Unfortunately my plans for Labor Day weekend have been squashed. The weather is partly to blame, but there are also personal reasons for cancelling my plans. I don’t like bailing on my friends, especially last minute, so I’m feeling guilty for doing so. On top of everything else, it’s crunch time for my actuarial exam so everyday this week has been coated in a thick layer of stress as I’ve tried to study as much as possible.
I didn’t have a breakdown yesterday (Friday). I was just feeling very overwhelmed and stressed. It’s funny because I had absolutely nothing to do Friday night. It would have been a perfect night to decompress and relax. However, the events leading up to why I canceled my plans, the guilt I felt for cancelling, and the thought of my upcoming exam left me feeling …blah. Describing my mood as blah is not the most articulate word choice, but I’m guessing most of you can relate. I got back to my apartment around 8pm, sat on my couch, and was completely indifferent about everything. Watch a TV show? Blah maybe. Text a friend? Blah maybe. Study for my exam? Blah maybe. I’m pretty sure feeling blah really translates into feeling depressed. Yes, I was depressed last night. I’m not clinically depressed. My feelings of blah aren’t chronic. But I’m a normal human being who’s affected by shit going on in my life. If anyone tells you they never get depressed that person is full of shit.
In the end, I ate a box of Jujyfruits and drank cognac as I watched one or two episodes of Bob’s Burgers. Then I had a sugar crash and fell asleep with my lights on around 9pm. (I think I revealed too much in those two sentences…) I woke up at 6am feeling like an idiot. Why did I do that??…What am I going to do with myself while everyone is away for the weekend…I could have been studying, but instead I ate an entire box of Jujyfruits…
As a child, my dad would get mad when my sister or I spilled something and then reacted in a normal kid way by staring with our mouths open in shock and disbelief at whatever it was we spilled. He would yell, “Don’t just stare at it! Clean it up! Don’t think, just act!” Even as a 7 year old, I knew this wasn’t the best advice. Nevertheless, over the years I’ve discovered the motto “Don’t think, just act” is very useful in certain situations, like when I’m feeling blah. So, after wallowing in self pity for about 30 minutes I decided to get out of bed and get out of my head (I’m a poet, and I don’t even know it!) and actually do something to improve my state of mind. That’s the gist of this post (only took 500 words!); what can I (or you) physically do to improve the way I’m (or you’re) feeling and thinking. I’m going to share what I did this morning to get out of a blah mood.
The Forrest Gump
Every 3-6 months a pull a maneuver I’ve termed “The Forrest Gump.” If I’m feeling really stressed, or depressed, or unsettled in any way I hop on the treadmill or the elliptical and start moving. I have no calorie or milage goal. I just run, and I don’t stop until whatever is bothering me is out of my mind. I probably burned about 1,000 calories this morning in addition to completing a few sets of stability ball planks. If anything, this technique makes you so tired you’ll fall asleep and thus not think about your current life situation…
There are also benefits when you’re still awake. As Elle Woods said in the movie, Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” I don’t plan on shooting any husbands, but I wholeheartedly agree that exercise makes me happy and gives me energy. On top of this, physical activity helps me get out of my head. I tend to ruminate or over analyze things, but when I’m focusing on banging out another mile on the treadmill while my heart is racing and my legs feel like jello I have no thought space to focus on the trivial stuff that might have been bothering me before.
Writing a Blog Post
“Writing a Blog Post” is very specific. What I really mean is being creative. When I’m creative I get in the flow, and I lose track of space and time (I don’t mean to sound trippy. No brownies were involved in the writing of this post.). It’s just like exercising in the sense that creativity forces me to focus on something other than my problems. I’m redirecting my energy; but rather than focusing on my body (like when I’m running), I’m focusing on what I want to create.
Another creative outlet of mine is drawing. Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of flowers – lots and lots of flowers. Flowers are pretty easy to sketch, and drawing one is a nice 30 minute break in between study sessions. Alas, drawing a shit ton of flowers becomes an embarrassing problem when you leave your flower sketches – tulips, sunflowers, roses – scattered all over your living room and bedroom and then property management does an unexpected fire alarm inspection in your apartment. It’s not like I’m drawing pictures of naked people or dead animals, but I can imagine property management now secretly refers to me, the girl in #306, as “flower girl.”
I’m officially out of my blah mood, so I’m going to go shower and get on with my day. I’ve been working on another post that is funnier than this one. Hopefully, I’ll finish that within the next week, and I won’t be taking another 5 month hiatus
Until then, ciao.