Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pick Me Ups

I wanted to keep an ongoing list of things that I've found helpful in cheering me up when I need some cheering. It's not going to help everyone, but hopefully some of you might find a few items that you might enjoy. Sometimes we also just needed a little reminder of the obvious. This list can be found here: Pick Me Ups. I will be updating it frequently, so be sure to bookmark it if you find it useful.

In no particular order of importance or effectiveness:

  • READ. Even though I just mentioned that this list has no particular order, it's funny that this is the first one that I've listed. I haven’t bought a book for “fun” since middle school and I’ve bought several books in the last few weeks. I prefer non-fictional reads, but read whatever you enjoy. It’s been one of my top coping mechanisms, because it’s refreshing to have something else to concentrate on. It is a great distraction.
  • Listen to podcasts. Whether it be something funny or inspirational, have it play in the background while you drive, work, or doing anything around the house. Laugh. Be inspired.
  • Hang out with friends. This can be difficult when you are in a moping-do-nothing-and-see-nobody mood, but I don’t know how to say any differently or more clearly: “suck it up and just do it!” This is what friends are for and humans are social beings. Even someone who tends to be an introvert and somewhat anti-social at times can benefit from this.
  • Drive. Go on a road trip or just go on a short drive with your windows down and the wind in your hair (guys can do this too!). Visit a friend who you don’t normally visit. Make it a trip, no matter how small. Just be sure to wear your sunglasses.
  • Journal. Keep track of your thoughts. Go back to it from time to time and see how and if you see any changes. It’s the one place where you can be completely honest and know that there is no judgment.
  • Write a letter. If you are angry, hurt, or sad, writing helps diffuse those emotions BEFORE you let them explode on the other party or some unlucky bystander who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We may not necessarily always have time to do this, but if something is big enough to cause major disruptions in your life, then MAKE the time.  Writing a letter allows the intended audience to hear all your thoughts before they have the chance interrupt or redirect your message. Who knows, maybe by the end of the letter you will have found some resolution to your feelings.
  • Challenge yourself and learn something new. Go back to an old hobby that you abandoned. Try to do something you weren’t able to do before, even if it is doing it just a little better this time around. The point is keep busy and to keep life moving as much as possible. It is true when people say hat time heals all. You might find yourself taking a break one day and realize that you’ve been OK for a while already.
  •  Volunteer. I’m about to reference a Friends episode here… Is there a really a kind act that is completely selfless? Does the satisfaction or gratification we feel from doing something good make it marginally selfish? I don’t know that there is a right answer to that and it sounds a whole lot like the debate of whether the chicken or the egg came first. Here is what I DO know… there is always room for help everywhere and all the time. I don’t think that any organization will turn down or judge someone’s intention to help even if it’s for self-satisfaction or to just keep busy. Help is help; just be sure to follow up.
  • Join organizations. Become involved in your community or at work. Professional organizations are a great way to develop your career and it can also make you enjoy work more. The more you are vested in something, the more you care about it and the more you want to do well.
  • Be successful at work.Take initiative whenever you can and aim to excel at all that you do. Being successful and a high contributor at work builds self-esteem. Self esteem equals confidence and confidence means you that can believe that you are strong enough to get though your problems.
  • Want to read more? Click to see the rest.

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