Emotional First Aid Kit

Bad moods come and go. That is one thing we can count on in this life. There will always be storms, but we can choose how we go through them. That is why I wrote this post, it’s about the actions you can take when you are in a funk, are going through a tough season, or are just having a bad day. You need a plan. You need a first aid kit. A collection of things to focus on, healthy reminders, and uplifting things to watch and read. Please know, however that it is totally fine to feel down sometimes and it’s normal and sometimes time is the only thing that will heal those feelings. The first aid kit will not fix you, but it will put you on a good path of “next right things” that will help you recover faster. Here’s what’s in mine.

Pray

Ask God for more joy. Pray the rosary. Pray for other people. Pray for the grace to do what God wants you to do. Pray for God to make a way for you. Like the wedding at Cana, we can pray for our Blessed Mother to ask her son for more wine. We could all use some more wine, some more joy, amen?

Beauty

You need to take some time and plan some beauty in your life. This is especially important if you are a creative person. You could paint a picture, take some photos, go on a nature walk, watch a meaningful movie, read a book that reminds you of the important things in life, go to an antique shop, visit an art museum, sit in a church. There is so much ugly, meaningless, vapid garbage bombarding us. We need the things that are beautiful, noble, and sacred – the transcendent. I love this quote from Mr. Rogers.

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Give

You need to get out of your own head and into service. I have heard it said that being humble is not thinking of yourself less, but thinking less of yourself. I just watched a video by Rachel Hollis about how it’s selfish to be nervous about achieving your goals. It means that you care more about what people may think than you care about the impact you can make on their life. For example, I am an Independent Beauty consultant with Mary Kay. Instead of worrying and obsessing about all the mistakes I might make, I can think about how great it will be to give. To give the person a listening ear, to make them laugh, to teach them something, to inspire them, to make them feel special. So go think about what you can give. I am a stay-at-home mom so I can’t easily go volunteer at a soup kitchen, but if you can, please do! One thing I try to do is write this blog in hopes that it will help someone, make a video and post it to social media, give someone a nice thank you note, think about the people who have made you who you are and personally thank them for all they have taught you.

Give Thanks

You have to take time to think of all the good things you have in your life and thank God for the challenges. It is often through are challenges that come breakthroughs. Whenever it works best for you, just take time to write a few things you are grateful for Writing it down has been proven to help you acknowledge your blessings in your brain. I like to do this at the end of the day. I love this story from Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who harbored Jews in WWII. The story teaches us to give thanks in all circumstances:

“That’s it!” Betsie interrupted. “That’s His answer. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances!’ That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this barracks!”

Corrie stared at her incredulously, then around at the dark, foul-smelling room. “Such as?” she inquired.

“Such as being assigned here together.”

Corrie bit her lip. “Oh yes, Lord Jesus!”

“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”

Corrie looked down at the Bible. “Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all the women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.”

“Yes,” agreed Betsie. “Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!” She looked at her sister expectantly and prodded, “Corrie!”

“Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.”

“Thank you,” Betsie continued on serenely, “for the fleas and for …”

That was too much for Corrie. She cut in on her sister: “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”

“ ‘Give thanks in all circumstances,” Betsie corrected. “It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.” So they stood between the stacks of bunks and gave thanks for fleas, though on that occasion Corrie thought Betsie was surely wrong.”

It turns out the the fleas saved their lives. The Nazis knew about the fleas and never wanted to enter the barracks. To read more, click here.

Move

Take a walk, take a run, dance. Do whatever it is that you enjoy, just move! We’ve heard it so many times but it always helps to be reminded. I like to do 15 minute workout videos. I like these videos:

This video says it’s for women over 50 but somehow I came across this lady and I just love her so I disregard that part.

Connect

Call a friend. Meet for coffee. Make some plans. Social time is so important and vital to our well-being. I find I am in a much better place mental health-wise when I make time for being social.

Enjoy

Listen to some beautiful classical music or some upbeat pop. Watch an inspirational film or a funny T.V. show. Jennifer L. Scott from the Daily Connoisseur always inspires me! Get a blowout at a salon if you have it in your budget. This is something that truly always uplifts me.

Savor

Go outside, admire nature. Thank God for his creation. People watch. Watch your children play. Prepare your favorite meal and take time to get the aroma, and eat it slowly on nice china. Light some candles, take a bath. Give yourself a facial, paint your nails. Play a game. I enjoy the games on the Happify app. You can even make life into a game, check out Superbetter.

Plan

Plan some recipes you want to make, place you want to go, craft projects you want to do. Planning activities increases their enjoyment because you get the pleasure of looking forward to them. Plan some fun outings with your family. Make a bucket list of seasonal activities to enjoy.

Watch

Watch some Ted talks, your favorite inspirational Youtubers, funny movies, sentimental T.V. shows. Things that remind you that life is beautiful and of the important things in life. I love to watch The Office, Little House on the Prairie and classic Disney like Thomasina, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Mary Poppins. I also enjoy 80’s movies like Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Here are some Youtube videos I turn to time and time again:

Read

Read inspirational books, poems, and verses to feed your soul. I have a collection of my favorite Bible verses on Pinterest. I loved to read Leo Buscaglia, as well as stories of miracles. I enjoy Joyce Meyer.

So what do you do when you are feeling down? Do you have any go-to activities that help you “fill up your cup” again? Please share with me in the comments!

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