We all feel down from time to time. How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?
This is kinda tough – I find myself regularly feeling the blues, but I don’t actually talk about it. I know that most people will acknowledge it – call their girlfriends to talk about all their problems; or confront their issues immediately to rectify the situation etc etc. But I tend to do what most people do – eat their feelings.
Now, in saying that, I regularly make a point of telling people that I’m cold and dead on the inside – that I have no feelings… ‘Cold as ice’. But it’s not actually true. I do have feelings – I just don’t necessarily like to show them very often. I’m far too guarded.
Admittedly, I tend to be quite highly-sensitive to things that people do or say. As somebody who was bullied practically every day since I was a kid, and somebody who has been through more than their fair share of emotional shit… yes, I consider myself as being quite damaged from it all, and as a result, I generally tend to internalise everything and keep things to myself. But it has also led me to take more of a stand for those who are just like I was.
When I was younger, I suffered from depression, and that in-turn led to me suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I really struggled to get myself out of that funk and find my happy… Things that I enjoyed just seemed to be too much to handle. Even things like seeing my friends was just incredibly uncomfortable, because I always felt like I just shouldn’t be around them – and I felt as though they didn’t really know what to say or how to act around me… which made me not want to socialise with them very much.
As I got older, I began to just focus what little energy I had onto the one thing that truly made me happy – dancing. I’d run myself into the ground, to the point where I’d have to crawl home. I’d be so completely exhausted, but I’d still find comfort in happiness in being able to still dance. It’s always been my one true love in life.
Now that I’m older, I find comfort in happiness in all kinds of different scenarios. Being able to actually have some social time with friends can actually make a huge difference for me, and create a positive shift in my mood. I find that it’s generally the small gestures from others that make the biggest impact for me – I guess because it’s so unexpected, and sometimes quite thoughtful.
I remember last year when I had a surgical procedure, i was off work for 2 weeks whilst I was at home, bed-ridden and bored recovering. A friend of mine sent me a small care-package in the mail, and because I hadn’t actually spoken to her recently, it made it so much more of a surprise. I felt completely elated when I received the parcel in the mail, as I had no idea what was inside.
That was a pivotal point in my life – and ever since, whenever a friend of mine has something getting them down, I’ll do something for them as a nice gesture. For example, the same friend who sent me the care package was, one day, feeling somewhat overwhelmed and upset due to some issues with her husband. She was feeling quite sad and confused, and so out of the blue, I decided to send her some flowers. Just a simple bouquet with a small box of chocolates, and the impact that it made on her life was truly remarkable. Upon receiving the flowers, she called me to thank me, and we ended up speaking for almost two hours – allowing her to talk about everything that was upsetting her and getting her down… and immediately, she felt relieved, and didn’t feel (or sound) as upset as she previously was.
So for those of you reading this, and happen to come across somebody you know who may be feeling a bit down in the dumps – try doing something to surprise them – do something spontaneous either with them or for them. Send them some flowers. Turn up at their house and whisk them away for an adventure somewhere. Get them out of the house, and distract them. Talk to them about what’s troubling them – show them that you care… just do SOMETHING. Even if it goes completely south and turns out to be a terrible idea, you can both at least take comfort in knowing that you tried to do something nice for them.
It’s better to try and fail, than to never try at all.