Feeling low? Ways to brighten your day
If you ever feel low or sad like I do, for seemingly no reason, it can be hard to get back on track. Feeling low drains my energy and my motivation. Although I force myself to do everything that is needed in a day, I get no enjoyment from completing tasks when I’m down. Very often all I want to do is just stop, rest and relax. But this is not always possible. Here are a few things that help me when I’m feeing down and despondent.
- Get out of bed and get dressed. This is a hard one. When I am down I don’t want to get up. I just want to stay in bed and sleep the day away. If I am up, then I am tempted to go to bed. The trick is to get up and stay up! Staying in bed always makes me feel worse – groggy and lethargic. Then once up I am always mad that I have wasted such a large part of the day. So no matter how bad I feel I force myself to get up and get dressed. Moping around in a dressing gown doesn’t count. For some reason the day always seems more manageable and brighter when I am up and ready to get things done.
- Go out for a walk. I love going out for a walk with my dogs. I don’t mean power walking up hills, but I don’t mean a slow amble either. I like to go at a decent pace to get my heart pumping. I take in my surroundings, the scenery. Feeling the sun, wind or rain on my face makes me feel relaxed and alive! It also gives me some time to think and sort things out in my head. It can be an instant mood changer.
- Exercise. This is different to going for a walk. This is the type of exercise that gets you out of breath and sweating – aerobic exercise. I like to run or cycle. If the weather is really bad a good exercise dvd is great. You can find lots of free classes on the Internet too. It is well known that exercise releases endorphins. These in turn block our stress hormones – always a bonus.
- Listen to music. I adore music and usually have something playing in the house. Music can do wonders for the mood. If I’m feeling down I pick an uplifting piece of music. Sometimes this will make me want to dance along while I’m getting things done. Other times it will simply make me smile. Both effects are great!
- Declutter something! I know, sorting and tidying is usually the last thing I feel like doing too when I’m not feeling happy, but once I start I feel GREAT! I pick a drawer or a shelf or even just a corner of a room which has been gathering stuff. Something small, not an all day task. I put on some music or maybe an audio book, and I sort things as usual into keep, charity and bin piles. In no time at all the job is done, and more often that not I have some items to give to charity – that in itself makes me feel happy.
- Chat with friends. If I feel down I want to stay at home. I don’t want to go out and see people or do things. I withdraw to the comforting protection of the house. However, I have learnt that getting out and speaking with friends is fabulously therapeutic. When left alone with your own imagination worries can grow at an alarming speed. Friends can help you put things into perspective and show you that you are not alone.
- Eat well. Although I usually crave junk food when I am feeling low, eating something healthy makes me feel so much better and without the guilt. If it’s comfort food I crave, then some oat cakes spread with nut butter (I like cashew) are wonderful.
- Sleep. I like to make sure I get an early night if I don’t feel great. Sleep allows us to repair, as well as gives the brain time to sort out and compartmentalize the information from the day. If I cannot sleep, reading or listening to a calming audio book usually does the trick. Leo Babauta’s The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life is one of my favourites for this. Relaxing and informative.
Beat the blues.
Get up, get dressed, get going.
Eat well, see friends and sleep.