After sharing my struggle with depression a few weeks ago, I started compiling a list of Quick Pick Me Up Tips of things I do that help me on the rough days. These tips while mainly focused on working through bouts of depression also help me on “non-depression days.”
I have used these pick-me-up tips in my day-to-day life to help me from feeling overwhelmed, over extended, burnt out, or feed up. I hope that the following 5 quick pick me up tips will help you whenever you need them.
1. Breathe, count to 10, pray – Before you react negatively to any situation take a deep breath, count to 10 (you know 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, etc), and pray for clarity and a correct response. Then respond. It literally only takes less than 10-15 seconds to do this one step but it is so crucial in helping me make the right response. Sometimes I pray out loud, sometimes I pray to myself.
Here’s a situation where I have found this to be very helpful: I ask Cakey to pick up her toys repeatedly. She refuses repeatedly. I ask her again to pick up her toys. She usually gives me the 2-year-old-going-on-15 attitude, you know the sighing, eye rolling, ignoring, etc (I have NO idea where she picked these things up). This behavior ticks me off. My initial response is to get very upset, yell, fly off the handle etc. but this has gotten me nowhere. Now I stop, take a deep breath, count to 10, and while counting I pray for peace, clarity, a change in my attitude toward Cakey, and for guidance in this situation. Then I begin picking the toys up and putting them away and every single time I have stopped to pray Cakey has begun helping me pick up the toys too.
2. Go outside everyday – Yes, I know summer is upon us and it is already like a thousand degrees during the day here in sunny Florida but sunlight is good for you. Go outside and walk around for 15-20 minutes in the fresh air and sun, you will feel so much better. No walking from your house to your car and into another building does not count. 🙂 At the very least open the blinds and let the light in. Every morning I open the blinds to the sliding glass door and let the sunshine in even on days when it is raining.
Here’s an idea: Take your kids to the playground and let them run around and play. Do not look at or touch your phone. Enjoy the time watching your kids and before you know it you may even be joining them! I try to take the girls to the playground by our apartment 2-3 times a week but on days when I wake up in a funk you can guarantee we will be at the playground usually right after breakfast.
3. Shower and dress everyday – Especially on the days when you do not want too. I love a good old pajama day just as much as the next person but a change of clothing can make a big difference in your day. As a stay-at-home-mom, I tend to view changing my clothes as just more laundry to have to wash later, especially if I do not plan to leave the house that day.
I have noticed that as strange as it may sound what I’m wearing does have an effect on my mood. I have started making a conscious effort to get up and get dressed in something I would not be embarrassed to be seen in by my pastor. Which to me means no pajamas. No, my pajamas are not revealing, but my line of thinking is, “If I don’t want to entertain guests like my pastor in my pajamas, then why should I entertain myself and my family in them?” Showering daily and washing away the funk physically helps with the funk in my head. Plus, if you shower before the kids are awake or after they go to bed you get 15 minutes of peace to reflect, pray, cry, sing, or whatever makes you feel better.
4. Clean something, anything – When I find myself in a grouchy mood, a surefire way to fix it is by cleaning something. I start by cleaning something simple like the bathroom mirror. Cleaning allows me to focus my thoughts better. Plus, seeing the immediate results from cleaning is a good mood booster. It never ceases to amaze me how cleaning one object will spur me into cleaning more and before I know it an entire room is clean and my foul mood has been lifted.
5. Exercise – I know you’re busy but exercise really does improve your mood. Just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference on your outlook on life (plus it’ll whittle your middle). I will be the first to admit I do not exercise as often as I need too. But I have noticed that when I do exercise I feel better immediately and that feeling cares on for hours later.
I started using these pick me up tips to help me during my depression but I have realized they are a blessing even on my non-depression days! I pray that these tips will help you in your day-to-day life and keep you from feeling overwhelmed, over extended, burnt out, or feed up.
Do you have any pick me up tips? How do you handle the day-to-day stress of mommyhood?
Have a blessed day!
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