Everyone who is human experiences let-down feelings. That in itself can be reassurring. One day I was not feeling particularly enthusiastic about life, and so I thought I might as well catch up on my Bible reading.
We have a little weekly chart in our church bulletin that shows the daily reading schedule, and that day it was 2 chapters in the book of Numbers.
For those of you not familiar with the Bible, the book of numbers is a tedious counting of the tribes of Israel when they left Egypt and journeyed to the Promised Land. The chapters I was reading were very mundane and boring, and yet I knew there was a reason to be reading them, so I read them.
I commented to my daughter afterwards, that even though the words had no particular impact on my life, or meaning to me, or in fact, did not inspire me to do something better, a special feeling of calmness came over me when I read them. We both began to bounce ideas off each other as to why that should be so. After all, we were interested in solving our problems of getting things done on time, looking after children, shopping the best bargains, making adequate meals, keeping the house clean, and helping other members of the family in their endeavors. I tend to read things that help me understand my life and my role, and the book of Numbers dealt mostly with numbers.
One thing that we came up with was that in reading the book of Numbers, even though it didn't seem to have the drama or instruction or wisdom in it that other books have, it was at least, the truth. There is something quite calming about truthful words, even if they aren't like light coming out of the clouds on a gloomy day. When days are besieged by nervousness and unforseen problems, reading something that has no drama or problems in it, can soothe the pounding heart. I have a few books that are mainly pictures, along with little sayings, that have a similar effect.
And so, we both discovered that when you feel moody and let-down, good reading material, good art, and good words, are essential cloud-breakers. Behind every cloud, there is sunshine, of course. Every "blue-period" has a purpose.
Sometimes human beings just need to sit still and read something calming. It reminds me of one time when I was feeling particularly tired and a little "down" and someone told me about a marvellous vitamin that would give me more energy. I declined, saying that I really didn't want more energy because then I would do more things, and be even more tired.
Sometimes the cloudy moods are for the purpose of resting. At such times, it might be helpful to take a scented bath and wear a pretty dress, listen to lovely music, and buy a bouquet of pretty flowers. Many people say they cannot afford fresh flowers, but if they would look at the amount they spend at coffee shops, fast food restaurants, fizzy drinks (which can add up to as much as $30.00 a month sometimes) they can afford 12 stems of roses from the grocery store at about $11.00. These can last quite a few weeks and give such a lift to the homemaker.
Knowing that others feel these things makes us more aware of what we could do to pick them up emotionally: a basket of pleasant things, a box of tea things to make their own personal afternoon tea, or, how about this: make your own personal book on tape by reading something that the recipient would like, on tape or cd. (Please don't ask me how to do this. I haven't learned how to make a cd myself yet).
Another thing that I have observed that prevents the cast-down feeling is a way of eating. Sometimes, in an effort to get a lift and get out of a down mood, people will eat lots of cookies and sweets and breads. It makes them feel great, but the next day is almost always a let-down day. Those kinds of simple-carbs can lift you up temporarily, but will let you down the next day. So, a way of eating that involves regular meals, not too heavily loaded with starches, will prevent hunger and desperate type binges. Regular meals keep the blood sugar level at a normal high, and prevents the terrible let down feeling that can result in moroseness, negativism, and sometimes even anger.
There are several things that I do that will invariably life my spirits and relieve me of any sadness or worry.
I get dressed up as if someone important were coming to see me, or I were going to see them. I get my house in order by picking up clutter, dusting, putting things in different places to make a new look, and bake something that smells good. I air out my house. I listen to good music. Most of the time when people are feeling down, the physical senses, such as sound, sight, and smell, are not being used. I get a small box or basket of things ready to take to someone, or write a letter. I find a way to make something "do" without spending money. I have inexpensive clear lights (the kind that people buy at Christmas time) which I leave wound around shelves and tops of cabinets. These tiny, sparkling lights can be used year-round, and they give a different kind of indirect lighting that improves the mood.
Years ago I eliminated all the reading material from my library that had anything depressing in it. From then on, I was careful what I read, and I noticed that I was not as susceptible to down feelings or low moods. I don't buy the women's magazines that do not celebrate true womanhood, or watch the shows that do not promote marriage, home and family. I only read and watch what really gives me a lift. I surround myself in the color and the things that make me smile.
For those who really need a lift outside the home, go here http://www.thevictorianparlor.com/main.html, or here for those who live near Mornington, Victoria, Australia http://travelactivities.news.com.au/activity/WDME101/?categoryid=11&fromdate=2007-04-07
Painting: "Summer's Day in the Flower Garden" by Robert Payton Reid
Robert Payton Reid (1859-1945) was an Edinburgh-based artist. He trained in Edinburgh and then in Munich and Paris in the 1880s. He travelled extensively through Europe during his career. His paintings of landscapes and figures reflect his widespread travels and awareness of issues of the day.
My friend, Lisa, has a wonderful article about rising up from sadness and loss (whether it be the death of a loved one or unforseen misfortunes, etc.) here http://countryvictorian.blogspot.com/2007/04/to-everything-there-is-season.html on her beautiful blog. Her writing is like a beautiful painting. Be sure to click on her blog title and read other articles like the one called "Lead a quiet life" here http://countryvictorian.blogspot.com/2007/02/until-we-meet-again.html