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Get Into the Groove

Sometimes the changing of the seasons puts us into a funk. When you’re down in the dumps, it’s difficult to think clearly, so having a list of “Methods to Get Out of Madness” or “How to Get Your Groove Back” can really help. The following are some of the actions that work for me.

Once in awhile a mental health day is the answer, but in my experience, the more I can buck up and show up, the happier I am. For me, one day in bed usually leads to another … and another. What I want to do is stay in my pajamas and cancel all of my appointments. What I have learned to do is show up. In fact, the worse I feel, the more effort I try to take with my appearance. That old saying “fake it ‘til you make it” has really worked for me.

Often, my slumps are due to over-indulgence in the wrong foods, so as soon as I recognize that, I make a bee-line for the green vegetable aisle, the probiotic drinks and whatever else will make me feel lighter and healthier.

Clean out a drawer. Choose the drawer that has been bugging you (maybe it’s so stuffed it will no longer open), set a timer for 20 minutes and start purging through it. One small step toward order is a giant step towards a better mood.

Read something inspirational. When we’re mentally in a funk, our perspective is often out of whack. The latest inspiring book I was turned on to is “Help, Thanks, Wow” by Anne Lamott. If you’ve got the blues about finance and business, try Marianne Williamson’s latest, “The Diviine Law of Compensation.”

Fix (or have fixed) something that has been broken.

Toss something you haven’t used in more than a year. Lighten up your stuff equals lightening up your mood.

Get some pampering. Dawn at N’Ovations in Napa gives a fantastic gel manicure that lasts more than two weeks. Book a massage. Trade foot massages with a loved one.

Exercise is a no-fail mood-booster. The earlier in the day you do it the easier it will be to pile on more positive accomplishments and thus create a ladder out of the mental pit.

Listen to an inspirational CD. I like to remind myself about productivity principles with David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” I also love learning from the ever-fascinating essays of Malcolm Gladwell. Pick someone who has a voice that doesn’t irritate you!

Burn some sage or incense to “cleanse” your space. The power of scent to shift a mental state is huge. I like to put a little amber oil on my wrist and every time I smell it, I feel better.

Brighten up your appearance with a new beauty product. It won’t smash your budget (which would bring on more blues) but it will lift your spirits. My latest is an eyelash primer that makes my mascara go on super-smooth. A local salon that knows their product lines can be a fun way to spend a pick-me-up lunch break. Check out Heaven and Earth in St. Helena. For guys, get one of those luxury shaving lotions.

Have a mixed CD of your favorite music ready for down days. You’ll know when you’re ready to press “play” and start the revival process.

A little caffeine never hurts.