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There is purpose in this season...

I think it's safe to say that we all go through seasons in our life when we may not feel like ourselves. It could be situational, it could be hormonal, it could be any number of reasons causing us to feel down... but whatever the case, you're not alone in your feelings when you're going through it. But it's so easy to feel that way while you're swimming in it and trying to stay afloat.

That's one of the amazing things about being part of a community like Bloom that can help though. You may have days when you walk into the studio feeling like it's the last thing you want to do, but I know personally, I've never left the studio feeling the same way. Even if for just an hour, that class can be a respite... an escape from reality... a time to tune out the world & tune into the music and movement... a "therapy" session if you will.

Exercise is a great way to improve your mood because of the "feel good" endorphins that are released as your heart rate is elevated. Group exercise in itself can lift your spirits simply because there's strength in numbers, likely some laughter amidst the sweat, and like-minded people in the room with similar goals.

Often times when we look back on seasons in our lives though, we realize there was something to gain from it, something that created growth, something we needed to experience or learn... although it's certainly not easy to believe that at the time.

Exercise isn't the only answer though. And with true depression or anxiety, while it can help to alleviate the symptoms, consulting a doctor or therapist is best. As with any other illness, medication can often help too, even temporarily.

Here's some other things that can help lift your spirits though if you're not feeling quite like yourself lately:

  1. Take a walk outside. Get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Even 10 minutes of sunshine can give you some natural vitamin D... which improves your mood. If you don't feel like taking a walk, just sit on the patio and listen to the birds chirping. Tune into world around you and try to tune out what's going on in your head.

  2. Call or even text a friend or family member. A strong social connection is key to emotional well-being. Sometimes just talking about what's going on, releases it from your mind, even if you're not necessarily looking for a solution. Our friends and loved ones can often make us laugh and are also great at reminding us we're not alone. I guarantee there's someone you know who's felt the way you feel or been through something similar.

  3. Get off social media. While yes, social media can give us a feeling of "social connection," it can also make us feel bad about ourselves or our lives in general. Limit your time or better yet, unfollow those who leave you feeling less than. And let's face it, nobody has time to hear from Negative Nancy every day. Keep your feed positive if you must connect.

  4. Fight off negative thoughts. What you focus on, you create more of... so be proactive and find a "go-to" for replacing those thoughts when you have them. Find a positive quote or Bible verse that resonates with you and makes you feel uplifted. Wake up in the morning and read a daily devotion. The way you start your day is a good gauge for how the rest of the day will go, so start it with something positive.

  5. Start a gratitude journal. This can either be the way you begin your day or end it. But think of a few things for which your grateful every day and write it down... even if it's as simple as "I got out of bed today." As you make a habit of this, you'll unknowingly train your mind to focus more on the positive things in your day. It's been said that gratitude can interrupt anxiety.

  6. Smile. It makes you feel better. And if you're smiling... I bet people will be smiling back at you. And we can all certainly use more smiles & less crankiness from others.

  7. Create an uplifting playlist. Music is so powerful in creating a mood... so find those songs that lift your spirits, make you tap your toes, sing loudly in the car or better yet, get up and dance!

  8. Get as much sleep as you can. Sleep deprivation can naturally make you feel pretty down. Try to get in bed earlier or even sneak in a nap during the day if you have time.

  9. Don't over-commit yourself. While it may seem that staying busy leaves less time to think... it can actually create more stress than necessary leaving you feeling more overwhelmed. Break down large tasks into smaller ones and set realistic goals. Now isn't a good time to make major life decisions or spend large amounts of money. Saying NO to others or taking on more obligations is a good way to help you gain control of where life has planted you. It's ok to take some time for yourself right now.

  10. Do the things you normally enjoy, even if they don't seem appealing. Read an old favorite book, go see a movie with a friend, create some art, play a board game... do something that will redirect your thoughts for a bit. You might just end up enjoying it.

  11. Take a break from booze. Alcohol is a depressant. And while going out for a social event and having a few cocktails may seem fun at the time, it may actually leave you feeling worse than you did. Physical hangover or not... your emotions can still be hugely affected. It can also wreck havoc with your sleep, so there's more than one reason to take a break from the bottle.

  12. Make an appointment with a health professional. While talking to friends or family can often help, sometimes talking to someone who's not emotionally involved in your life can benefit you more.

Hiding out in your bed for a day or so to escape the rest of the world can do wonders sometimes, especially if lack of sleep is part of the issue. But try to remind yourself how much you matter. That you are important. That you are loved and that your presence in the world makes a difference.

And by the way... your presence at Bloom makes a huge difference too. So thank you for entrusting us with helping to strengthen your body AND lift your spirits. I can assure you, that you make our days brighter too!

Keep blooming, friends, and GROW through what you go through.

You totally got this.

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