We all have those moments.
That point in time when you feel really low. Be it from stress, exhaustion, anxiety, overwhelm, sadness … or any number of bleak and upsetting emotions. Even a mixture of all of them.
These feeling are part and parcel of daily life, and usually we are able to dust ourselves off and keep on going. But not always.
Occasionally, unwelcome feelings hit and it’s incredibly hard to move on from them. They can stop us in our tracks and prevent us from functioning as we need to.
When this happens, you’re gonna need some help.
For this reason, here are some ideas to make yourself feel better in the moment so you can banish the negative vibes and get on with your day.
Further reading: 50 ‘I Am’ statements: Positive affirmations for your well-being.
HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER IN THE MOMENT
If you are at home and have five minutes to spare, strip off and hop in the shower.
Did you know that having a shower can increase productivity, boost confidence, crank up energy levels and decrease anxiety? In fact, according to Wellness Workdays:
“Bathing has been linked to improved mental health. This is because taking a warm shower can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The body’s reaction to being warm naturally relaxes your muscles and thoughts. Because of this mechanism, the risk of depressive symptoms is lower following a shower.”
Of course, you’ll come out smelling lovely too.
THE POWER OF NOW
The feeling of being overwhelmed is often the catalyst of our pessimistic thoughts. Furthermore, if you stop to anaylise your overwhelm you will notice it is caused by thoughts about the past and future. One has happened and the other is yet to come.
A handy (and easy) tool is to focus on the “now”.
Grab a copy of the The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and learn that focusing on the present can help you find deep inner peace … however crazy busy your life may be.
Further reading: Managing overwhelm as a single mother.
DRINK SOME WATER
Yes, it really can be as simple as downing a glass of water.
As stated by Mass Public Health Blog:
“Being dehydrated throws off the delicate dopamine and serotonin balances in the brain, natural chemicals that can increase/affect depression and anxiety. One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your mood is by drinking a glass (or two!) of water. Getting hydrated can quite literally calm your nerves.”
Better still, get ahead of the dehydration by carrying a water bottle wherever you go and sipping regularly.
If water’s not your thing, add flavour with a tasty teabag, or give it some fizz with a SodaStream.
TELL PEOPLE, GET HELP
If you feel crap … tell someone.
Phone a mate and have a vent. Or tell your kids that “mummy’s not feeling great”. Once it’s out there you’ll feel slightly better, and you’ll hopefully get some sympathy to boot.
Even young kids will want mum to feel good and will try and help in their own little way, which in turn will hopefully lift your mood.
It’s a cliché, I know. But I promise you it works.
Did you know that when you are stressed or anxious, your breathing pattern changes? Instead of deep, healthy breathing from your diaphragm, your shoulders tense and your breath becomes short and shallow. When this happens, take action.
Here is a cute video from Beyond Blue to help you relax …
Another option is to download a meditation app to your phone. Many of these have fast, accessible exercises you can do anywhere.
HAVE A CUPPA
This is the English in me coming out …
But, if you need to lift your spirits, stick the kettle on.
Have a nice cup of tea, coffee … or make a hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.
Basically, have a harmless treat to lift your spirits.
If you can, head outside and gulp some fresh air. Better still, do it with the afore-mentioned cuppa and breathing exercises.
This article from Kent Teach explains:
“The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe which will increase the amount of serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, consequently making you happier.”
If there are some roses nearby, smell them!
LISTEN TO SOME TUNES
I don’t need to tell you the power of music.
A damn good tune floods your brain with dopamine which gives you the feeling of pleasure, alongside a generous serving of motivation.
Dance, sing, twerk … whatever floats your boat.
Get ahead of the blues by creating a motivational playlist which you can hit play on at any time.
Further reading (if you're single): 15 Positive songs about being single (and why to listen to them).
HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Feeling down and despondent? Then give yourself something to look forward to, however small.
A takeaway for dinner or the promise of an early night is all it takes sometimes.
That feeling of anticipation will make you feel more positive and may be the incentive you need to claw your way out of the rut you find yourself in.
IF YOU JUST CAN’T SHAKE IT
If you find yourself struggling with pessimistic thoughts on a regular basis and your life is being negatively impacted, seek help.