1. "This is Not I": If you're at work and you feel the blues closing in on you, what should you do? First, remember that "the blues" is just part of the Tribe of You, it's not you. Say to yourself, "This is not I." Say it to yourself as many times as you need to remind yourself that this is just a temporary state, not a permanent way of being.
2. "In 5 Minutes": When you feel like you just can't go on and but you have to complete certain tasks, tell yourself, "I'll take a break in 5 minutes." Then put your attention on what you're doing. In 5 minutes, if you still feel tired and blue, say "Yes, in just 5 minutes." Do three rounds of 5 minutes and see if the "blue you" has faded by then. Often by the time 15 minutes has passed, so have the blues.
3. "First Things First": If you're already stuck in the blues and your task list seems too overwhelming, just do first things first. Pick the three tiniest tasks on your list that can be done in 10 minutes or less (break down larger items if you have to). It doesn't matter how trivial these tasks are, just pick 3. Now set a target. Say, "I'll do this, this, and this." Don't focus on anything else. Just do those three things. Then do the next three tiny tasks, then the next three. Before you know it, you're in full swing!
4. "Get Moving": Mental and emotional stagnation is often the result of physical stagnation. If you just can't get going on what you have to do, get out and move briskly for 3 minutes. Talk a walk, do jumping jacks, or yoga. Just get going. Then come back to your list and do "First Things First."
Once you have a little practice at saying "Later gator" to the blues, you'll understand that negative emotions are more habit than anything else. Shaking up your routine and shifting your perspective even a little can get you off that well-worn path and moving in a new direction. Enjoy the insights along the way!
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