Sometimes life gets tough! Things don’t go our way, we trip or fall down and can’t seem to get back up on our own. While you always need some dark in order to appreciate the bright, when things keep rolling down hill it can be very difficult to stay positive and appreciative. We’ve all been there at one point or another, but there’s no need to let yourself fall in to a slump! There are always little ways you can pick yourself back up when you notice that familiar blue cloud passing by.
While ultimately I (highly) recommend speaking to a psychologist or physician about recurring low moods (for real treatment), here are 15 little tricks you can also keep in your back pocket for when life gets rocky!
Go For A Run
While any form of exercise (even a relaxed walk) should do the trick here, I always feel like a good quick sprint is just what I need. Not only will your exercise produce endorphins, burn some calories and give you an excuse to get a donut (guilt free) later, but there’s no better feeling than pushing yourself and literally running your worries in to the ground. While it’s always hard to get started, you will never regret a run when you’re done.
Talk To A Friend
Our friends are our friends for a reason. Calling up your BFF to chat can be a perfect way to shake off a bad day. While you can tell them what’s been bothering you and work through it together, the best thing about our friends, is that you don’t always need to tell them what’s going on, often they can sense it. A conversation featuring a funny story from last night’s shenanigans, some plan making, and general chatting will often help brighten your mood, and remind you that you aren’t alone.
Listen To Your Favourite Song
Music is an incredible power. It can comfort us, empower us and move us to tears all in three or four minutes. Whenever I’m feeling down, I whip out my ukulele (because let’s face it, everything sounds happy on those guys), or blast my favourite feel good tunes! A good solo dance party (hair brush mic included), never fails to pump you up and distract you from feeling low.
Put On Something Nice
While this might sound silly, dressing up has always been one of my favourite tactics to avoid feeling upset. If you’re wearing something you feel powerful and cute in, it will translate into your mood and attitude, which can really help combat negative feelings. Not only do you get an excuse to bust out that new dress or blouse, but when you feel fierce and confident, those around you will notice too!
Watch Funny Videos On YouTube
This one is a quick fix. I’m partial to baby and baby animal videos (cuteness overload) but whatever you find funny will work just as well. Get yourself laughing for a few minutes and you’ll go back to your day feeling rejuvenated!
Cross Something Off Your To-Do List
In many cases, negative emotions are brought on by stress and anxiety, especially during the school year! If you’re like me and live to make to-do lists, crossing things off can really help your mood! The act of writing a to-do list is helpful in itself, as it breaks everything we have to do into smaller chunks. As soon as you start crossing things off (even if they’re the smallest ones on there) it will boost your confidence and get you in the mood to tackle the bigger tasks with gusto!
Paint Your Nails
This is another quick fix, but it always works really well for me! While not everyone admits it, painting your nails is an activity that requires a lot of attention, and that’s exactly the kind of thing you want to do when feeling down! While you’re drawn in to making smooth strokes and not smudging the polish, your brain gets some much needed down time to process and relax, and you get a fancy new set of nails to show off.
Clean Your Room/Workspace
Cleaning is therapeutic. I’ve always thought this way, and probably always will. There is no better feeling than reorganizing your room or work space, throwing away old papers, vacuuming the floor and rearranging your pencils. If there’s one thing that will help you feel more relaxed and ready to take on the day, it’s this! Cleaning and reorganizing is also the perfect way to take your mind off things you can’t stop thinking about so your brain can have a nice little break.
Take A Shower
Wash your worries away with a nice hot shower. Wash your hair, use fancy soap, yummy smelling lotion, and generally care for yourself. Your body is so incredible, it’s your home, and when you take care of it, it will return the favour! The shower is also a perfect place to sing (great acoustics), cry, or think through problems so that you come out feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Make Yourself Something Healthy
On a similar wellness note, your body is your home, and when we aren’t feeling 100%, we tend toward eating fatty comfort foods. While “junk food” treats are important to staying sane, I 100% guarantee that you will feel better after cooking something fresh and healthy for yourself. Not only are you providing important nutrients for your body, but the act of preparing the meal will calm you down as well.
Call Your Mom
Your mom likely knows and loves you more than anyone else, and that is the exact reason you should call her when you’re feeling down. She can help you work through your problem, give you encouragement, and remind you of how loved and needed you are. Also, few things are better than a mom hug, so if you can, get a bunch of those too!
Write It Down
Journaling is a great thing to do when you’re upset. Paper is the perfect opinion-less listener, and you can delve as little or as deep in to your thoughts as you’d like. If you enjoy symbolism, try burning what you write (very satisfying), or just work things out on paper to get a better understanding of what you’re feeling. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to emotions, and if you can identify what’s bothering you, it’ll be that much easier to deal with.
Making something is always helpful for me. Whether you like painting, sewing or dancing, getting lost in the creative process works wonders for your mind and body. If it’s something you really enjoy, you will no doubt feel better after flexing your creative muscle. Not only will you give your brain a break, but you get something cool at the end of it!
Read A Childhood Favourite
Picking up the story book your parents always used to read you is another great way to calm down and feel better. They often bring back great memories and the warm fuzzy feelings we often associate with our childhoods. If anything, funny picture books are a great mindless thing to read to distract yourself!
Buy Fresh Flowers
There has to be some science to back this up somewhere, but fresh flowers are the ultimate pick me up. Whether they’re a gift from someone or just something you picked up at the market, it’s impossible to feel upset around brightly coloured blooms and gentle fragrances! Add a vase of peonies to your desk, some tulips to your bedside table, and revel in some of natures most beautiful handy work!
While this post is full of little tricks you can use to get out of blue moods, sometimes our feelings goe deeper than a surface fix can reach. If this is the case, know that seeking professional help should never be embarrassing. You are not weak for admitting that you need a little extra help.
Mental illness is such a serious issue, and while I won’t be going in to it much in this post, it is so important that we address the stigma around it. So please, remember that your emotions are valid. The way you feel matters, and if you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help, just strength.
Your mind is just as important as your body, treat it as you would a best friend.