When I was younger (much younger), and I moped about the house complaining of boredom and tiredness, my grandfather used to say “Sounds like you’ve got no petrol in your tank!”
He used to find tasks around the home or garden which he claimed needed doing right now, and put me to work. Sometimes it did actually work and I got so involved in weeding in the strawberries or trimming back some rampant herbs that my previous case of the miseries disappeared. Of course, sometime it didn’t and I whinged a lot.
Since then I have learnt that attitude is just a frame of mind, and I can choose to be miserable or happy … and yet there are some mornings when I need a little of Grandpa’s ‘distraction remedy’ – just to put some petrol in my tank.
Now I don’t know what the weather is like at your place at the moment, but here in South East Queensland it is drearily overcast and threatening rain … again. It has turned very cold, and when you are used to warmer southern climes ‘cold’ can come as a real shock to the system – and so there is a predominance of miseries going the rounds.
So here are five ideas that work for me when I need to bring some warmth back into my spirit and metaphorically put that petrol back into the tank …
1. Deliberately take control of the day. Sometimes, when the weather is gloomy and it imparts a real sense of doom, we feel just a little out of control. So my first step in regaining my equilibrium is to take some specific action designed to regain a sense of control. And it doesn’t take much.
Lighting a candle in a dark room bring an immediate lift to the spirits. Put the lights on – ignore the power bills, this is action time – bring some light into the home and you will feel better for it.
Choose an action; any action – and do it. You will feel that you have taken back control and then look to Step 2.
2. Change the Picture – it is so easy to get into a rut, and when everything is going well for us it can add a sense of certainty to our lives. But on days when it is cold and dark (and sometimes damp) a dull routine can add to the gloom.
So … do something different. If you always have a cup of tea at ten o’clock make hot chocolate at nine! If you always take the same route to work, change it. If you drive … go by bus or train; or just do your ordinary daily tasks as usual BUT – do them in a different order. You will be amazed just how empowering changing your routine can be.
3. Do Something Good for You. Pleasure is not a serious sin you know. We can indulge in things that please us without feeling guilty (Of course if you …. oh well never mind; you know what I mean!). So when the day is dreary and your energy levels are low, indulge in something that brings you joy.
Listen to a favourite piece of music; take a book to work with you and sneak five minutes or so to catch up with the story – you will be more productive in the end you know. Stick a flower in your button hole and forego that healthy lunch option and pick something indulgent.
4. Colour can affect our Moods. So go for strong vibrant colours on days that bring you down and out. Wear yellow to bring the sunshine back into your day. Choose a vibrant red scarf or tie. Pick Orange to energise you and absolutely avoid the blues and greens which will only add to your apathy.
Run rampant with red and orange and feel the surge of energised euphoria that results.
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – it’s true that we can cope with minute irritations much better on warmer, cheerier and positive days. But on those days when we have run out of energy and feel down and miserable these same irritations become gigantic.
As part of taking deliberate control, when you are wearing that bright yellow shirt, having walked to work instead of driving with your favourite music on the I-Pod – make sure that you put these petty little nuisances in their place. Banish, ban and exile them to the ‘not important for now’ tray and don’t bother any more about them.
Of course, if they absolutely have to be done now then they aren’t the small stuff – so don’t feel guilty about refusing to be bothered with the real small stuff.
So you see, there are five really easy ways in which we can turn our tiredness and our loss of spirits back into positive energy. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, it matters even less what the size of our tank is – if we really want to, we can raise the energy ready for lift off.
So go and put some petrol in your tank, then light the touch paper and watch what happens.
Michele @ Trischel
With a full tank and raring to go!!