Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How to Rescue Your Mood

I've got a good Friend... No, really, it's not a wink wink situation! And this person has got a job they're not really loving because the direct supervisor seems to not realize what a terrifically smart and funny person Friend is, doesn't respect said Friend or see what a freaking superstar Friend is. It's an evil scenario, which, if you've been there, beats down your self-esteem something fierce. Here's the challenge: Friend asked me today for any tips and tricks I have to pick myself up, to lighten my mood during the day. Friend can't leave this job. Not possible in Friend's life scenario. So I've got to help Friend fake it until Friend makes it. Either out of the job or out of caring about Evil Supervisor.

I have another friend who's completely gifted in letting stuff roll off his back. Like water off a Mallard's feathers. Nothing brings this guy down. And not 'cause he's clueless. This guy is super smart and has great social skills. He just makes everyone feel comfortable and at ease. Part of it is self confidence and part of it is just not taking much to heart.

So how to emulate Mallard (aside from getting a temperament transplant)?

What do I do to cheer myself up during the day? I drink herbal tea in a special mug a dear, dear friend gave me that says "Breathe." I reflect on the good health of my family. I read funny blogs when I get a moment at the computer. I call someone I love. If I can't talk to them, I send an email. I stop thinking about whatever's bothering me and force myself to live in the moment. I repress my vortex of negative thoughts (I am pretty sure this is heresy but stuff those feelings down!). If I can't stop vortexing about what ails me I force myself to think through what it is I want to accomplish in the situation before I allow myself to react. I try to picture the positive outcome I want and then work towards it with what I say and do.

Here's my personal checklist of mood enhancers (tapwater is gratis). Please join in if you've got any ideas for how to rescue your mood if you're stuck in a tough situation.

  • Sleep. Get enough. Go to bed early. I cannot emphasize enough how this affects my mood.
  • Kick the caffeine, alcohol, white flour, and sugar. Or become a monk, whichever is easier.
  • Focus on the kids. Small people are usually entertaining.
  • Get childcare to get an occasional break from said small people.
  • Get a pet. Snorfling an animal releases stress.
  • Exercise. No excuses.
  • Have more sex.
  • Get outside in the fresh air.
  • Invite people over as much as possible if you're an extrovert and take time to recharge if you're an introvert.
  • Garden.
  • Listen to music you love. Dance like a fool. Sing along, loudly.
  • Lose yourself in a good book before bed.
  • Eat good food that you cook yourself.
  • Call your friends (yes, that means me, too) and vent to us.
  • Get together with said friends.
  • Do craft projects with and without the kid (this Friend has an Etsy store).
  • Meditate.
  • Do yoga.
  • Wear nice clothes to boost your confidence.
  • Cut yourself some slack and banish the scale to the closet. You are healthy and beautiful.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Set manageable deadlines for yourself (making it through an hour? a specific task? of productive work without focusing on negative thoughts) and reward yourself with a five minute break during which you completely screw off and enjoy some type of brain candy.
  • Maintain relationships with former supervisors/coworkers who valued you to remind yourself of your excellent craft.
  • Keep networking, keep your resume sharp, and remember that this job won't last forever.
  • Let it roll off your back (I am a duck! I am a duck!)

    Love you, Friend!


Mrs. G. said...

I'm going to have to agree with you on the snorfling.

Sarita said...

Setting manageable deadlines and rewarding myself works so well for me. Even with the simplest tasks. Also, I find that there is a side of me that likes bad tv - I can't believe I am going to admit this - like America's Next Top Model. I watch on the internet since we don't have a tv and it doesn't play in France - so when I have to clean up a room, I bring my laptop and let my bad tv play while I clean. Then I am productive at the same time at least! (And I only watch crap when I am home is my little secret.)

Sleep is huge too! I am glad you put that as #1. But I think everything on your list in right on. :)

Laura said...

Thanks mamabird! I am printing your list to take with me. (It's our skating/gaming in town day.) I needed it. :) Happy Spring! More later ...

MamaBird said...

Mrs. G, I knew you were an Animal (in that Muppets lovable sense).

Sarita, you are so right on. There is a huge place in life for crap tv and cheezola movies.

Laura, have an excellent skating/gaming day!

Green Me said...

I too agree that snorfling an animal is the best! Since I was a kid a warm soft kitty belly has always done the trick when I'm feeling down! Unfortunately, most of us can't take our pets to work, so when I had a desk (instead of a dining room table) and wasn't particularly fond of my job I did three things that helped me clear my head and improve my mood. I kept a vase with 3 lucky bamboo, a picture of my family, and a nature calendar with beautiful outdoor pictures all within sight of my computer screen. The calendar changed with the seasons, the bamboo helped me to feel alive and the picture reminded me I was loved. Great post :)