Namaste Divine yogi,
Today, I’m working outside. Why? Not only because I can but because I felt I needed to. As a holistic health coach, I’m constantly coaching others on how to be healthier, happier, more balanced and at peace with themselves. However, if I don’t take care of myself and ensure that I’m feeling balanced, healthy, and vibrant, how can I help others? You’re right, I can’t….
And today was one of those days where upon waking, I just didn’t feel myself. Some external circumstances mixed with my expectations around these circumstances left me feeling….down in the dumps.
So what did I do? I took my butt outside, and just sat in the sun for 15 minutes petting my dogs and laughing at them rolling around in the grass making funny noises. The result? An entirely different day.
So to help you when things aren’t really going your way or you’re feeling overwhelmed/sad/disappointed, I’ve put together a list (with some help from my friends because everyone has their own way of going about this) of many different things you can do to turn your mood around.
1. Do what I did- get in the sun! Leave your phone and gadgets inside. Listen to the birds chirp. Even if it’s cold, soaking up some vitamin D can be so uplifting as vitamin D is associated with moods. So in winter, we tend to have more depressed moods because we’re getting less Vitamin D.
2. Slow down time by reading metered poetry. My beautiful friend Julie, a poetry connoisseur, recommends Shakespeare for this purpose as other poetry can be depressing. You can also try Mary Oliver or Rumi.
3. Feel powerful and strong – do a quick body weight workout – I recommend the daily HIIT or if you have more time, go to the gym and lift some heavy weights (don’t worry ladies- you won’t bulk up by lifting heavy), assuming you’ve been doing so and your body is ready for this. A quick HIIT workout will energize and uplift you, reminding you of your body’s beauty and strength.
3. Take a time out so you can actually be productive. When we work diligently (especially those of us working for ourselves) and then take well-earned breaks, we boost our self esteem and help ourselves feel more productive. So by focusing on one thing at a time, we actually get more done, rather than feeling scattered and like a failure (I’ve been there, trust me). Set a timer for 30 minutes of work and 5 minutes of a real break or 50 minutes of work and a 10 minute break. Really work during the work and really break during the break. Change your environment during the break too to feel like you’ve really relaxed a bit.
4. Cook healthy food for yourself. Cooking can be therapeutic and calming, especially when you follow a recipe and don’t have to think too much about it.
5. Headstand! For my yogis and yoginis- come into headstand for 10-20 breaths for a energy booster and mood improver. This is an extremely therapeutic posture- that’s why it’s called the king of all asanas!
6. Watch a funny video of someone who knows how to be grateful. This one comes to mind.
7. Check out my Pinterest page full of inspiring quotes and images.
8. Call your best friend. Really call them. Don’t text them or facebook message them. Calling is more like spending quality time and you can’t really do a bunch of other stuff while you’re on the phone with them like you can while texting.
9. Write down 5 things you are grateful for in this moment, today. Not what you were grateful for a year ago or a week ago. Now. Writing them down makes them more real. People who do this on a regular basis are proven to be happier over the long run. It’s a fact. Look it up.
10. Donate $25 to Kiva. Your donation goes toward loaning a hard working entrepreneur in the developing world the money they need to start their own business. When they pay it back, you get to reinvest it in another person. How rewarding is that?
11. Sit in a cross-legged position or in a chair with both feet flat on the ground with a straight spine and count 100 breaths with your eyes closed, hands on your knees, palms up. Start at 1 if you lose count. I do this every day. Without fail. And I cannot tell you how grounding and bliss-promoting it is – you’ll just have to try it out yourself. It will take you about 10 minutes if you stay focused.
12. Write down 10 things you’ve accomplished in the last month. Even as small as I got out of bed today or I let someone over into my lane even though I was pissed off about xyz.
13. Write 5 goals you have for the next week. Small, attainable action steps are the keys to accomplishing them.
14. Clean an area of your house/office/car that is chronically messy. Set a timer for ten minutes and clean as much as you can in that time. Having clutter and junk around stagnates the energy in your life and is often a reflection of your internal process.
15. Take a 20 minute nap. Sleeping for 30 minutes or less ensures you wake up feeling rejuvinated.
16. Open the blinds and the window. Even if it’s cold out, getting fresh air in the room is uplifting.
17. Use aromatherapy and apply it to your pressure points. Citrus and peppermint are especially invigorating.
18. Buy yourself flowers and put them in a vase. Adding aesthetic beauty to your environment may seem frilly or unnecessary but it does a lot for the psyche.
19. Buy someone else flowers. You know what I mean.
20. Plan something to do later that you can look forward to. Going to a free event at a park or city? Going out to dinner? Maybe plan your next vacation or pick a spot for your next vacation! They sky is the limit.
Remember that you have a choice in everything you do- how you think and feel are both up to you.
What are some ways you like to lift your spirit and mood?
Jenna Pacelli is a Holistic Health Coach and yoga teacher. She coaches yoga practitioners and busy professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area and all over the world. She assists her clients in having more energy, curbing cravings naturally, losing weight and keeping it off without dieting, reducing stress levels, and living from a place of joy and authenticity. Her clients create lasting change and fully embodied health and wellbeing