Have you ever been in a funk? Not depression or serious grief, but a couple of disappointments back to back get you feeling down.
When you’re feeling that way, you want to take a vacation from life. You might hide out more than usual to avoid burdening others with your problems.
You’ve been burned in the past by people who lack compassion and understanding. When you went to them for support, they quoted Bible verses at you. Or made it all about themselves.
If you’re feeling down, there are a number of things you can do that don’t involve pretending or hiding. I believe in feeling your feelings and not “fake it till you make it”.If you're feeling down, there are a number of things you can do that don't involve pretending or hiding. Click To Tweet
You should never fake anything. Remember Sadness in the Inside Out movie? They needed her so the protagonist could show her parents her true feelings and they could support her.
With that in mind, here are five ways to deal with feeling down without pretending you’re okay when you’re not.
1. Tell someone you’re feeling down.
Maybe you’ve been hurt before when you tried to share your feelings. Now that you know who’s unsafe, you can decide not to share with those people.
But find someone who’s shared with you in the past and return the favor. Or take a chance with someone you trust.
When we refuse to share our down times with others we deprive both them and ourselves of intimacy and connection.
Relationships deepen through struggles. That’s how we get to know each other better.
Do you ever notice when you share something hard, the other person is inspired to open up, too? Sharing our pain increases trust and helps us know we’re not alone.Sharing our pain increases trust and helps us know we're not alone. Click To Tweet
So even when the last thing you want to do is expose yourself, it’s the only way to find true support and be fully seen and known by others.
2. Do something for someone else.
It’s healthy to seek a little bit of solitude when you’re feeling down. But it you find yourself avoiding seeing people and fixating on your problems, it’s time to get outside yourself.
In these situations, you have to do the opposite of what you feel like doing. It’s as simple as texting a friend to see how they’re doing.
Or making a donation to a cause near to your heart. Or promoting someone else on social media.
When Jesus told us to love others as ourselves, He didn’t mention the benefits. And that’s not the reason we do it.
But there is something therapeutic about reaching outside yourself to comfort or bless someone else.
3. Move your body when you’re feeling down.
Literally, get up off the couch and move around. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise: a few jumping jacks or push ups instantly change a stagnant frame of mind.
A walk around the neighborhood helps, too. If the sun is out you get needed Vitamin D. Nature does wonders for our quality of mind and can be very healing.
Again, it’s the last thing you want to do, but it will alter your frame of mind and keep you on the road to good health.
4. Take a deep breath.
It’s simple but sometimes we forget to breathe deeply and slowly. Shallow breathing encourages anxiety and feelings of fear.
A simple deep breath acts like a reset and can be therapeutic. You can take it further and practice mindful meditation.
Another way to slow down and breathe is to shut off the internet and read a physical book. The process of reading keeps you in the moment and away from your ruminating thoughts.Reading helps you escape in a way social media never can. Click To Tweet
Reading helps you escape in a way social media never can. You engage with someone else’s story and take a break from your own.
5. Check something off your list.
The power of completing one small task when you’re feeling down will surprise you. Set yourself up for success by completing something easy.
Reach for the low-hanging fruit. You don’t have to stretch too far and grabbing it gives you the impetus to reach higher next time.
Accomplishing a seemingly insignificant task can make all the difference in getting back on your feet. Even if you simply begin, you’ll feel a burst of confidence.
Positive action reminds you that you’re capable and have the power to change your circumstances.