We all process our sadness, anxieties and problems in different ways. Sometimes we choose to face them head on, with a sword or a shield or empty-handed. Other times we want to bury ourselves away, letting ourselves pretend for a little while that our problems don’t exist, and maybe even hoping they’ll disappear for good.
Whatever your preferences, here are a few tips that may help you lift yourself back up when you’re feeling down:
Write it down or talk it out
Letting your worries out of your head onto paper or into the universe actually helps you to find the root of the problem. Relieving it from the inside gives you perspective on the outside and gives you the chance to figure out ways to solve the problem. Find a notebook or grab a friend and let it out.
Take a gratitude walk
Taking a walk around my neighbourhood really helps me release my negative energy. Instead of allowing your mind to circle around the negative thoughts, try listing everything you’re grateful for, no matter how small. It helps put the situation or your mood into perspective.
Switch up the environment
It’s tempting to sulk and wallow around at home alone when you’re feeling down, but your troubles are weighing you down there. Try and get out of the house; go see a friend or take a trip to your favourite coffee spot. Surround yourself with people. Sometimes we just need a little distance.
Accomplish something, like exercise
Focusing your mind on something completely different to what you’re going through, like an intense workout, is enough to make you feel good about yourself – or at least achieving something you set out to do. Exercise is a bonus, as it is proven to boost your endorphin levels, which increases happiness.
Transport to another world
Listen to your favourite music, crack open a good book, or put on a funny TV show. Your mood can instantly lift when you distract yourself enough to put some distance between you and the problem before coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
I know that I always feel worse towards the evening, when I’ve had a long day and am feeling tired. It can really screw up your perspective. Go to bed early and remind yourself that it will feel better in the morning. Wake up refreshed to tackle your troubles.
All darkness passes and the sun rises. Everyone has bad days. Your problems won’t last forever.
(image: LD Fleming)
We can be the best versions of ourselves and live our best lives, but only with consistent action. Here are some of the habits I’m trying to implement into my lifestyle this year lead a healthier life:
Wake up earlier – Make the most of your mornings, whether it be to get a headstart on your to-do list or to have a mindful morning and take time for yourself.
Practice discipline – Get into the habit of making your bed in the morning, picking up after yourself, and resisting those chocolates in your kitchen cupboard. Becoming disciplined with small things in your life helps you practice discipline for when you really need it.
Gratitude journal – Reminding yourself about all the amazing things you have in life sets everything else in perspective and helps you get through the harder days. I like using the 5 Minute Journal, which is available both as a book and app.
Recite affirmations – Show yourself some love by telling yourself how awesome you are and set the tone for the day. Sit quietly before getting ready or say them out loud in front of a mirror. affirmyourlife.blogspot.com is great for finding affirmations that speak to you on a whole range of subjects.
Have a productive commute – Wherever you’re going and however you’re getting there, listen to a podcast or read a book to keep learning and keep the mind inspired.
Plan your week – We all have big goals, but unless we take small actions towards them, they’ll always seem far away. Each week list the actions you want to take, no matter how small, and write them down in your calendar so you know when you’ll be getting them done.
Track your finances – It’s amazing to list all your expenses in a week, because you realise the places you’re unnecessarily wasting money. Something as simple as making lunch or coffee at home instead of buying out can save hundreds of pounds a year!
Meal plan – Eat more consciously by taking the time to plan out what you’re going to eat during the week. This will cut down unnecessary spending, reduce snacking and impulse eating, and help you nourish your body.
Schedule in relaxation – Whilst endless motivation and drive is fantastic, make sure to take time to yourself, to relax and rest, whether you have half an hour each day where you treat yourself to a bubble bath or having a leisurely Sunday in your pyjamas.
Get enough sleep – We hear it all the time, but it’s much harder to do in practice. We need sleep to recooperate and rejuvenate, otherwise we’ll burnout and crash somewhere along the journey. Sleeping is healing for both the mind and body.
What are you trying to do more or less of this year? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once!
Our life isn’t always as bad as it seems inside our heads. Our opinions and emotions are nurtured by what we know and what we’ve seen. But if you were to look from the outside, what might you see? Would it be a bad life like the one we’ve conjured up in our heads? Or would it be a life to be grateful for? There are others looking in who envy your life, who are wishing for a life like yours, who are perhaps even fighting for it. Take a step back and let’s quit making it out to be so bad. Because it really isn’t. It could be worse. And there’s a lot going for you, for many of us.
(Image: We Heart It)
We’ve all won the lottery, even if we don’t have the check to prove it. There are people who are fighting for freedoms, starving for food, searching for steady jobs, shrinking in fear from hate, shivering in the cold. We take our education and our jobs for granted, the food in our mouths and the roofs over our heads for granted, the love that surrounds us for granted. Take a look around at how much there is to be grateful for and how much the world has offered us. Appreciate those gifts and reap as much as you can from them, instead of wasting them and wishing for something else. We don’t need lots of money to be rich.
You owe it to yourself, the world, the power that created you, to live. That means doing your best, expressing gratitude, enjoying yourself, letting go of what hurts you, focusing on the moment, spreading the love, challenging your fears, being yourself. It looks different for everyone but it’s guided by the same principles. Don’t live half-heartedly. Live passionately, enthusiastically, sincerely, generously, and to the fullest.
There’s someone out in the world who dreams of a life like yours, a job like yours, a relationship like yours, a place to live like yours. There’s someone out in the world who dreams of less than what you have, to be happy and comfortable. Look around. Do you appreciate the things you have, the connections you have and the opportunities you have? Do you make the most of them? Or do you take them for granted or let them slip by? Do you always focus on the next big thing or what you don’t have? There’s so much we need to be more grateful for. Because someone out there is fighting for those things.