It’s been a while since I last posted an All You Need is Love Project post – it feels good to be back! Thank you for all the love shared with me about yesterday’s Postpartum Depression post – I am always amazed at the support from the mommy world.
I wanted to follow up with a more practical post about how we all can pull ourselves out of our own funks because, let’s face it, life has its share of ups and downs so we need to discover what can pull us up. And, I do believe the strength should start within us – It allows for less disappoint if we constantly depend on others for our happiness.
We all know if life has given us lemons we were told from a very young age we have to find a way to make lemonade, right? What if you don’t have a lemonade recipe? Or what if your recipe doesn’t taste as good to you anymore? Or what if the recipe lacks a little something to give it that pop you need? What if you actually, in a moment of darkness, just can’t remember your lemonade recipe?
All these things have happened to me at some point in my adult life. Becoming a mom has brought to my attention that I need to find a solid lemonade recipe so that I can be the strength my son needs. It’s not easy being the person someone relies on every day.
Below are 5 easy steps I have found that have brought me the sweet taste of lemonade when depression has hit me hard.
1. Indulge in the Wallow
I know they say we need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves but I have found that it can actually feel good to have a good cry. It can be very freeing to just indulge in all your emotions for a short period of time. It allows us to be present and not deny our current state of being – not everything has to always be rosey.
2. The Morning After Gift
After you’re done indulging, give yourself at least 24 hours to process your emotions. It never ceases to amaze me what a good night’s sleep can do in terms of your perspective on things. I can’t tell you how many times I went asleep upset at Mr. ShuGar (yes, I have broken the cardinal rule of sleeping still angry) and the next day…poof!…I have calmed down. Maybe it’s because I am Latina and we are passionate creatures. I need some time to comb through all those emotions.
3. Just Buy It
I know this may be a bit controversial, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with treating yourself every once in a while with, for example, some retail therapy. Whatever it is that you seem to deny yourself on a regular basis, why not take a moment to just buy one more pair of shoes. Of course, if you are broke or if you do this every time life gets rough, you may bring on a whole other set of problems. I’m talking about doing small things frequently or one big indulgence every once in a great while – go ahead and buy that $5 latte from Starbucks. You earned it.
4. The Endorphin Buzz
Rather than getting a high from a substance, find a form of physical exercise that can increase your endorphins. It’s amazing what a 30-minute workout can do to your sense of self and your optimism! I admit – this is where I have failed. I have given up on Zumba because of the lack of hours in a day to be with ShuGar Boy. After work, I would rather see him than go to the gym – if I would go this would mean I wouldn’t see him all day. I really haven’t found an answer to this one just yet, however, I know that I must find my endorphin buzz. It can transform not only our physical well-being, but our mental state in the long term.
5. Your Tribe is Everything
Mommy world can be vicious at times – unfortunately, there is a lot of judgment as to whether you co-sleep or do Cry It Out. Watch out if you formula feed instead of booby feed because you will hear someone point out you are doing things wrong. The list goes on and on. Someway or another you need to find a way to shut these naysayers out. Go to your tribe and vent with them. I can tell you from my own experience, my tribe has saved me. It’s a no-judgment zone and I have discovered how much easier it feels to commiserate with those who can speak my language. A therapist also helps if you are able to find one who gets you. Whoever you go to, whether it be a group of mommy friends or a therapist, make sure it is someone you can trust and feel you can be yourself around. You need to be able to lean on others; It doesn’t make you weak to turn to your tribe in hard times.
Lemonade can actually taste really delicious if you find your right recipe. Mine is above, but yours may be different. Whatever you find, make sure you search for the perfect concoction when you are not knee-deep in sadness; it can be very hard to see clearly in those moments.
What are your go-to’s to get you out of a funk? What has helped you to feel yourself again?