off the TV. Take a bubble bath, go for a walk, pick up a hobby. Your mind will thank you for getting rid of all the nonsense in the world.
Focus on what you can control.
As a control freak, this one is hard. I want to be able to control the weather, other people’s attitudes, etc. If I had it my way, there were never be any unexpected expenses, nothing would ever break, people and critters would never die, and everyone would be happy all the time. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. What I can control is being pro-active with my finances and taking care of the things I have (including myself). It makes the uncontrollable more bearable.
Being positive is a choice.
As I struggled with my anxiety, I was miserable. As I got it under control and slowly found happiness, I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know what it was like to be happy. I was comfortable being miserable. I ruined countless relationships and opportunities because I didn’t know how to be happy, but at the same time I knew I didn’t want to be miserable anymore. I left my comfort zone and made my mind up to change my attitude. I taught myself to be happy, to think positive, to be positive. I taught myself to give more back to the world than I took. Everything in this entire post is pointless without consciously making the decision to be positive.
I do sincerely hope that this post helps those who are struggling in the world right now. There is a lot of hurt. There are a lot of hurt feelings. I hope that just one person will read this and determine to be a light in this world.