6 Simple Pick Me Ups

Have you ever been here?

“I must be at a critical point. I’m on the verge of throwing in the towel, but that’s just not an option.”

Everyone (at least, everyone who’s read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams) knows that to survive in this galaxy, you’ve got to know where your towel is. I’m keeping mine! I’ve spent plenty of time during my life feeling like I’d rather be somewhere else, and by somewhere else, I mean somewhere other than in this body. Then again, I’ve never felt too close to committing suicide even though, in theory, moving on sounds nice sometimes. I suppose that since I’m here I’d like to glean all the growth and experience everything I possibly can from this vantage point. I feel like giving up sometimes, though. I think we all do.

It’s times like these I remind myself that life knows more than I do. I know what seems to be going on isn’t the only thing going on. A few ways I pick myself up follow. I hope they bring you inspiration get through the tough times. Use these, adapting them as you wish, or let them spark your creativity to find your own simple pick-me-ups.

1. Take a Nap

Emotions can wear me out! When I am feeling stressed because my business isn’t growing as quickly as I’d like or I’m worried about how my life is going to get better, I can get downright exhausted. If I have a moment, I lie back, close my eyes, feel like I’m sinking into the floor (or couch, bed, grass, wherever), and crazy dream or two later, I wake up hoping my spirit doesn’t take too long to come back into my body. It’s my way of surrendering to what’s really going on when it seems like nothing is going on. I give my body a break and let my spirit go do its thing.

2. Meditate

When my thoughts spin and spin and spin, and I can’t sleep, I meditate. There are many ways to meditate. One of my go-tos is a simple directed breathing meditation. Sometimes it only takes three breaths for me to feel centered, calm, balanced, and back to my typical easy-going self. All I do is choose a focus for my inhale and a focus for my exhale. My favorite these days is to focus on the sky or cosmos as I inhale and focus on the ground or Earth as I exhale. It gets me back to an accurate perspective of myself, reminding me that whatever I’m going through is pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

3. Move

The law of inertia states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. It is so easy for me to mope about, wallowing in my own self-pity. It’s not fun, though, and I know that the times I have the most resistance to moving are the times I need it most. I might go running or do some yoga, but sometimes it’s as simple as picking myself up off the ground and starting a chore or calling a friend. I just need to do anything to move so my stuckness doesn’t stick. If moving is just too much to ask, I revert to Number 1.

4. Do Nothing

Then there are the times when my thoughts are so overwhelming that I’m not sure what to do. I have a credo: When you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. I get overwhelmed when I feel like I need to be making something happen. A sample of my thoughts would be, “I need to write more articles, I need to figure out how to promote, I need to get clients, I need to have a better schedule for laundry, I need to go shopping for clothes (which I HATE doing), I need to organize my projects, I need to you-name-it.” Whoa! At times like these, when I feel like I’m trying too hard or acting upon fear rather than inspiration, I watch a TV show or go for a walk or lie on the beach all day (if I have all day) and stop thinking about whatever has me overwhelmed. I make sure I allow these “do nothing” times as I need them. If I do, my “do something” times are all the more productive.

5. Play Music

Another failsafe. If I remember how effective music is, I do one of two things. I either play my guitar and sing a favorite song or two, or I play my phone and listen to a few songs or albums that I know always lift my mood. Singing along makes it work even better for me. Music is such a force for healing. It can shift me out of the lowest moods and metaphorically set me back on my feet when I’ve metaphorically fallen.

6. Call Mom

I’m blessed because I genuinely say my parents are the best ever! My mom is very wise and practical. She can flip the switch in an instant with what she says. I know she can help me get back to my senses when I’ve strayed. It’s comforting to speak my stuff out with someone I trust so thoroughly, and I naturally do what she always used to say as I was growing up: “Oh, lighten up.”


I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for those days you’re feeling anything but great. You know what you need to do. It’s a matter of doing it, whether it’s sleeping, talking, moving, anything or nothing at all.


How you lift your mood?  Comment below and share to Facebook or Twitter. Let’s help each other out; we can all use a little inspiration sometimes.


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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