Dear Greta – I feel so low this time of year. Is there anything you do that can help?
Hi – thanks for stopping by.
First of all, we all have different reasons for feeling low. Make sure you speak to the relevant professional – whether it’s a doctor or a shrink – if that’s appropriate. Always ask for help if you think you need it, whatever that help might be.
For me, March is always a slow time of year. It’s technically spring, but very little has sprung. The longer days aren’t long enough or warm enough to sit outside, so they totally write cheques they can’t cash. Plus Trump is still in office, which is disappointing for anyone who’s human. Okay, that’s not a March issue, that’s just an issue.
People like to pooh-pooh feeling low as a first world problem; they ‘argue’ that it’s not clinical depression or living in a war zone, so ‘shut the fuck up and get on with your life.’
However, we both know that you feel how you feel – not how people think or moralise you should feel.
Anyway, first world people with internet access, if you’re struggling rather than thriving, here’s my top 10 list of things that won’t break the bank, that have helped keep me going. They’re little, some are silly, but if any of them help, don’t say thanks; just do something wonderful for someone you know.
- Walking – not running or working out hard, but walking with yourself and your thoughts. Take your questions and problems and dilemmas for a walk. Don’t sit with them at home where they’ll fester. Funny thing is that when you do something, things change – and you might get home feeling a whole lot stronger than when you left.
- Sleep – the ability to black out and leave this world behind is beyond valuable. Sleep heals, rebalances and rests; it helps us recalibrate and recover. If you’re struggling this March, snuggle down, relax and sleep; it is a wonderful tonic, and worth working towards if you don’t currently have enough.
- Comedy – whatever gives you a giggle, go for it! Whether it’s SNL or Chelsea Handler, allow yourself a bit of a laugh. Life is too short to dwell on what’s wrong, or hard, or unfair.
- Do anything creative – when your hands are occupied making, shaping, painting, carving, sewing, kneading, hammering, stripping, sticking and all the other ings you can think of, you’re much more likely to find yourself in that coveted place called ‘the zone’. Being in the zone is one of life’s most rewarding places, as it’s all about living in the now and giving your most authentic self free reign.
- Chocolate – have some chocolate, and then have some more.
- Cuddles – sneak them in wherever you can, without getting arrested. I suggest you stick to friends and family. Don’t upset people with contact aversions; you’re not there to torture them, as tempting as it is.
- Dream – if you’re aware that your reality isn’t what you want it to be, you’re already on the path to change. Just keep going. Follow your inner compass and take heed of your intuition and feelings along life’s path. Day dreaming isn’t for losers; it’s for people who can change the world. Struggle is the pain price for seeing dreams succeed – don’t be put off.
- Pray – talk to your god about life. Listen for answers. Practise stillness and quietness before him – or her. This world teaches us how to rush. We must remember how to be spiritual dawdlers in order to be whole, and to be transformed. You don’t have to be alone on your path.
- Apply colour to yourself. I’ve mentioned this before but a good lipstick can see you through all manner of existential crises. Traditionally great to wear, it can also be used to write messages on mirrors – either verbal or pictorial. Colour is the promise of summer – of life to the fullest. Experiment with how different colours make you feel.
- Let go and say ‘thank you’. Gratitude is giving thanks for the little and the big – those things in life that help get you through another day. Gratitude can bring a healthier perspective about your experiences and is especially powerful when you’re struggling. Cultivate gratitude, and it will cultivate you.