Disclaimer: I'm not telling you that these ideas will work for you. I'm just mentioning some things that have worked for me. You can give them a try, and I sincerely hope they help! Let's get on with it.
We've all had funks. Just when we feel bad, we feel depressed--and often even feel bad even about BEING depressed! I'm generally a very positive person, but I still get into these funks, and sometimes they are very dark. So, if you're reading this, and it happens to you, please know that others are going through the same type of things.
I can usually feel when dark feelings start to overtake me. And just like a garden will be taken by weeds if you're not vigilant, you'll need to know when a funk is coming on so you can stop in its tracks. If you feel it, know what's happening so you can start to take action before you're overwhelmed. Here are some of the things that have helped me:
1. Realize that the feelings that you're going through are NORMAL. These funks happen to everyone. It's okay for it to happen, and you don't need to beat yourself up over feeling beat-up, depressed, or just plain down. Give yourself permission to feel bad for a while, and don't feel guilty about it. I think the soul often needs a little time to heal itself, and you've just got to give that to yourself.
2. Know for certain that, "This too shall pass." It's often a cycle, and sometimes it just takes time. Give yourself a little time. Don't EXPECT that you'll feel better right away, but KNOW that you'll eventually get over it.
3. I oftentimes retreat. If at all possible I go away by myself for a while...even if it's for 30 minutes. I like to get to a quiet place, breathe deeply, and even write out what I'm feeling. Also, if I'm in a foul mood, I don't like to involve others in that--unless it's necessary (more on that later). I like to be by myself and get all of the emotions out--go ahead and cry if you need to, you're alone, so no one else is there. Release it--knowing you're going to feel just fine in a while.
4. Take a walk--or if you can muster up the energy do a full-on workout. I find that emotion sometimes follows motion. If you get moving, smell the clean outside air, and start to work up a sweat, the depression/sadness/anger loop can be more easily broken. It's literally really tough to feel depressed after a good workout. Your body's chemistry and all of the endorphins are working against those feelings. Yes, the workout may be tough to do, especially when you'd rather lay in bed and look blankly at a glowing screen of some kind--but most everyone can AT LEAST start a walk. So, go do it.
5. Get into a grateful state. I know it's tough right now, and sometimes the last thing you want to do is take action on anything. Something I like to do, after feeling down is to start a grateful list. I will pull out a pen and start to write out some of the blessings in my life. It can help turn a bad mood into a better feeling. I heard this quote yesterday by James Altucher, "Gratefulness and anxiety can't live in the same head." He was talking about being anxious, obviously, but I think the same thing applies to feelings of doubt, depression, anger and the like. However, for me at least, I don't always do the grateful list immediately. Sometimes when that happens, I'll get angry at myself for feeling bad when I obviously have all of these blessings everywhere--and getting angry just deepens those dark feelings. So, get grateful, and write them out, but just do it when you're ready.
6. Be extra special nice to someone. Go out of your way, while you're hurting, to do something nice for someone else. This one is magical--and honestly, I don't always remember it when I'm in a funk. Here's the thing: when we're down, it is pretty much inevitable that we are thinking about ourselves. We're thinking how WE feel. Other folks and the struggles that they're going through don't often cross our mind when we're like this. So, if you're able to do something nice for someone--like writing a heartfelt letter of thanks or gratitude, or purchasing a gift for someone that they're not expecting just because...doing this will get you to stop thinking about yourself and to think about others. I haven't done this yet, but I bet it would help to donate something, or do an act of service for those less fortunate then ourselves. If you're able to do it, I'm pretty sure that will help how you're feeling.
7. Tell someone that you know has your back that you're feeling bad, and that you need a little pick-me-up. Do this especially when your feelings are really dark. I promise you that there are people that care, and many people in your life want you to be happy. If you can call someone, especially someone that REALLY knows you, and you can do something with them that you enjoy--watching a movie, getting a dinner together...etc. Try and do that. I know for me that it would make me happy to comfort a friend that was feeling bad, and I bet YOUR friend will probably feel the same way. It's a wonderful quirk of human nature that we'll always feel better while helping someone else. Don't deny someone that pleasure! Call up your buddy/spouse/loved one and let them know what's going on, and then do something about it.
8. Eventually, when the time's right, regroup and attack. When the feelings start to subside, read your goals, examine your plans, and attack your dreams with ferocity. Go after them. Take action. Move on them. Make that phone call. Set that meeting. Just get busy living your life with a vengeance. The bad news is that you'll always have funks. They are waiting--but the good news is that you'll also have times when you just feel unstoppable and that's when you need to make progress. So, take that step.
That's it for now. I don't know if this helps at all, but I hope so. At the very least, I'll come back and look over this list when I feel those bad feelings start to creep in. Thanks for reading, and keep fighting the good fight.