It happened again today. I woke up and as soon as I opened my eyes I wanted to go back to sleep. The weather outside was gloomy and grey and I could feel the cold air coming through the window. I noped harder than ever. The weather has a big impact on my mood – I feel a little bit better about it knowing that scientists say that it’s normal for some people. Nevertheless, when there is no sun outside, there is no smile on my face. Plus, I have been stressing out more than usual.
Feeling sad and unmotivated is a normal part of being a human. Especially in today’s world where everything is so fast-paced and demanding that it can be incredibly stressful. And believe it or not but humans are not actually programmed to feel stressed all the time. We need a break from time to time! So if you need a little breather because your life has been too much to handle recently, keep reading. Here are my 25 ways to pick yourself up when you’re feeling low.
Cry it out
I know there are many people out there who do not like to cry. It’s a big mistake, guys. Crying can actually help you clear your mind and let go of negative emotions. Those who like to have a good cry every now and then can tell you – it feels like someone is lifting a weight off your shoulders. And you know why? Tears actually release the stress toxins that built up in your body. They also contain a special hormone which reduces pain. How cool is that? Apart from that, crying is said to have a better effect on our bodies than antidepressants.
So go on, grab a box of tissues and have a good crying session. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and drink water afterwards. I usually let myself cry for maximum 30 minutes, but then I remind myself of one quote that stuck with me for years. Beyonce once said that she allows herself to feel sad only for one day and then she uses it to motivate herself. I only let myself cry for 30 minutes and then I am ready to start picking myself up. We all need to learn from Queen B, don’t we?
Clean your room/flat/house
If you’ve never done aggressive cleaning, have you even lived? Everyone who has tried this would agree with me – IT WORKS. I’m not sure if it’s the smell of the furniture polish or the sound of the hoover, but blimey, when I look around afterwards it’s like I’m in a different world. Definitely makes me feel like I’ve got my life together, at least until I start being messy again (which is like two hours later). And did you know that when you’re stressed or feeling anxious you actually end up paying more attention to cleaning up? So you end up with an even cleaner apartment than normally.
I don’t know about you, but I am an ugly crier. Which makes me feel even worse when I see myself in the mirror and my eyes are all red and puffed and my lips are so swollen I look like I’ve been stung by a bee. Three times. Naturally, I just want to make myself feel pretty again. And I spend hours on that, because why rush when I’m taking care of myself? So take your time and enjoy yourself while you’re at it. And punch anyone who tries to interrupt your ‘me’ time. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
What you do with this time is completely up to you. Run a bath and put a bath bomb and bubble bar in it. Put some candles on. Turn a bit of music on (I usually go for 90s music, for some reason it cheers me up the most). Pat so much different moisturisers on yourself afterwards that you can slide down the stairs. Do your nails. Put a face mask on. Do your hair. Put some makeup on, even if you’re not going out anywhere. Who said you need to go out to wear makeup?
It is a well-known fact that physical activity releases happy hormones in your body. It also is a well-known fact that when you’re feeling low you absolutely do not want to work out at all. So why am I telling you about it? Because you need to get out of that bed and get moving. It’ll feel pointless for the first 5 minutes but the more you get into it, the better you’ll feel. And in 40 minutes you’ll be sweating the whole sadness out. Think about it – there’s a reason why people get addicted to working out. It makes them feel good! Not only physically, but more importantly mentally. So give it a try and tell me if I was right!
Get out of the house
Sometimes your room can feel like a prison. Sometimes your whole house can feel like a prison. Because of that, your own head feels like a prison. Do you see the cycle here? Very often we circulate between the same destinations in our lives – home-work-home/home-school-home. We do the same thing over and over again. It starts to feel boring and stressful. It’s time to break the cycle! It’s time to put comfortable shoes on and go for a walk. Or get in your car and drive somewhere. Find new places. Discover new spots. Run around the park and stroke every dog you meet. Just get out there and breathe in some fresh air. Your head will clear up and you’ll feel like you’re a new person.
Cook a healthy meal
Yes, you heard me. It’s tempting to reach for some comfort food when you’re upset. Pizza understands. Ice cream covers all the emotional burns. Maybe. And maybe it will make you feel better for a while. But then it’ll make you bloated, sluggish and feel even worse. If I started eating comfort food every time I feel down I’d be three times the size I am and with really bad skin problems. For your own good, please don’t do that. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza and ice cream, just don’t make it a habit. Instead, opt in for a healthy meal. Look for some recipes online and cook whatever takes your fancy (I always pin loads of recipes on my Pinterest, check it out!). You will feel satisfied, cooking will take your mind off of things and your body will thank you for it!
