You know how it is ““ you’ve tried just about everything but nothing’s working. A course of vitamins, the latest self-help book and even a little judicious retail therapy but you are still feeling as flat as a supermodel’s tum. Sometimes a fragrant oily bath or a bit of chocolate mouth-entertainment just doesn’t cut through the feeling that someone out there is living the life you ordered.
We can look to others for some emotional rescue but find the Closed sign up as they can neither see or hear us. Other times a holiday, or something lush to look forward to on the horizon, is enough to drag us through the grey days and the gloom. Still”¦ it all kind of feels like your killing time, sleepwalking or enduring life rather than enjoying it.
I used to work as a feature writer in a newspaper office and the coffee machine used to digitally count down the seconds until a grey cup of mud was dispensed. I remember then thinking it was like some portentous millennium-style clock ticking off moments of my life I wasn’t enjoying and reminding me to shape up and ship out.
These are precious days we will never have again so why are we just crossing them off as though they were something to suffer and then discard until what we perceive as the main event comes into view?
So if life is currently showing up in black and white and you want to switch it back to full Technicolour with wraparound sound you may need to start having a love affair with life. I know this is easier said than done when you feel like a big grey damp duvet is wrapped around you one doesn’t feel flirty or even vaguely interested in Life even when it is wearing tight jeans, crooking it’s finger at you and giving you the cutest “come on” smile.
But one has to coax out that vital feeling by finding things that nourish and restore from the inside out, like a sort of spiritual hot choc and marshmallow totty that will light you up and keep the home fires burning even when you feel like your pilot light’s gone out.
Here are some suggestions I guarantee (oh and I do like a guarantee in life ““ there are so few) will start to get you plugged in once again to the mellifluous heart beat and rhythm of life and put a Gene Kelly glide in your stride.
Start smiling at people or striking up conversations with folk you see regularly at the station, in the corner shop or grocers, the rubbish collectors, security guys, neighbours, check -out staff, road sweepers ““ feel the connectedness in your daily community. It feels good to belong and it’s such a buzz walking down the street and waving, smiling and greeting folks you know.
Exercise often. My daily tonic is a run around the park with the sun bouncing off the frosted grass, the fog in my hair and the gnats in my teeth. Nature provides its own natural Prozac and feel-good vibes. Birdsong, noticing the subtlety and magic of our seasons and the great sense that you are but a small speck in a vast universe tends to keep things in perspective.
Wearing your best stuff. Get your killer heels, finest lingerie or pulling pants, sharp suit, jewels, perfume and body products out of tissue paper and storage and wear it right now. This time, right here right now, is one to celebrate.
Be generous and practice random acts of kindness. Buy the guy behind you a coffee or a colleague their favourite snack bar. Send thank you notes and compliment your friends and make them feel good. It comes straight back at you like a big karmic boomerang.
Do less. We are all doing far too much and we are not building in enough down-time treats to restore ourselves. Create daily habits which nurture and lift the heart from speaking to old friends, reading a good book, playing music or eating good organic food. Make time to honour yourself.
Don’t worry about getting out of the comfort zone ““ be terrified you’ll never get out of it. Regularly scare yourself silly by trying new skills, speaking up, meeting new people or committing to something that will stretch you. Give your soul a shake up.
Act “as if” you already had everything you are aiming for. Manifest it right now by being the person with the big promotion, 6 figure income, sashaying like a love bomb and broadcasting the success you have always craved. Just watch how people start to respond.
Make a list of 100 things you are good at/ like about yourself or others like about you. Read it regularly, believe it then own it.
Remember that your life and all that is in it could well be on somebody else’s wish list.
Give yourself a hug. Show yourself unending, unconditional compassion, be gentle and embrace your own humanity.
Don’t walk strut. Chin up, swing your hips, loosen the shoulders and smile.
Look in the mirror and say “who loves ya, baby?” and know the answer