How to Stay Up When You’re Down

Managing My Up, Selfie

I’ll try a lot to kill panic. I don’t like to hate, but I’ve always hated that ‘they’ say “What goes up must come down.” That’s like manifesting trouble for all of us! As if a body doesn’t have enough to manage just being alive most of the time, the world strong-arms curveballs at Jackie Bradley, Jr. speed and we’re off kilter for days, weeks, months, or the seemingly dreaded lifetime. For all my efforts to help wipe out modern slavery, poverty, violence, … I have a superiorly ultimate mission to eradicate those sinking junctures where it’s like you’ve been dropped into a molten hot lava volcano with no rescue crew in sight.

I used to be engulfed with uncompromising apprehension. As a young girl, I was so nervous before any ballet stage recital or school field trip I’d be fighting tears in and out of the bathroom multiple times until the last second before twirling showtime. All worked up into a nervous wreck, my bladder was my body part screaming my fears back at me. Would I forget our dance routine? My leaps aren’t as high and orderly as the other girls. What happens if I feel the need to pee in the middle of my performance? Why do they make those darn lights so blinding that I think a migraine might be coming on in the midst of my shining moment? I could spin out with the best of them. And I was barely a pre-teen when this started.

Perfectionism is a curse. I don’t care what all my former die-hard OCD-loving bosses say. This is only one of the glorified examples of how my personal ‘downs’ began to infiltrate my being. Most of us dread things about ourselves and the world all too often. These downers are voracious. They’re constantly hungry for more. They will eat away your happiness if you let them. Your ability to spiral downward will knock the heck out of any upswing in life unless you’ve got a solid stockpile of upness.

A glimpse into my yesterday is prime fuel for this conversation. My all-too-diligent DMV registration renewal payment of $281 for a vehicle I promptly turned over two weeks into a new lease was denied a refund to me simply because I paid it early. My iPhone celebrated an elderly birthday unbeknownst to me in that it now refuses to connect to Wi-Fi, which is no-bueno for my data plan. My typically impenetrable Apple laptop suffered a super pesky virus that remains buried somewhere despite the courageous half day of support with my favored Mac tech (former lover extraordinaire — sidebar, it does ‘pay’ to stay friends with good exes). I’m without a desired boyfriend or hubby to help me ‘feel my way’ back to cheery through all of this upheaval. I’d love my own home to box out my woes into a pile of fluffy pillows I’d have on my bed, while something like The Killers Mr. Brightside wailed along. Yet, I’m still in between that solid state staying in family or friends spaces when I don’t have house-sitting booked as is currently. I’m minus a regular steady stellar income, which ironically might take care of many of these issues, but with a day of such mental acrobatics I’m rendered near-immobile.

So, today when I curmudgeonly awoke at 6:45 am I instead lulled myself back into dreamland to sleep in until 8 am — way to go brain! I performed a shit-ton (that’s a GIANT amount for you foreigners needing translation) of relaxation meditative breathing before launching into calls with my new car lease Toyota dealership and the DMV (again) to have a friendly check for any last customer service ideas for my refund, which landed me at least an appeal possibility. I then promptly found my family’s new kitten and hugged that purr machine for many minutes. I put on a sexy black tank top. I ate some berries and bacon items to give my insides the uptick too. I browsed through some flattering pictures of myself to decide what to share with you. And I sat down to tangle with words and deliver this ballad.

To see and be the good sometimes you do have to look for it. Staying up in a world of down-trodden can be quite a scavenger hunt and haunting. However, none of it has to remain. What we think is awful is usually temporary. The next second or next year are unlikely to look exactly like this one if we don’t allow it. Holding on to any depressing downside is futile. Four little things that make a big difference in your personal buoyancy:

  • Experience it — Exchange your current activity for one(s) that moves you to step out of your funk. Replicate often.
  • Feel it — Find a happy thought memory and try that darn thing back on! Formulating a positive pattern of thinking actually gives way to better thinking and being.
  • Trade it — Melt into someone else’s world through a book, movie, tv, podcast or video story to give enough comparison to twitch you out of bottoming, or better yet jump-starts your up again.
  • Wear it — Give your mood a good facelift by changing your mode of style, hair, even practicing your smile to feel the waves of people that embrace you. Then hang out much more with those that compliment you well.

Anxiety being a beast of burden in my world, I’m eternally seeking ways to throw rainbows in its face or drown it with laughter. Feeling pretty, finding someone squooshable to hug, calling my nephew and sister, listening to an inspiring podcast or video series about flipping the bad to good switch begins to sway me back to the healthy upside. I thrive on cracking the codes to turn breathless (and I don’t mean the love gooey kind) back to breath for those untimely occasions our stride, flow, glow, or get-up-and-go is so rudely interrupted.

Restoration life vibes can be as simple as red lipstick on your smacker to listen to the catcalls as you stride on by with your beautiful smile. I often adore the ease of tossing a cute hat over my unkempt mermaid hair curls and letting my inner-millennial snap selfies until I find a special shiny one to share. Pets are a primal way to push magic up buttons. Plan a date with your best friend or lover to that planetarium you’ve been wanting to visit. Dress to the nines or most creative flair that feels oh-so-you and book that long-awaited date.

Let go of your lows and see the highs rise!

LOVER of life. Especially people, places, philanthropy and photography.

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