Sometimes we all need a bit of cheering up.
Today I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. I’m sure that I’ll be back to my perky self tomorrow, but being self employed I am taking full advantage of that fact and currently writing this from a blanket fort in my living room while watching Adventure Time on Netflix. It’s making me feel a lot more positive about the world.
Here’s the view from my blanket fort right now!
Even the most resolutely positive and cheerful people have days when they feel a bit blue, days where you just want to crawl under a duvet and hide, so today I have a few strategies to try and restore a more positive frame of mind. They don’t work all the time, and they don’t all work for everybody, but it’s worth a try, right?
If you want to stay under a duvet all day, then do it, but do it properly. Staying there all stinky and sleepy will mean you keep feeling rubbish. Call in sick, if you can make it to the corner shop then buy some of your favourite and least healthy foods, have a bubble bath, light some candles, stick on some clean pyjamas and crawl under that duvet with a carton of chocolate milk and a netflix marathon or a good book.
But nothing that’s going to make you feel like a failure. Today is not the day to attempt to learn to knit a 1940s sweater. Buy a colouring book, try making loom bands, make poms poms out of brightly coloured wool or make a scarf out of a t-shirt.
Make an Effort
Sometimes this works for me, and sometimes it’s just going to make it worse and make me feel like I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go, but it’s a strategy worth having in your armoury!
Try a new hair style, dig out a lipstick you haven’t worn in ages, put your best frock on just to walk to Tesco in 4″ heels. You might feel a bit silly at midday, but it’s a bit of a distraction and sometimes it’s just enough to make you giggle and put you in a better mood.
Do Something Different
I use this one quite a lot, sometimes varying your routine a little can make you feel a little fresher. I work from home and sometimes it can feel a bit lonely when I get stuck in my own head, so I take my laptop to a coffee shop and work there for the day.
It could be as simple as walking a different route to work or going somewhere different for lunch, or you could randomly book a cheap hotel in a different town and get on a train and go away for the night, not to do anything, just because you can.
There’s a theory that plastering on a smile when you feel sad might actually trick your brain into feeling happier. I’m not always convinced by this, anyone who’s forced themselves to an event when they’re not feeling bright and perky and gone home with aching face muscles from smiling all night when they didn’t feel like it will know that. But hey, maybe it’s worth smiling at yourself for 10 seconds in the mirror, just in case.
This is a particularly handy one if something is worrying you. I swear by this app and it’s helped me no end with anxious thoughts.
If you want to get a bit more active then there’s about a gazillion yoga videos on You Tube and almost all of them end with you having to spend a few minutes lying still and breathing deeply, and calling it exercise, bonus.
Failing calm meditation, do some good sweaty exercise. Go to the gym, go for a run, whatever. I often find the energy rush from getting out and doing it, even when I can’t really be bothered, will almost instantly lift a bad mood. I always remind myself I’ve never felt worse after a run and use that to talk myself out of the door, even if I only go around the block.
Unless money problems are what’s making you feel blue. It doesn’t have to be a car or a pair of £500 shoes, this is a temporary case of the blues, not a mid life crisis, maybe just treat yourself to a new pair of pyjamas, a magazine or a new lipstick. It’s a temporary lift, sure, but sometimes that’s all you need!
One day when I was feeling a bit blue I just asked for people to post things on Facebook to cheer me up. What worked wasn’t so much the things that they posted (though this video of Pandas is totally worth it) it was the fact that people bothered to respond. Even if you can’t face company, sometimes just being acknowledged can make you feel a little bit more in touch with the world and a little bit less blue.
Go For a Walk
Just around the streets near you, and make an effort to notice nice things around the streets, whether it’s cool architecture, flowers growing through pavement cracks, or a park you’ve never been to before. Take photos, instagram them, make a flipagram, whatever, make something you can look at and think about nice things.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health and as with any symptoms if your temporary case of the blues persists for some time or worsens to the point where you regularly can’t even face getting out of bed and none of your coping strategies are working for you, then it’s time to go to the Doctor and ask for help.
What are your best strategies for shaking off a case of the sads?