Binge watch a new TV show
There is something special about TV shows. Movies come and go, they’re amazing for 2,5h but then you need to get back to normal life. TV shows offer you many many hours of living in a different universe. The more seasons the better. I can sit down and watch Netflix and Now TV for hours on end and not get bored. Not even a little bit. And you know what else is so good about TV shows? They allow you to let your emotions out. So if someone walks in I’m definitely not crying because my manager had a go at me for no reason – it’s because Derek and Meredith are a really cute couple. And if I laugh and cry at the same time it’s certainly not because I’m going crazy – it’s because this scene is so emotional but someone decided to make a joke. See where I’m going with this? And nobody needs to know the truth.
Play a video/computer game
Okay, this one may not be for everyone. I get it. I didn’t think I was much of a gamer before I met my boyfriend. I’m still not much of a gamer, I’m more of a watcher. I like to pretend I know how to play games and get angry because ‘I’d do it so much better’. The only game I can actually play is… The Sims. And hear me out on this one. It’s a bit like watching TV shows. You get to live in another world, but with The Sims, YOU get to choose what happens. I can spend hours on that game, honestly. You know what I mean when I say that The Sims is the best game ever created. If you don’t think so, you’re lying to yourself.
Being upset and stressed is absolutely the best reason to go shopping. First of all, it gets you out of the house. Second of all, you get to treat yourself. You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds – a little present for yourself is good enough. And while you’re at it, buy a Starbucks coffee and walk around like you own the place. Be your own version of Blair Waldorf. I know you’ve got it in you.
Read a book
There is something very therapeutic about books. You sink into a pile of blankets with a cup of tea and magic happens. You’re suddenly very relaxed. It’s like watching TV but so much better because it all happens in your head. I have always been a big fan of reading so this would be my favourite way to spend my time anyway. But because of the relationship I have with books it feels like coming home when I pick one up. It is so comforting. And I can travel from Hogwarts to North Carolina in a matter of split second. Books are like a friend who will be there for you and talk to you when you need it (not literally, I’m not losing my mind yet) but will never judge. I dare you to not enjoy it.
Don’t like where you are in your life at the moment? Is it stressing you out? Daydreaming is my answer. Lie down and create a reality you’d like to live in. Be creative. Really think about it. There are no limits when you daydream. Spend some time living in a parallel universe in your head. It is said to give you more motivation to get back to reality and fight for what you dreamed about. So you can make your daydreams come true! I mean we can’t probably all marry Zac Effron, but we can always make it the goal. One person will. I’ll take my chances.
Go on a date with yourself
This one comes under ‘Treat yourself’ category. When is the last time you actually spent some quality time with yourself? Without the pressure of talking to anyone else, arguing about where to eat or what to watch in the cinema. These are the easiest dates you’ll ever go on. Fancy that Italian restaurant nobody wants to go to with you? Well, forget about them, book a table for 1 and enjoy that pasta. Your friends didn’t want to see another movie based on Nicholas Sparks’ book? Buy an extra-large popcorn and a bucket of coke and watch it on your own! (And probably change your friends as well, I mean it’s Nicholas Sparks). The world is your oyster.
Play with your pet
Animals can fix absolutely everything. And you know I’m right. They have a very comforting smell and soft fur and are just very understanding. And they don’t judge. You can tell them all your problems and they will still love you and think you’re perfect. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pet at home, but there are still loads of animals out there who need some love. Google it and visit the closest animal shelter. Show them some love. And you’ll get it in return.
Dance it out
Grey’s Anatomy taught me how to clip an aneurysm and do a heart transplant. I’m basically ready to be a doctor now. But apart from that, it showed me a great way to deal with emotions. I dance it out. If you feel like you can’t deal with being sad anymore, put some music on and dance dance dance. It doesn’t have to be a proper dance routine, I don’t expect you to be Bruno Mars in your living room. Most of the time, I just jump around and wiggle my arms. And it works. Your heart starts beating faster, the music gets in your head and suddenly you start rocking out to your favourite songs feeling lighter and happier.
Watch TEDx Talks videos
If you haven’t tried TEDx Talks, you need to do is asap. They are highly motivational and the speakers are very engaging. They always hit the nail on the head as well. Are you feeling like you can’t achieve anything? There’s a video for that. Your self-esteem is extremely low? There’s a video for that (I’m pretty sure more than one). I love TEDx Talks. They make me feel like I can take on the world because I’m super smart, extremely beautiful and just all around powerful.
