Let’s face it, being a midlifer today means that we have more choices to make our lives anything we want them to be.
That’s good news most of the time, but the flip side is that all those choices may leave you confused or stressed out about your life. What if you pictured things one way and they went another?
Prayer and meditation are great ways to get some perspective, but if they don’t work, you need to take action and get your mind in a more positive place. Here are five ways to actively feel better.
Clean Out a Messy Drawer
Just because your life is currently a mess doesn’t mean your drawers need to be, too. Focus on clearing out that one, nagging, out-of-control drawer that has been giving you grief every time you reach for something in it. Take everything out, toss the stuff you no longer need, and then put everything back in, this time in a different, more organized way.
Now, take a step back and admire your work. By doing this you’ll instantly feel better because you crossed off one small but persistent problem that was hanging over your head, but you’ll also be able to look at your situation a different way. Physically clearing out and reorganizing a mess can help you to mentally follow the same steps with the issue you’re dealing with.
Play With Your Kids or Grandkids
Step away from your problem and focus on your cousins, kids, or grandkids. Get down on the floor and lose yourself in a nice game of pretend by following their lead. Are they playing tea party? Making a fort? Coloring?
It’s very hard to linger in a bad place when you’re hanging out with kids. They just don’t have the time for it, and that’s the point. When you’re in a bad mood, they’ll naturally want you to just play with them and not dwell on it. If you can put aside your problem long enough to get lost in the land of imagination, you’ll give yourself the mental break you need to tackle the problem in a different way the next time you go back to it.
Appreciate Someone Else’s Creativity
It’s hard to remain in a sour mood when you’re taking in a painting by one of the masters, or reading a book you really enjoy by a favorite author. Appreciating the creativity of others can inspire you in whatever it is you’re dealing with.
A good exercise is just to go to an art fair, visit a museum, or attend a book club discussion, and focus on what’s been created with nothing more than a few materials and someone’s mind. It’s an encouraging thing, especially when you’re feeling stuck in a particular situation in your own life.
Indulge in Some Mind Candy
So what is your favorite film is stupid and has no plot? Or you love to sit and watch Real Housewives of… you name the city. A little mind candy can go a long way toward making you feel better. Go ahead and allow yourself permission to indulge for a bit.
Take a Walk
Getting in any type of exercise can help you feel better, but a solitary walk can also help put your mind in a better place. Unlike other methods of exercise, a stroll will allow you to ponder your situation gently while you move your body. You’ll release endorphins (which automatically ease your mood) while the rhythm of your steps will help get your mind in an almost meditate-like state.
Regular walking can help you deal with the stress for the long haul, too, so if you’re not a frequent walker, there’s no time like the present to start. Walking is the perfect exercise because you can do it alone or with a friend, you don’t need special equipment, and you can pretty much do it at any age.