I’ve talked about getting stuck in weird moods that you just can’t explain. Nothing is wrong (at least to your knowledge) but things feel off. It happens. Sometimes it’s PMS, sometimes it’s something that just hasn’t surfaced yet, sometimes it’s just there and you don’t know why. With pregnancy it’s an even weirder place because you’re unsure if it’s raging hormones or if something is actually wrong. Thankfully I haven’t experienced too many hormonal mood swings, but I definitely feel like I get stuck in my own head a lot. It can be something little or big, but I’ll fixate on the issue until it has completely emotionally drained me. Probably not the healthiest way to deal and probably not the healthiest for my baby either. So, here’s how I’ve decided to handle these situations.
Obviously every situation is different. You can’t just apply a list of suggestions to everything in life, but I find that many situations are actually not as big of a deal once they’ve been dealt with or you’ve moved on. So, this list is for those situations where YOU just need to move on / get over it and are struggling. Trust me, this happens to me often. As I’ve discussed in this post about not settling, when people close to me make poor choices I literally lose sleep over it. So I definitely need little reminders like the below to help me move forward. When things are out of my control it’s very challenging to let them go, but at the end of the day you have to. The alternative is to carry around this negative weight on your shoulders and be miserable.
When you finally come to terms with situations that are out of your hands, it makes it 100 times easier to walk away. I used to view “walking away” as giving up, but honestly, some things TRULY are not your issue or responsibility to worry about. So, with all of that said, use the below list as a way to help you get out of a negative slump and move towards a positive change.
HOW TO TURN NEGATIVE SITUATIONS POSITIVE:
-Play music. Sounds like generic advice but it really helps me. Something uplifting, not something to make you want to cry in bed & wallow. The sound of music filling my house can motivate me to get off my ass and do the laundry piling up, to tackle a project I’ve been avoiding, to just be a happier person. Try it. Paul & I actually have our music playing 24/7 because it’s just that effective for us. We turn it off for bed or when we watch a movie, but otherwise our house is never silent.
-Step away from social media. Or better yet unfollow some accounts that give you negative vibes. I know it’s all so political these days, but if there is someone who rubs you the wrong way, just remove them from the mix. At this point I’m not interested in exposing myself to negative people in “real life” or on social media. Also, taking a social media break is good for you. The amount of phoniness that exists is just too much sometimes for our mental health, so a little break won’t kill you.
-Work out. I don’t exactly LOVE working out, but once I’m there I’m happy. Chemically, the endorphins work wonders on my mental health, and obviously you’re doing your body a serious favor, too. I always feel better after a workout, even if it’s temporarily. Use that time when you’re on a “high” to coach your mind to stay in a positive place. Tell yourself: See? That wasn’t too bad. If I can feel this great now, why not feel this great the rest of the day?
-Read a book. Or magazine, whatever. Just detach a little from reality. Allow your mind to enter a space that doesn’t revolve around your issues. When you set down the book take notice of how you feel. If you feel better, then maybe the situation isn’t as bad as you made it seem? This exercise helps you gain perspective, which is essentially the best way to decide how to handle a situation (aka: walk away or confront it).
-Vent. To someone who cares and is a good listener. Sometimes all is takes is unloading your thoughts on someone who will listen without shoving a ton of opinions / judgement / advice down your throat. I personally like to get some feedback to see if I’m overreacting or not, but sometimes it’s nice to just get it off your chest. Often times when I vent, I also gain clarity as I say it out loud. Sometimes it’s like, “wow, this is really not that serious,” while other times it’s like, “okay, I feel like I know what I need to do now.”
-Have a self care day. This might not always align with the timing of your issues, but taking time to do what YOU want to do is really helpful. For me that’s putting on a face mask, painting my nails, eating a yummy dessert, browsing Pinterest for hours, or reorganizing a room, making a plan (travel, home projects, events, items I want to buy, etc.).
-Get outside. There is nothing like some fresh air to clear my mind. Since moving I’ve made it a habit to sit outside with the dogs as often as possible. Sometimes I blog out there because I seem to get better ideas while I’m outside. If a backyard is not accessible to you then go on a hike, go to the beach, park, etc.
-Write. So this last one might not be for everyone. As a blogger I use my personal experiences as inspiration for blog posts and putting my feelings into a post (like what I’m doing right now) helps me tremendously. If you’re not a blogger, then write down your feelings in a journal. Something about the act of writing it out just feels very liberating to me.
I hope this list is helpful. I discuss stress and anxiety pretty often on my blog because it is definitely something I experience more than I like. I really try to evaluate the root of all of my anxiety to help me to cope and move on. It’s not always easy, but I’m conscious of it and just knowing that I’m trying to help myself makes me FEEL better. I would love to know how you guys deal with stress and / or anxiety (if you do) and what makes you feel better.
We also discuss stress & anxiety in the female-only Facebook group if you’re interested in joining the dialogue.