Watch stand-up comedians
Or anything that makes you laugh. It can be an episode of Friends. I prefer stand-up comedians because they make me laugh quicker, but everyone is different. What’s important is that it has to make you laugh. Truly laugh. I don’t want a little giggle. I want a full blown crazy laugh that forces happy tears out of your eyes. I’d recommend Michael McIntyre (he’s the best) but there are so many comedians out there, you can choose whatever rocks your boat. Just laugh.
Use your Bad Day Emergency Kit
Bad Day Emergency Kit is a little box where you put all the supplies that make you happy. Prepare one for the next time you feel low. It’s completely up to you what will go inside. And remember what I said about eating healthy? Yeah, chocolate doesn’t count. Chocolate is a necessity when you’re upset. So put some bars in there. Your favourite movie. A teddy bear. A memory stick with the happiest songs. The sky is the limit here. And you can get very creative!
Take a nap
I don’t think I have to sell naps to anyone, do I? We all love them. We all need them. Naps are awesome. Naps are everything. Not just that, naps fix all the problems. Or at least give you more energy to tackle them when you wake up. There’s a reason people always tell you to ‘sleep on it’. Naps are relaxing – it’s a mini-break from life where nothing is wrong. A happy place. Sleep tight!
Turn your phone off
We spend so much time staring at the screens of our phones and laptops that we forget what it’s like to spend some time without them. I’m guilty of that as well. But the last thing I need when I’m feeling low is to see people on my timeline enjoying their lives and being successful. I’m happy for them. But I don’t need to have it rubbed in my face at the very moment. I can celebrate with them when I’m back on my feet again. Turning your phone off will be a challenging task at first. You’ll be tempted to look at it. You’ll feel like you’re bored. But turn it off and for the rest of the day enjoy your time. Read this list again – you’ve got so many different options in spending time without your phone. Give it a go. Turn it back on in the morning when you’ve got more energy to deal with the world.
Talk it out
I sometimes struggle with this one. It can be difficult to pinpoint what you’re actually sad about. Still, it’s good to have some company. Even if at first you’re just babbling about nothing. The right people will be there for you and listen for hours. Trust me.
Mediation has a really calming effect on our bodies. It gives us a chance to stop and focus on the present moment. Okay, I understand not everyone is into meditating – I know I find it hard to focus on my breathing and not let other thoughts budge in (Excuse me? I’m breathing here!). My solution for it is to find a good Youtube video for it. Put your earphones in and let the voice from the video take you on a journey. They will tell you what to do and what to focus on. Before you even realise, 30 minutes pass and you’re really relaxed. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first couple of times. Meditation requires practice and takes time. But it’s worth it.
Bake a cake
I’m not sure if you know that there is a thing called baking therapy. I didn’t know until I did my research. I thought baking when you’re stressed is still just baking, but actually, it’s so beneficial for your mental health people started to call it therapy! Why? Mostly because you end up with a yummy treat, what’s not to like about that. Also, you have a chance to turn all your negative emotions into something productive. All that mixing and measuring takes your mind off everything that’s bothering you. It’s like meditation but with a mixture of delicious smells and a visible final outcome. I’m off to the kitchen!
Do something spontaneous
When was the last time you’ve done something spontaneous huh? Just because you wanted to. Just because the thought just occurred to you and it seems cool. Sometimes you don’t need to think twice about something. Sometimes you just need to go for it. Get your ears pierced. Dance in the rain. Start your own blog. See how many Maltesers you can fit in your mouth. (Do me a favour though and stay safe – if it’s dangerous, think twice about it)
Watch Disney/Pixar movies
Children movies have a magical power of cheering people up. Especially the ones we all used to watch when we were younger. You click that play button and you’re back to being a 5-year-old for two hours. I have discovered so many hidden jokes in them it was like watching completely new movies. All of them are great and will cheer you up. And make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
It may sound silly to you. But it’s one of the most important things to remember when you’re trying to cheer yourself up. Because if you don’t love yourself then it’ll be more difficult to feel better and you’ll be back where you are in no time. I’m speaking from experience here. Show yourself some love. Stand in front of a mirror and list all the things you like about yourself. Write a poem to yourself. Or a letter. If you make it your habit, you’ll feel better about yourself and fewer things will get to you. It’s worth a try in my opinion.
So that’s it! I hope I could help you a little bit.
What do you do when you’re sad? Have you got any other tips?
And here’s a photo of my dog to get you going! Go and be happy 🙂