I am getting better at planning my weeks and making those plans actually become actions. There is nothing worse than putting the effort to create never-ending lists of things to do, and end up not doing them. A couple months ago I decided to try this new strategy. When it comes to this blog, ever since it was created I haven’t posted nearly as much as I’d like to. The initial plan was for me to do so, obviously. I wanted to post at least one post every week. And what happened? I didn’t even log into my account for almost a year...that’s how bad things got. I lost control of my life, and stopped prioritising important things that make me happy.
Every time I was too busy or tired from work (and especially when I was still at my previous job with endless working hours and super long shifts), the last thing on my mind was to write a blog post once I got home...or to take some photos outside...or to go for a coffee with a friend and document it all.
As incredible as this may sound, for me it actually comes down to creativity. Every time I plan what photo to take next, sometimes it takes me hours to get to a creative enough idea that will work! And, of course, with all this time consuming process on top of a job, having to cook, clean, buy groceries for the house every week, feed the cats, stay healthy and exercise, sometimes being creative is the last thing I can be, due to all this pressure. I find it hard to be creative when I have lots of things in my mind. And sometimes, this brings me down. Some days I just cannot be bothered, and all I wish for is my bed, pyjamas and a huge duvet over my head. However, I know the importance of beating these moments of weakness and building yourself back up again. We all know that these moments never lead to any good thoughts, feelings or even actions... (Yes, I eat when I’m stressed or depressed! And this is just a little example.)
I decided to write about the tricks I use to pick myself up on a down day, in the hope that these will help some of you who are going through the same struggle.
1. Watch a movie. I am a sucker for movies. I love cinema and the thought of snuggling on the couch watching a nice movie on the TV can do wonders for my mood if I’m having a bad day. Especially on really cold days, when I normally light some candles around the living room. Game changer!
2. A nice long warm bath normally does the trick too. Sometimes I am so stressed that I throw myself a bath. The problem is that I want to be done with it after ten minutes because I get bored or start thinking about all the things I have left to do. But relaxing is key, especially if you are an anxious person like me. Allow yourself to relax. Sometimes I even put some music on to help me unwind.
3. Exercise! I know, right? You’re upset, sad, tired and exhausted and I am suggesting you exercise? It must be a joke. Well...it actually isn’t! Exercise can release endorphins that can make you feel good. This works better if you can get your heart pumping to increase blood flow throughout your body. Plus, you go back home feeling so relaxed that you actually even sleep better at night! It works for me, as it also helps to clear my mind and stops me from overthinking everything.
4. Journal about the good things in life. Or about anything, really. Writing can be very relaxing, and if you are feeling sad or down for a particular reason, writing about it can have positive effects on you, as it is a way to get ‘rid’ of the problems. Write poems, letters to your old self, letters to people you have only met once...it doesn’t matter. I can guarantee you will feel better in the end.
5. Do what makes you happy. Whether this is spending time with friends, have a mug of hot chocolate, cuddle with your pet...whatever it is. Do it. It will instantly put you in a better mood.
6. Listen to music. I love this one! I love music in general, but the power of music whenever you’re feeling down is undeniably powerful and it can change your mood in a matter of seconds.
7. Cry. I have no problems with crying. As a matter of fact, I am actually a cry baby. I cry way more than I wish I did, because I am a little too sensitive. This can be good or bad. However, I always feel better after I cry. If I am ever having a particularly stressful day, or I’m feeling down for whatever reason, crying can help. Studies actually revealed that crying helps you to think clearer afterwards, and makes the decision making process much easier.
8. Allow yourself not to worry so much. I have a problem with this one. But I am working on it. Sometimes, because we care too much, we will make ourselves miserable over a situation. Make sure you allow yourself to step back, and don’t care too much about things that are not worth worrying about.
9. Watch a funny youtube video. The greatest thing about youtube is that you start by watching one video about a funny cat chasing a laser, and five hours later you are watching stand up comedy or a swimming competition, etc. You can explore for hours and get your mind off things for a little bit. This will help you feel better and put you in a better mood.
These are the tricks I use whenever I am feeling down.
Questions for you:
How do you pick yourself up when you’re feeling down? Would you add anything else to this list?