Recently, I have felt really down as the months of involuntary isolation from the world have dragged on. At first, I took a break, worked on projects, had some fun hanging out with my kids. But as the weeks rolled on, not being with the other friends and family I normally see on a daily basis started to emotionally take a toll on me. I have greatly missed serving in the children's ministry each week at church, volunteering at my children's school, participating in my fitness classes, teaching my wellness classes, and so much more. The stress of distance learning with 6 kids in school has been enormous - don't get me started on that! I have continued to do some of things at home that I enjoy like gardening, and have taken up sourdough bread making, but there are many things I have not been able to do. I miss my friends, I miss being around people! I know I am not the only one feeling this way. Many are feeling the strain from this whole situation.
I've felt down before, so I pulled from my resources 12 different ways I know how to lift myself emotionally. I already do some of these, and have once again implemented those that I have not been doing. I hope they can be of use to you.
- Gratitude journal. Take a few minutes each day to write down gratitude for things in your life that are positive. Look for the good, and open your eyes to see the silver lining in every situation. This is something that has really helped me.
- Prayer and meditation. I love to start and end my day with these. Ground yourself with God and the earth and get quiet. Ask for help when you need it, express gratitude verbally, ponder on positive actions you can take.
- Reframe negative events. Step back and look at the big picture, put your thoughts into perspective. The present situation will not last forever, there will be better days ahead.
- Create positive experiences. Find ways to spread light and love to others. Be compassionate and kind. It warms my heart how many examples of this I have seen these last few months.
- Keep good posture. Standing, even sitting in good posture helps our bodies feel good.
- Smile for at least 20 seconds in the mirror. Find a way to laugh at least 5-10 minutes per day. The release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin is a sure way to lift your mood and it feels so good!
- Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. Exercise releases norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, improving both general health and mood, and it's fun, too! Since my preferred place of exercise was closed, and I had so much to do at home with my kids and their school, I let this one slip for awhile - but I am back on track and can already feel the positive benefits again!
- Do service with a group. Finding unity through service is even possible from a distance.
- Listen to positive music. Put something on that makes you want to dance. This lifts my mood immediately!
- Give yourself 3 step goals. Set goals that involve simple steps, then work to achieve them. A sense of accomplishment goes a long way to feeling good about yourself and lifting your mood.
- Positive affirmations. Repeat these throughout the day to keep yourself in a positive mindset.
- Essential oils - Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Citrus Fresh, Joy, Cypress, Grand Fir, Frankincense, and Peppermint are good mood lifters. Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang ylang, Peace & Calming, Stress Away, and Valor are calming oils. Diffuse, or apply topically. As you inhale, the aroma passes through your olfactory system into the limbic region of the brain which controls memory and emotion. These can have immediate effect and are my first go-to for a quick calm down or pick-me-up. Find these here.