October 12, 2011

Comforting without food

Man, I am in a funk.

I don’t know if it’s because I had a stressful morning at work before I had to fly out (conferences in Chicago for the rest of the week). It could also be because I wasted time on the flight watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and Meredith has really become a drag in the last few seasons. Either way, I am just in a bit of a not-so-good mood… and instead of keeping it to myself, I’m going to blog about it.

The toughest part for me about getting into a bad mood is not cheering myself up with unhealthy comfort food. Let’s be real – when you’re feeling crappy, I don’t care how healthfully you normally eat – it’s hard not to reach for some cookies or ice cream. I try to mitigate this by not keeping those treats around – but even though I had eaten lunch a mere 10 minutes before, the chocolate almond protein bars in my laptop bag were pretty tempting. However, I keep those to tide me over when I have to delay meals due to a busy schedule or plane delay – not to snack on in addition to my regular meal. Given that I was headed to a conference where the kickoff event was a banquet, which I knew would likely be followed by a long night of drinking, there was no way I needed that.

So how do you deal with a bad mood when food is not the answer? A few options:

-Get productive. Since you’re already in a bad mood, maybe it’s a good time to knock out that work task you’ve been procrastinating because you know it’s going to suck. Now you can feel all bitchy and snarky about it without having to spoil a good mood doing so! Plus, getting it done may lift your spirits

-Work out. It doesn’t take a positive attitude in order to go for a run or hit the elliptical. Besides the endorphins you’ll get from exercising, you’ll also feel productive that you got active! (And if you do end up indulging on those cookies later, you won’t feel so bad).

-Call/email/IM a friend. First, try a close friend – they’re sure to know the right way to cheer you up. If you can’t reach any or if that doesn’t work, try just making small talk with an acquaintance. Even if someone isn’t actively trying to boost your spirits, I find that just making contact can be a mood boost. And if you can’t find even an acquaintance who’s online or answering their phone, try reconnecting with someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. You’d be surprised how far a random “I was thinking about you and how we haven’t caught up in so long” can go – and chances are, they’ll write back with something totally mood-boosting about how they were excited to hear from you.

-Read blogs. There is bound to be someone in your Google Reader with happy news to share, and if you’re anything like me, you can get all caught up in the excitement and forget that it’s not happening to you. Instant happiness! (Though this goes the other way too – if I read that something bad happened to someone else, it can make me feel down as I empathize with the other person).

-Watch TV or read a book. Just make sure that, like the blogs, whatever you read is uplifting and fun.

And when all else fails, just suck it up and try to get through the rest of the day, reminding yourself that things always seem a thousand times better in the morning!


7 thoughts on “Comforting without food”

  1. Meredith really has become a drag, hasn’t she.

    I’ve found it’s a great help to come up with a list of things that we can do to cheer us up. I like make a mental list of things that I AM happy about, take the dogs for a walk, or go for a run. And just remind myself that mental funks happen to everyone. It’ll pass 🙂

  2. Hmm, well if I were good, I’d say I go to the gym or for a run when I’m in a bad mood, but I usually just like a nap. Or a funny TV show like Modern Family or Always Sunny in Philadelphia. OR! Oh I always do this. Bubble bath, facial, manicure at home 🙂

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