We all get the blues. A feeling of isolation or extreme tiredness. A sense of passivity towards life. That ‘I can’t be bothered’ feeling. Or the overwhelming sense that we’re just not being as effective, efficient or focused as we should be. We all get these feelings but how we deal with them is very different. So how do you beat the blues?
First off, these feelings are normal and a part of everyday life. It’s how long we allow ourselves to wallow in them that tends to have a huge effect on our mental health. Everyone has an off day but sometimes we tend to dwell on these feelings a little too long, allowing them to become the new normal. That’s when we start to feel that there is no way out.
Here are three really practical tips that I find helpful when I need to beat the blues.
Exercise in the morning
You don’t have to be the early bird type, I’m really not. But I have managed to work it into my daily routine as much as possible. Whether it’s yoga, boxing, weights, running or walking, this is a top tip to help you beat the blues and shake off that funk.
Rising early, sweating it out and feeling like you have accomplished something at the beginning of your day is incredibly motivating. The sense of achievement and the extra energy will help kick your ass into gear. If you really need a boost try to work out with other people. Being around people with a positive mind set is energising and empowering.
Exercise also allows us to tap into the unconscious mind. So, sometimes the solution to that niggling problem will pop into your head just as you are running that last lap. Or maybe you’ll realise that the problem actually doesn’t matter that much. Now I know the thoughts of rising early and exercising can be uncomfortable but that’s sometimes what’s required. When we get into our bodies, we get out of our heads and that’s what we are looking for.
This is a new one to me too, but doing something completely out of your comfort zone really works. It could be sprinting. It could be meditation. It could be a dance class.
This week for me it was getting into the Irish Sea… in November. Now before you think I am ‘one of those’ types, let me assure you I am not. Irish waters hold nothing for me but a sense of fear and a physical reaction that makes me want to run away. But it was a challenge that completely threw me out of my comfort zone. Did it work? It most certainly did.
I felt like I could achieve anything afterwards. Add that to tip number 1 and you get a potent, accessible and free boost. For me it was a genuinely life changing/affirming wake up call. It also allowed me to spend time in the outdoors which is a very effective way of bringing us back to equilibrium. What a way to remind yourself that you are very much alive.
Whether it be a comedy gig, a great lecture or a concert, seek out an activity and go. I went to a very inspiring and extremely energising music gig last minute this week (on a Tuesday if you don’t mind). I am so glad I went. I am a little hesitant to do this type of thing mid-week so it took a bit of commitment to go but it was one of the highlights of my week.
To be in a crowd with no other reason than pure enjoyment and connection really can bring you out of any rut. The energy will lift you and remind you that there are so many like-minded people out there. You’ll see that at the end of the day, joy is vital for a life well lived.
These types of gatherings also allow you to tap into creative energy and have the capacity to inspire us on so many levels. It doesn’t have to cost much and you don’t have to drink or go to bed really late. This is a powerful way to find connection and motivation when you are feeling the complete opposite.
Now I know I said these tips are practical (which they are) but I never promised they would be comfortable! What I will also say it that they are heartfelt, tried and tested by yours truly so I can stand by them as tools that really work for me.
Lee Tracey is a qualified Jivamukti yoga teacher who has travelled from Costa Rica to New York, Berlin, and Paris studying and teaching yoga. Her goal is to bring yoga to people that are interested in self-expansion and growth. For more information visit leetraceylife.com