Although I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking and always try to look at the bright side of things, I also think that it’s totally natural to feel down and blue from time to time. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and then there are times when we’re simply not feeling the love and don’t want to get out of bed. So, in preparation for such ‘gloomy days’ I’ve compiled a little list of activities which should help lift your spirits.
1- Have a good cry
It’s common to bottle up feelings and frustrations when what we really need is a good old cry. So grab your pillow and let it all out; just let the tears roll down your cheeks and wash away all your anger and sadness. Research shows that crying releases tension so don’t feel bad about it…it’s good for you!
Just don’t let it go on for too long though OK? A day or two max! Then it’s time to…
I know it may not sound appealing right now (or ever) but again it’s been scientifically proven that exercising is one the best antidote to depression. Even a short brisk walk around the park will have loads of positive side effects on your mind and body such as releasing mood enhancing endorphins, taking in vitamin D and relaxing your muscles.
Alternatively you could take a yoga class, go to the gym or…
3- Have a party in your living room
That’s right, put on your favorite party songs, jump on your couch Tom Cruise-style and start shaking your booty!
Oh, and singing along helps too (really, really loud).
4- Eat a whole tub of ice-cream
Or your favorite comfort food. Pizza is my ultimate happy pill and there is nothing that makes me feel happier than eating a big slice of pepperoni pizza smothered with hot chilli oil…. I know comfort food is bad for your waistline and that we should all be leaning towards grilled salmon instead but screw it, if you can’t eat what you like when you’re upset then when can you really?
5- Gain some perspective
No matter how bad things may look right now, there are always things worth being grateful for in life. Try creating a gratitude list by writing down at least three things that you are grateful for; your family, the support of your friends, your partner, or even just being alive…Keeping track of what’s going well in your life will make you gain some perspective on your current situation and help you see the bigger picture.
6- Plan a trip
I’m not advocating running away from your problems but when everything seems dark and grey outside planning your next beach getaway with your besties might be the next best thing. Drop by your local travel agent and pick up some glossy brochures to get some extra inspiration. You could even create a Mood board of your dream destinations and hang it in your bedroom as to wake up to beautiful images everyday!
7- Watch a reality TV marathon
I’m talking real trash here – ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ is just not going to cut the mustard. You need some ‘Honey Boo Boo’ or some ‘Geordie shore’. Not only will it be entertaining as hell, but chances are you’ll also walk away feeling WAY better about yourself. Otherwise, romantic comedies or childhood favorites are a good way to go as well.
By the way, this activity goes hand in hand with activity #4.
8- Treat yourself
Do something that makes you feel special and pretty. Massages, beautiful nails, makeovers, facials…whichever! If your budget doesn’t allow taking a trip to the spa then just go online and research some DIY spa recipes or make-up tutorials.
9- Have a long, hot bath
Get out your fancy bubble bath, light up some candles, play some Marvin Gaye and let the magic happen….
10- Call up a friend
Turn to someone who knows you well and who understands what you’re going through. Even better, rally up your posse and have a big ranting session over coffee (or a Cosmopolitan – how very Sex and the City).
11- Give your pet a big cuddle
Animals can be of great comfort when you’re feeling down and are more than willing to give you a big cuddle to make you feel better!If you don’t own a pet then maybe consider visiting a petting zoo or walking your friend’s dog. Don’t just hug anyone’s pet in the park though – that could be awkward.
12- Do something good for someone else
There is something incredibly rewarding in being of service to someone else. Whether it’s helping your elderly neighbor in carrying in her groceries or volunteering at your local animal shelter, every little bit counts. In addition to making somebody else’s life a bit easier you can also take comfort in the fact that your gesture (no matter how small) has helped made the world a better place.
And if you’re still feeling down after a while or seem to experience more lows than highs lately then please don’t hesitate to call a local helpline or a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help from professionals, you deserve to feel all the happiness that the world has to offer!
Be kind to yourself,