I don’t think I’m the only one who wakes up some mornings thinking, “I just can’t do this any more.”
I’m not talking about ending it all, actual clinical depression. Just that tired-of-everything, nothing sounds good, why-can’t-I-win-the-lottery, blech kind of times. Those warming yoga moves I do in the morning aren’t warming any more. In fact, I skip them. I don’t care about hot lemon water. I don’t care about the beautiful sunrise. I don’t want to pet the cat.
Many writers suggest we get more comfortable with these dark moods. For many of us they are harmless and they allow us to slow down, brood, step away from the carousel, and curl up at the end of the couch bury our faces in our arms. We don’t have to be happy all the time. Really.
But most of us don’t have the luxury of retreating from the world, having whisky in our morning coffee, and spread-eagling on the living room floor all afternoon. Some of us have to fake it through the workday.
Here are some things that sometimes help me make it through the day until I can get home and soak in a salt bath.
- Have a coffee treat. I’m cheap, so this is something I don’t do very often. I love the smell and the atmosphere of coffee houses. On a dark day, I will order some wonderful seasonal thing with an extra shot of espresso.
- Greet my coworkers with a smile and a nod, rather than a full-blown “Good morning!” I don’t want to be a jerk to them, but I’m not in the right mind to attempt conversation.
- During a bathroom break, I do a quick emotional unload. I close my eyes with my feet firmly planted and imagine all the gunk in my mind and body flowing out of my body, through my feet, and into the earth. Then when I feel sufficiently emptied, I’ll imagine good, clean, white energy filling me up, also pulled from the sweet earth.
- Create a bubble. My energy worker tells me certain colors of bubbles work for different people. My golden bubble works for me. I imagine myself in a golden bubble where I am safe from other people’s moods and energy and I can be in my own comfy fort.
- Don’t do anything I’ll regret later, like say something mean to someone, or eat a funnel cake, or kill a spider or ignore the cat. This dark mood will lift and I’ll have to deal with the consequences and the guilt.
When I get home, it’s best I don’t have anything alcoholic, but rather take a few minutes to breathe deep or smudge. If I do have something alcoholic, I stop after one. I feel it’s a slippery slope to turn to alcohol when I’m feeling down.
Water is comforting to me, so if I can soak in a salt bath at the end of the day – no book, no music, just me and the water and the sensation of soaking – that’s a beautiful thing. But if the day is busy, several extra splashings of clear, cool water on my face after washing up is also helpful.
Usually after a day or two or three, things correct themselves. If they don’t after a week or two, I know there’s a deeper problem and I need to talk to someone.
The most important part of days like this is looking in the mirror before bedtime. Chances are very good it wasn’t a very productive day and I didn’t accomplish much of anything, since all of my effort was used to put one foot in front of the other. Rather than punishing myself for not being grateful and for letting a day go by without feeling joyful, I look at myself and say, “I forgive you.” And mean it.