Mood Power-Ups

If  you have ever watched a TED Talk, you may have run across one of my favorites by Jane McGonigal:  The Game that Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life.  In this video, she reveals the story of her painful recovery from a head injury that doctors said would leave her with significantly lower mental capacity than before the accident.  As an avid gamer with a strong will to prove those doctors wrong, she began to keep a list of activities or things that boosted her energy just enough to stay positive and not dwell on hardship.

I love the idea of knowing what your personal power-ups are.  I haven't written mine down (until now).  I  have simply taken note of what little things provided unexpected relief when I have been riding the anxiety roller coaster or the depression train to nowhere.

A Few of My Personal Power-Ups:

Reading aloud to my kids.

Dabbing essential oils on my wrists, particularly doTERRA's Serenity blend, or Citrus Bliss blend.

Listening to Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike" or any 90's hip-hop.  When I hear it I borrow a tiny piece of that rebel angst from a person who has nothing to lose and is just looking for an outlet.

Doing a little exercise, but not enough where I have to put on a sports bra.  That way I can trick myself into thinking it's just a little energizer, not a workout.  Sports bras are for serious workouts.

Drinking a Cafe Mocha (not part of the Primal Blueprint, but if Paleo-moms had a chance to stop at Starbucks while they were corralling their kids on the way to gather more nuts and berries, they would have.)

Hiding in the bathroom for 5-7 minutes doing nothing but enjoying the silence.

Bacon.

Cleaning.

Doing "heavy work."  This is a wonderful strategy normally used to help kids who feel wiggly and need to burn it off.  It is also a tenet of the Primal Fitness philosophy (Lift Heavy Things).  My heavy work  is either shoveling snow, scrubbing the garage floor, or re-arranging furniture.  When my husband sees that crazy look in my eyes and everything is askew in the living room, he usually backs out of the room slowly and waits until it's over.

A special meal with a friend.

Reading anything at all by David Sedaris, or something like Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson. 

Looking at photos of when I was even more depressed.  Saying to myself, "At least I'm not that bad."

Me in 2010 with a Phony Smile Holding my Catheter Bag
Finally, relying on my husband's sense of humor.  (He's the one who wrote "Hapee Holidays!" on my catheter bag and made me take this picture.)

After employing one or more power-ups, I come out of my fog with much more clarity and a more positive outlook.

What are your power-ups? 



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