Life can be tough sometimes. It can make you feel small and bad and really negative. I had one of those days yesterday. I just felt miserable. I woke up to face yet another weekend without my partner – we have been in a long-distance relationship for a while now, not by choice, but due to Australia’s visa regulations – which made me feel a little bit gloomy. I decided to go for a surf, which did help and made me happy. But that happiness did not last long, because my car did not start when I got back from the surf. Well, it wasn’t too bad I guess, since there are a lot of kind and helpful people around in Manly on a Sunday morning, but still – I had to go through that embarrassing moment of having 11 people pushing my car to jump start it on busy North Steyne. I can actually laugh about it today, but yesterday I felt terribly humiliated. I went home, discovered a ding on my (fairly) new board, which really isn’t a big deal but when you already feel that the whole world is acting against you that day, it just drives the tears up your eyes. I did not want to pick up the phone, did not want to see anyone or talk to my friends. I just wanted to be left alone in my own little emotional breakdown, where everything just felt wrong, sad and pointless.
Because I am generally a very positive, happy and cheerful person, it made me even angrier to be so upset and not myself. I know that distance isn’t forever. I know that this phase of having a long distance relationship has made us incredibly strong and I believe in the quote “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and prepare us for future difficulties of distance and time.
It took the whole day, but in the end I finally decided not to feel sorry for myself any longer. I have got adorable friends who look after me, a great partner who supports me even though it is just as hard for him to not being in Australia with me at the moment, I live in a beautiful spot on earth and I am not supposed to be down in the dumps, for God’s sake! I decided to go for a run, clear my head and get over it. And it worked. I was rewarded by coming across Reef Beach, located on the famous Spit to Manly Walkway, a beach I had never been to before that offers a great view across Sydney’s North Harbour to Manly. When I got home from my run, I felt so much better, I was back to who I am: positive, happy, joyful, optimistic and satisfied.
Running might not be the cure for everyone when feeling bummed out, but there are many other things that you can try to get over an emotional breakdown. Here are some tips of how to improve your mood when you’re feeling down:
Stop being so hard on yourself.
We put a lot pressure on ourselves. Remember to sometimes sit back, reflect, and recognise the good things you have going on. Think about the things you are grateful for. Focus on what to be thankful for and be happy with where you are at now. Remember – you can choose to be happy!
Laugh! Laugh it out loud.
Don’t take life too seriously. Be aware of the fact that sadness is temporary. Pick yourself up by watching your favorite comedy show or a funny video clip. Laughing releases tension and has a natural ability to heal.
Read or watch something inspirational.
Words have a lot of power and can pick you back up when you are feeling down. Start reading a thoughtful or inspiring book, buy your favorite magazine, or – if you are too lazy to read – watch an inspiring speech from someone you like.
Go and help somebody.
It is great to be kind to others. It will not only improve your Karma, but make you feel good. Be generous to everyone you come across in the next few hours. Help that woman lug her heavy stroller up the stairs, give someone a compliment or just hold the door open for someone behind you.
Take deep breaths or do a Yoga class.
Focusing on your breathing may sound very simple, but it can actually make a huge difference when you are feeling down. Spend a couple minutes focusing on nothing except your breath. Take long, slow breaths and calm yourself down. Each time you exhale, get rid of all negative thoughts. If you feel like being active, a yoga class can also help you breathing better and relaxing your thoughts and mind.
Do something spontaneous and exciting.
The best ways to free your mind of feeling down is to go out and do something spontaneous. Go on a road trip or visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Visit your favorite coffee shop or treat yourself to a new outfit. Create some excitement by letting go of routine and do something unplanned.
Take a nap and recharge.
Sometimes it is important to get a rest and recharge. Napping can help refresh and refocus your mind and increasing productivity and awareness. Turn off the lights and allow your body to shut down (or go into standby mode) for 15 or 20 minutes. Allow yourself to fall asleep, rest or take a nap – it will enhance alertness and concentration, mood and coordination.
If you are like me and don’t like crying in front of other people, just do it whenever you have the opportunity to slink away and cry by yourself. Crying releases pain and relieves stress and will make you feel better afterwards. And finally – crying just means you’re human. So o ahead and have a good cry!