I was down in the dumps last week. Perhaps I had cabin fever. There was nothing physically wrong with me. I felt okay. But nothing seemed right. Maybe it was the rain.
The only bright spot came on a perfectly sunny day in the middle of that dreary week. I was at an all-ladies’ lunch at the Continental of Palms Country Club to celebrate the 89th birthday of my forever friend and classmate, Marina Davila.
She looked beautiful, radiant in her burgundy paisley outfit and her crown of silver hair. The food was superb, service impeccable, and the gathering warm and upbeat, oozing with love for the celebrator.
Kudos to party planner/daughter Maricris Cang for her obra de amor.
I told my friend about my desolate mood. She blamed it on the weather. She also hinted that I could be in the middle of a pity party. I thought about that. But no, there was nothing I was bewailing.
On the contrary, I am all excited, counting the days until Seattle. I’ve started airing my luggage, and my trip is still in another couple of weeks.
So she sent me this 10-point list of things to do to chase my blues away. I think this was intended for younger people. But it’s good advice.
Let me share it. But indulge me, as I “react” or “comment.”
The list reminds me of a guy who once described the waning energy level of seniors like this: “Once upon a time I was full of get up and go. But today it seems my energy just got up and went.”
Here’s my two cents’ worth: It is very easy after a certain age to take the line of least resistance and just pine away lying in bed or on the couch and playing it safe at home.
We can keep doing what we do and remain in our “blah” condition, or we can do something different and pick ourselves up. Our choice.
Now hear this!
Stop being so hard on yourself.
Of course it is wonderful at any age to be driven and determined. But it is also normal for anyone to feel a bit “out of it.” Once in a while.
Just be content with who you are. Focus on what you have. In other words, count your blessings. Be grateful.
May I suggest that if you are still carrying old baggage from long ago, it’s time to drop it? Never mind where you have been. Look at how far you’ve come.
Get up and move.
Exercise. Go outside. Take a walk. So what if you use a cane or a walker. Just get moving.
I need to tell myself this again, and again.
It tells us to get on our bikes and buzz around the block. Would you believe I never learned how to ride a bike? But I have one at home, the type that goes nowhere. My daughter gave it to me a couple of years ago to strengthen my legs.
Surround yourself with people you love.
I am blessed that I live with family all around me. But thanks to today’s technology, distances don’t matter. Even when they are not physically present, we can call, send a message or do Facetime.
Get out of the house and see a friend. Do you know your neighbors? Everyone needs someone who will listen to his tales of woe. Maybe there’s someone out there who needs a helping hand, or pat on the back. Yes, from you.
Look around you. Who can you cheer up? Whose spirits can you lift?
The best medicine
Find a way to laugh.
Don’t take life so seriously. Go see a funny movie. And don’t watch the news. You may see clowns there. But they won’t make you laugh.
They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some for whatever ails you.
Eat something healthy.
The writer calls this a win-win situation. But I don’t agree.
If ever I relied on junk food, it was during my terrible ugly low points. No, it didn’t make me feel any better. And drinking didn’t help, either.
But let’s face it, there’s such delightful comfort, albeit temporary, when you devour a Toblerone bar all by yourself, or when you binge on a bag of Cheetos.
Take deep breaths.
Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, and while you’re at it, get rid of negative thoughts each time you exhale.
No argument from me. My Sitting Tai Chi routine makes me do that a lot—and yes, it helps me.
Spend time with animals.
Pets can be therapeutic. They are also smart. If you are not an animal person, you can skip this one.
Do something spontaneous and exciting.
The solution may be an impromptu road trip or a drive to explore a new place. I know. It’s the last thing you want to do.
Years ago when I lived miles away from home and family, and I was lonely and my bank balance was close to zero, I would go into I. Magnin’s on Union Square and try on weird expensive hats. Spontaneous. And always good for a laugh!
Read something inspirational.
Words do have the power to heal the heart. Reading is good for the spirit and helps mend the soul. I just read “The Prodigal God” by Timothy J. Keller. Beautiful.
Get some work done.
It would be a good time to do a project you have long left untouched. Marie Kondo comes to mind.
There you have it. Ten great tips to remember when your spirits are low.
May I add one? Pray.