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5 Ways To Feel Better Right Now

5 Ways To Feel Better Right Now

Life has a tendency to knock us down a few notches every now and then. If you are having one of those days when nothing is going right, let me share five ways to change your mood’s direction:

1. Create Stuff That Interests You

I write stories; I’m currently working on a novel, in fact. It’s my first try at a large piece of fiction work, and it’s fun. Every day I write a minimum of 2,000 words and every day I wake up scared witless that I’m going to fail. Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours to knock a couple of thousand words off. Sometimes, well, I miss lunch. But accomplishing 2,000 words gives me power — that I did it, and will step to the table tomorrow and do it again.

If I’m not working on my book and my feelings towards the day start heading south, I try and create some new ideas for articles or projects. It keeps my mind stimulated, ignoring the internal feelings begging me to suffer.

If you love writing, like I do, and you’re feeling ‘not-so-hot’, then grab a pencil, write a story, write about a favorite date, a dream date, an old experience that warms your heart. The point is, just write something. It distracts you from your current need for sadness and will make you feel good after accomplishing it.

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If you’re not into writing, create something else. My wife recently picked up crocheting, it keeps her mind distracted if she is feeling stressed, and now my dog is going to be really warm this winter!

You can create anything you like, the only rule is: It should be interesting to you.

2. Read Some Good Fiction

I understand every article like this always tells you to go read some positive, inspirational books, but I want to tweak that message. Yes, it’s great to read something that is going to get your hope-mojo pumping and gives new life to the day, but sometimes it all seems like hogwash, doesn’t it?

When you feel really awful, reading the highly emotional, ‘go get your success’ type of information can be deflating. What if you don’t want to right now? I mean, it’s your right how you want to act.

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I’ve found recently that reading good fiction can help, at minimum, to ease my mind. It takes me to a far away place — it gives my brain a break. While some non-fiction reminds us how awful our life is and why we need it to make our life better, a good fiction book just wants to tell you a story, that’s it. My favorite fiction novel is Ask The Dust, by John Fante. A couple more I would recommend are Ham On Rye, by Charles Bukowski and East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.

Give your mind a break: dive into some good fiction!

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    3. Dance A Little

    There’s nothing in the world that changes your mood — naturally, I should add — like dancing. My puppy, Lily, and I will break out into mini-dance parties when I’m searching for a little energy. She jumps up, I grab her front paws, we sway slowly in a small circle while she walks on her back legs. The entire time she tries to gnaw my hand off, but it’s great fun nonetheless.

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    Put on some music that gets your foot tapping. Before you know it, you will have a full-on dance party trying to impress your dog with your moves.

    4. Do 100 Push Ups As Fast As You Can

    It’s not easy to instantly drop and pound out 100 push ups when you’re not feeling too hot about life. It’s not easy to just drop and do 100 push ups period, but it does change your energy.

    For most people, the ones not dangerously obsessed with fitness, 100 push ups is damn hard to do in under six minutes. Once you hit the wall, your body feels like it’s gained 50 pounds, your arms turn to jelly, your lungs fight for breath. The feeling is horrible, but you’re not in a bad mood anymore because pushing to 100 is your only purpose at that moment. You’re welcome!

    Side Note: Don’t do 100 if you can’t. Just a number that creates some struggle and causes you to challenge yourself a bit. You know, get those endorphins everybody talks about flowing. It could be 50, it could be 20. The number isn’t important, the feeling is.

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    5. Write Some Poetry

    This is similar to point ‘1’ if you love writing, but even if you don’t, I’d urge you to try your hand at writing poetry. Writing poetry can be magical. It forces you to see the world in different ways. Even if you write something sad or negative, just getting it out on paper can help shift your feelings.

    I’ve written some of my best poems while being in the dumps, but it felt good to get my frustrations out. Don’t worry about structure, just write!

    Poetry is an art. Art can help bring peace to your life. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “Practicing an art isn’t a way to earn money…it’s a way to make one’s soul grow.”

    The main thing to remember is, no matter how bad or sad you’re feeling, it’s okay, it’s normal. It’s a part of being human, so embrace it and work through it. You only have one life, so you might as well do the best you can to enjoy as many moments as you are given.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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