This week wasn’t my best week ever. There was nothing truly wrong, just a series of little annoyances combined with runny noses and scratchy throats all around. As a result, I felt pretty blah. We all have those moments from time to time, right? Some days, despite my best efforts to stay positive, I still feel a little yucky and it’s hard to shake it off.
So, what do you do when you need to perk yourself up a little bit? It occurs to me that some people spend too much time focused on their bodies and need to spend more time in their heads. And some people, like me, spend too much time in their heads and need to feel more grounded through their bodies. It seems that a lot of the things that help me feel better are in the physical realm. Really, it’s a blessing that my body demands so little of my attention most of the time. I am so lucky to be healthy and pain free. I just have a tendency to get carried away with my thoughts from time to time.
Here are some things that help me when I’m feeling a little down:
- Spruce things up. This one is low hanging fruit. I always want the practical solutions when I’m feeling down. Maybe it sounds superficial, but sometimes sprucing up our physical environment or physical selves can have a big impact. I know that I feel better when I am showered and dressed. Simply having clean hair makes me feel a lot better. Have you ever heard the advice about putting a grumpy baby in water? Works for adults too. Put on real clothes. I also spruced things up around the house a little. I threw out moldy dish towels and bought a fresh set. (Everything molds in Sydney.) I bought a small house plant and $5 pot and put it in the kitchen window. New dish towels and a house plant probably sound pretty boring. But, hey, they’re pretty easy and affordable and sometimes little things make a big difference.
- Get outside. Sunshine and fresh air work wonders. Move and exercise. Even if you don’t feel like it.
- Comfort, but try not to numb. Sometimes it’s great to curl up with a funny movie or just do something mindless. But wasting time online or endlessly scrolling through social media always makes me feel so much worse. Likewise, self-soothing with food or alcohol won’t help in the long run.
- If your thoughts are running anxious, here’s a tip I’ve heard: Stop and name five things you notice with your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, feel, or taste? This little step can help ground you and move you out of your head and into your body. I see the light coming in through the windows. I feel the chair against my back. I feel cool air against my skin. I hear the dog snoring. I smell coffee.
- Celebrate progress rather than outcomes. When I am not where I wan to be, I try to focus on steps I’m taking in the direction I want to go. No matter how small, forward movement is a good thing.
What are your tips and tricks for shaking off a bad mood?