Last week, I was experiencing a case of the “blahs.” I wasn’t truly sad or upset about anything, just feeling a little off…stuck in a rut…in a bit of a funk…sort of “meh” and unmotivated.
It happens from time to time. Sometimes my blahs can be shaken off by focusing on the big three: food, sleep, and exercise. I ask myself:
- Have I been getting enough sleep?
- Have I been eating well?
- Have I gotten adequate exercise?
Many times focusing on those things clears up the blahs right away; but if I answer “yes” to those questions and I’m still feeling blah, then there are 6 other things I like to try. I thought I would share those things in case anyone out there is battling a case of the blahs themselves.
(I want to be clear that the “blahs” I’m referring to are not the same thing as depression. I’m simply sharing the things that help me when I’m not feeling 100% like my best self, and my suggestions should in no way be taken as medical advice. I doubt anyone with any sort of medical background would prescribe the Real Housewives.) 🙂
6 Things to Try When You Feel A Little Blah
1) Give yourself a break
Sometimes when I’m feeling blah, I get this sense of foreboding that I’m going to feel that way forever. I think there’s no way I’ll ever be motivated/creative/energized/productive/positive ever again.
But, instead of immediately trying to “fix” things or berate myself for my lack of productivity, I’ve learned to give into it for a day or two. I recognize that the blahs might just be my body’s way of telling me it’s tired or stressed or overworked and I need to just lie down for a bit and watch some bad reality TV or a cheesy movie, read a good book, or just sit outside and watch the squirrels play.
2) Groom yourself
There are a lot of days when I don’t necessarily need to look presentable. I almost always shower, but on days when my only activity consists of sitting in front of the computer, taking a quick trip to the grocery store, and waiting for the kids to get off the bus, I don’t necessarily care how I look.
Yet, I’ve found I always get a boost when I take the time to “get ready” for the day by styling my hair, putting on make-up and wearing real clothing (as opposed to whatever I slept in), even if I don’t have anywhere special to go.
When I’m groomed, not only do I just feel better overall, I’m also more willing to get out of the house and to interact with other people instead of darting furtively through the grocery store aisles hoping not to run into anyone I know because I’m wearing mismatched sweats and my hair is a mess.
3) Make some plans
A vicious cycle happens, where feeling blah tends to make me a little hermit-y, and being hermit-y tends to make me feel more blah. So to break the blah/hermit cycle, I bust out the calendar and make some plans.
They don’t need to be spectacular plans — it can be something as simple as meeting someone for coffee or lunch or a drink or a workout. Or it could mean signing up for a class, offering to help with a school project, or RSVPing for an event.
Forcing myself to make some concrete plans almost always elevates my mood and helps banish the blahs.
4) Do something kind
A lot of times when I’m feeling “off” it’s because I’ve been spending too much time thinking about myself and not enough time thinking of others. So, I make a conscious effort to think about what I can do for someone else, and then actually do it.
Maybe it’s reaching out to someone going through a hard time, or connecting with an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. Or it could be doing a favor for a neighbor or looking into volunteer activities in the area. It can even be as simple as giving someone a heartfelt compliment, or gathering up a bunch of stuff I don’t need and finding a place to donate it.
Getting outside my own head and focusing on others instead is a win for everyone!
5) Play some music
A few weeks ago, I wrote a whole post about how it lifts my spirits when I play good music in the car and around the house. When I’m lacking motivation to start dinner or clean or do things around the house, I fire up the pandora radio on my computer, and everything seems way more manageable…sometimes even enjoyable.
It’s rubbing off on the kids, too. Just last night my daughter asked me to play some Taylor Swift when she was lacking motivation to do her math homework. It definitely improved both of our moods.
6) Tackle a chore or project you’ve been putting off
When I’m feeling blah, I’m unmotivated to do things I normally enjoy doing, so it doesn’t make sense to tackle something I really don’t want to do. But over the years, I’ve learned that it actually helps to do one of the things I’ve been putting off the longest. Getting something off of my plate that’s been lingering there for a while always seems to lighten my blah load, and getting one big project out of the way gives me the energy boost I need to tackle smaller “to do’s”.
It could be a project around the house, a professional task, an errand, or in one recent case – a trip to the DMV that I’d been putting off for over a year! Going to the DMV is never fun, but I felt a lot better afterwards.
After I wrote this post, I thought of some other things that helped me beat the blah’s, and I added a 2nd post. Here are 6 MORE things to try.