I feel your pain, babe. For me, its exercise. The harder the better. Even if I don't want to. I have a trainer that I pay a lot of money to to make me work out hard especially when I don't want to. Because when I feel that bad, I can't motivate myself to work out on my own.
Best of luck.
If my usual strategies aren't working there's usually some underlying reason. I spend a few minutes (and really, I mean like 5-10 minutes) trying to meta-analyze: WHY isn't this working?
If nothing leaps out at me in those few minutes then I generally figure I need to give the subconscious time to work on it, so I do things that will occupy the conscious mind more.
- a long, hot shower. Lots of white noise from the water, plus help the body feel good and relax. For me, being personally clean is an uplifting and pleasant feeling, too, so even if nothing shakes out - hey, I feel better about my body at the end.
- a mental challenge. Something like a MENSA puzzle or something that I know will take a fair bit of conscious effort but is in no way related to my life. By absorbing my conscious cycles I let the subconscious off the hook.
- a construction project, like baking something. It's challenging enough for me that it absorbs the conscious and it has the bonus of tangible benefits (tasty!) at the end. I don't know if anyone else finds cooking challenging enough to be like this, but you know - substitute your own challenge.
Depending on what I've already tried, any of these strategies sometimes help me. None of them work 100 percent, though:
- starting a new project (something I can get excited about)
- reading an old favorite.
- long, hot bath or shower
- cheezy, schmaltzy catharsis (ie. watching a movie designed to make you cry)
- hiding from the world in a constant fiction bombardment
- bugging the cats (holding a cat who doesn't want to be held can sometimes be a strangely satisfying exercise)
- getting really angry about something (it usually helps because it puts me in a more active space, but is dangerous, because it can slip back into depression pretty easily.)
- walking alone
- taking a nap
- comfort food
- making lists!
I also forgot: dancing to loud, loud music (usually alone in a room, somewhere - I'm not a clubby person)
2008-10-13 11:59 am (UTC)
Yoga, or other exercise.. While I generally hate going to the gym, I also feel better having gone. During the nicer weather, going for a bicycle ride always helps.
Working on crafty, creative projects. Something to wrap your brain around that you can enjoy doing and feel proud of.
2008-10-13 12:19 pm (UTC)
depends. depending on specifics, some things that help me:
- doing a little bit of cleaning or otherwise decluttering my space -- it fends off the 'OH GOD I AM SURROUNDED BY CRAP' feeling that sometimes adds to the badness. even just fighting a little bit of entropy, like the crap i walk by a dozen times a day where i think "i should pick that up and throw it out" this can range from doing the dishes to sweeping the floor to laundry or taking the trash out.
- distracting myself with something fun -- video games, puzzle-type games, etc.
- bringing myself to do a thing i've been dreading and avoiding or just endlessly procrastinating around. because it feels really good to have done it (as long as i can avoid the "i should've done this a long time ago" variety of kicking myself). this can range from making a phone call i've been dreading to putting together a box of books to outcruft to finally hauling that box of recycling downstairs.
Long walks outdoors
Call up a friend and talk
Go out drinking with a friend, and talk
Hard workouts at the gym
Put on loud music and clean the house
Agreed with practically every suggestion mentioned.
That said, I often end up just riding the badness out, reminding myself that when it's done I will still be here.
I'm not very good at fending off misery. It fucking sucks.
However, reading ultra-engaging fiction can pull me out of my own shit as long as I don't read something super heavy. Dark literature is *not* good for this, and I've been avoiding that kind of stuff for about 18 months now.
Also, as someone mentioned above, exercise. Man, I hate it. Really really hate it. But when you've worked your body, really *worked* it, it definitely helps quiet the monkey mind. (I'm at my mentally healthiest when I am at the dojo three times a week or more.)
1. reading a good book I love
2. hard exercise to loud music
I like riding my motorcycle a lot when I'm sad too, but that's not always possible for everyone.
A walk on the treadmill, a good movie (and that means nothing negative), perhaps cleaning my immediate environment.
Hug Therapy also helps, when you have a regular hug pusher around.
Nothing more complicated than just a close, affectionate, silent hug.
At least three a day from your sweetie will help greatly over time.
2008-10-13 04:45 pm (UTC)
I like to go to my secluded restaurant or bar(or drinking at home)with a very close understanding friend and spill my worries, frustrations and fears in front of her. With the understanding that she can do the same, it is not a competition and no matter what is said, it will be thoroughly listened to before commented on.
I agree that *hugs* are definitely a necessary.
about 15 minutes of crying
then clean somehting - usually a closet - badness sometimes comes from feeling out of control - take a very small space and CONTROL it.
reading a good book - with a happy ending.
make something - create something - some of my good stuff comes from making something when I am "dark" -if it isn't any good put it aside nad look at it later - it may be better than you think
see my therapist
walk in a favorite place
Sending you big hugs
Get out of town.
Getting away- on the train to Salem, the bus to New York, somewhere away, sometimes helps me break out of the grey awful blahs. Even If I am tired and feel eh, seeing new stuff can give me a bit of a boost, and at least keep me from trying to hide in my bed.
Sometimes exercise works, sometimes going out and seeing cool people (you!) works, sometimes changing what I'm reading or watching helps, sometimes playing the dulcimer helps, sometimes talking to or crying on Greg works, but sometimes nothing helps at all and I'm stuck in the dark dark place, all alone.
But I always get back out. I am determined on that. I will not succumb to lasting despair while The Bastard is alive. *grim smile* And then when he's dead, I'll have even more reason to live.
I love you. If I can help, let me know. You're one of the best people I know.
I watched an Eddie Izzard DVD. I may work through the library's comedy collection.
I shifted my sleep schedule to get maximum daylight hours. It's harder at night.
If I'm deep in the badness, and surrounded by ice weasels, I go to sleep for the night and try again the next day. Sometimes it works as a reset.
Staying in the house too long makes it worse. Getting out doesn't exactly help, but breaks the momentum.
I feel better after I exercise, so I bully myself into it.
More lights at night. Being warm.
Corny as it sounds, talkng to you and/or seeing you always helps me.
Taking a bath.
Reading or watching something funny.
Being in nature.