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Do Your Emotional Ups & Downs Make You Feel Bananas??? 6 Things You can Do to Shift Your Mood

by | Sep 5, 2019

Do you ever feel like you have multiple personalities? Do you ever wonder if you’re a little nutso because you feel different from day to day? I mean, like, REALLY different? Have you ever had a period of just a few days where you went from one emotional extreme to the other? Does it make you wonder if you’re normal? Me too…last week!

As a woman in midlife you may have noticed that time has gotten weird. Our days can feel long, some moments are torturously endless, while other periods of time seem to be over in a flash. Summer for me was both incredibly fun, playful; it zoomed by. AND it was also ruthlessly difficult in some ways and seemed to go on forever. I was lucky enough to take some great trips and spend some really fun days  with friends and family. I also spent a painful amount of time during my favorite season in bed feeling absolutely miserable dealing with a stubborn sinus infection which keeps coming back in various degrees of severity.

All of this struggle with my wellness, or lack thereof, has taken a bit of a toll on my outlook. Even as an empowerment coach who specializes in mindset, with all of my tools, resources, and time spent on my own growth and development, I still got pummeled. Last week was painful in the mindset arena. The sinus monster got stirred up, and I was forced down again. And this time I GAVE IN. I bought a VIP ticket to the Pity Party of the Century.

Here it was, the last weekend of summer, with perfect and glorious weather and I felt like a first class LOSER. Kids were gone, I had no plans, I felt like shit (again). Then I doubled down in self pity town: I’ve been so sick, I did something to cause this, I haven’t been busy enough, my business sucks, I’m a terrible coach, I’m not even a good mother, I’m utterly alone. No one is here to help me. My kids will leave me one day too. I might as well just pack it in. Quit trying. Close my practice because I’m lazy and inept and stupid and an idiot. I should get some dumb office job where I can barely show up and just get through the day. And I should just start drinking again and eating crap because…who cares anyway. Sniff.

Yep. Me. The “rah rah you’re so awesome!” coach could barely put together a positive thought for herself. I’m embarrassed to even admit it. But I am sharing this because I want you to know that EVERYONE doubts themselves. EVERYONE falls into pity party land sometimes. EVERYONE has low moments, even people who do mindset work for a living!

So, what happened? Well, after a few days of this nonsense I used the tools I have built up in my mindset and empowerment toolbox through years of being in therapy, coaching and working on myself. First and most importantly, I reached out for help and encouragement. I called a friend, who is also a coach. She listened, asked me lots of questions and I answered and then mostly sobbed. Our minds are tricky because they make us think these sad, pitiful thoughts are true. I cried because it’s painful to feel so low and in the moment if feels so real.

Once I was able to own and admit all the insane thoughts and speak them to someone who could witness, acknowledge, and help put it all in perspective, I was able to shift a bit. This part is important: A BIT, not completely. We tend to expect we are going to feel 100% better immediately, and that is too much pressure to put on ourselves. It usually takes a while to get into the pit of sadness and overwhelm, and it takes some time to get out again. 

After the call, and for the rest of the day I chose to do something I absolutely love and to not feel guilty about it. I sat in the sun and read a novel. Key word here: CHOICE. Just making a choice to a) do something simply for enjoyment, and b) choosing not to feel guilty is a HUGE mindset shift. Even after consciously choosing I watched my mind start to wander into “should” territory. I had to choose again and again to simply enjoy the moment and be delighted.

{<- Am I crazy??? This was taken just 2 hours after the insane sobbing fest!}

Choosing to do something out of sheer delight and enjoyment takes work in our world, but it can shift your mindset big time. The next day I woke up with 50% more motivation. I called and scheduled a session with someone I knew was going to make me feel better. I made myself sit down and write a gratitude list-I came up with 61 items before I had to stop to make my appointment. I took myself back to the medical clinic to say “Do something about this sinus thing because I. Am. Over. It”. I signed up to watch a video that might help me in my business. 

I didn’t do all the things I wanted to get done. Not even close. But I moved the needle. And I really began to feel better. The next day I felt even more like myself. My motivation and inspiration was slowly coming back. My optimism was way up. I felt hopeful and energized instead of overwhelmed and lifeless. Was it really possible to go from a quivering puddle of tears, self pity, low self esteem and existential dread to an empowered, excited, can-do mama? Yes. It IS possible. 

And this, dear readers, is why I sometimes feel like I am 2 or 3 or 17 different people. We all are. None of us are steady all the time. None of us has this all figured out. And if you are striving to grow and thrive, then you are going to get smacked with some painful moments that feel like they will take you down and out. 

What to do when life throws a major pity party in your honor:

  1. Take a pause. I am the queen of overthinking and overreacting, so this first lesson is for my over analytical sisters. Just slow the f*&% down. Breathe. Take a break. See if this is a true body slam of emotions or just a slow roll that might pass with say a walk, some yoga, dancing to your favorite song, or a snack.
  2. If you are, in fact, deep in the pity party for a couple of days, please please please, for the love of all that is holy: call someone. Call someone who is going to first let you vent and then give you some sympathy. Sometimes we need someone to just say “aw honey, that just totally sucks. I’m so sorry you’re in it.” And then is going to help you with some perspective. “Are you really a bad mother? Are you really a lazy piece of shit? ‘Cause here are 73 examples that say otherwise.”
  3. Choose wisely. Choose to listen to those 73 examples!!! Or choose to: read some past journal entries of awesome things you’ve done, do something simply because it feels good, or pay attention to delightful things that are uncomplicated and easy. In other words, make a choice to do something different that feels good. If you can focus on something that simply feels good for just a few minutes you begin to shift something in your brain which starts moving your mindset.
  4. Be patient with yourself. Likely you didn’t drop into this shit storm of sadness in an instant. Give yourself some time to get out of it. When you feel some lightening of your mood or thoughts pay attention to that, and trust that it’s going to keep getting better.
  5. Take some action. Do something that you know works to boost your mood: write a gratitude list, make an appointment with a therapist or coach or psychic or chef or gardener or belly dance instructor-anyone who you know boosts your mood, get your body moving, go outside and sit in some nature, help someone else, blast 80’s music,etc.
  6. Take preventative measures: commit to a daily, yes DAILY, practice that will help you maintain the positive momentum. My go to: wake up 20 minutes early, listen to a guided meditation, do some journaling, drink a lot of coffee, do the day and then write gratitudes at the end of the day. This kind of daily practice helps build a foundation for difficult moments. And guess what…I let go of this practice during the summer. Coincidence? I think not. 

Please remember that every single person has hard times and sometimes we all need some help. If you ever need a nudge through the difficulty, please reach out.

Sam

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