Growing up and becoming a ‘proper adult’ has quickly made me realise that life is hard sometimes. The world can be cruel and unkind, but also beautiful and wonderful. It’s all about how we tackle life’s challenges and those times when we’re feeling blue. So, I’ve put together my list of ‘top twelve pick me ups’ for when I’m feeling a little blue.
- Get lost in music.
Music can be used in any way you want and as an escape is one such way. Invest in a decent pair of headphones, I recommend a pair of noise cancelling headphones or a quality pair of in-ear headphones work just as well. Then put on your favourite music or music that suits your mood, find a comfy spot and just listen. Laying on my bed or sitting in a comfy spot wrapped in a blanket works perfectly for me. In the past, I’ve created playlists on my phone for different types of mood e.g. ‘uplifting’, ‘chilled out’ or ‘ballads’. This allows you to put on whatever suits you at the time with little thought involved.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more active remedy blasting out your favourite tunes and singing at the top of your voice immediately releases ‘happy hormones’.
- Have a good cry.
Now, I realise some of you may be reading this one thinking ‘why on Earth is she asking me to cry? I thought this blog post was supposed to make me feel better!’ Well, to those people I ask bear with me on this one. At times, we can carry around all of our thoughts and feelings for so long that we are ready to burst. The only way to release these feelings… yes, you guessed it cry. Crying it out can release all those feelings into the air and make you feel lighter.
If you’re a bit of an ‘ice queen or king’ like myself and find it difficult to spontaneously burst into tears or cry in general then find a trigger. For me, there are a few films that never fail to make me cry. At the moment, the film ‘Me Before You’ sets me off and ‘Marley and Me’ has never disappointed in that department either. Give it a go and have a good cry.
- Go for a walk.
Going for a long walk with your headphones in (or not if this doesn’t work for you) can help to clear your head. It can allow you the time to organise your thoughts, putting them into perspective or creating a plan of action to combat your worries. Alternatively, it can help you to clear your mind allowing you time to forget and focus on where you’re going. I find a walk really works for me, especially now we’re drawing in to the winter season where we can wrap up warm and watch the autumn scenes roll in.
It doesn’t matter where you go. It can be a short walk down to the high street, through the park or your favourite place. Obviously, if your favourite walk is along the beach in the Caribbean, this might need a little bit of tweaking. Just put your shoes on and go. The exercise will leave you feeling good too.
- Ask yourself “Does it really need to be said?”
When we’re feeling angry, hurt or upset it can become all too easy to lash out at the ones we love. But, saying something hurtful to those closest to us can be enough to bring them down as well. Is it fair to bring someone else down just because we’re feeling bad? No. So, breathe, run that thought through your mind and ask yourself ‘how will this person feel if I say that? Is it worth it?’ Then stay silent or walk away until you’ve calmed yourself enough to speak again.
I’m constantly working on this myself. I realise that this is easier said than done when you get lost in the heat of the moment. We’re all human. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been unkind to someone take five, calm down and say sorry. Tell that person how you’re feeling and apologise. It will instantly make the both of you feel ten times better.
- Call your friends, family and loved ones! Talk, talk, talk!
If I’ve had a really bad day at work, I find that the best medicine is a good old fashioned rant. Sometimes there’s nothing better than ‘putting the world to rights’ with your friends. Getting whatever you’re feeling off your chest can make you feel a million times lighter allowing you to let go and move on. A little confirmation from a loved one that tells you they know how you’re feeling can go a long way.
If you don’t live with friends or family that you feel you can talk to then call the ones you can. In the end, we always regret the things we didn’t say. So, call those friends that you’ve been meaning to for the past three months, but couldn’t because your favourite episode of ‘Scrubs’ was on. You don’t even need to talk about what’s bothering you if you’re not ready. Just tell them you love them, reminisce on the ‘good times’, arrange that well-overdue meet up and let yourself be loved. There’s no feeling like feeling wanted.
- Have a cuppa!
This one speaks for itself. Just stop for five minutes, sit down and have a cup of tea (or an alternative non-alcoholic drink of choice). Just stopping and taking a rest can help to relieve stress.
- Read an inspirational quote.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love an inspirational quote. I’m constantly writing down quotes that I’ve heard or looking for new ones. Something just as simple as reading a powerful quote can help you remember that your life’s not over and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. More importantly they can make you feel good. If this sounds good to you there are a number of things you can do: create a Pinterest board of quotes, create a jar full of post-it notes each containing a quote which you can dip into when you need it or read my inspirational quote of the week right here on my blog. I read Demi Lovato’s ‘Staying Strong 365 days a year’ each day as it has a powerful quote to inspire you for each day of the year.
A favourite of mine is,
‘It will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay then it’s not the end.’
– Paolo Coelho
- Create a feel good board.
All I really need to say for this one is Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest go and explore. In life we see things that make us laugh and feel good… what if we could collect all of these things in one place? You can probably guess where this is going… Pinterest is where you can do that! Create a board where you can save of all of the things that make you smile e.g. photos, quotes, funny videos (‘Buzz and the Dandelions’ gets me laughing every time). Then when you’re feeling down you can have a look at the board.
If social media isn’t your bag, then perhaps create a photo montage as your desktop wallpaper so whenever you log onto your laptop you’re reminded of all the good things you have in your life.
- Get lost in a good book.
If your life is getting a bit tough and overwhelming why not read about someone’s fictional life instead? They’re not real so there’s no harm done. I’m a hopeless romantic so I find a good romantic novel works for me. Obviously, if you’re feeling blue due to a break-up perhaps a romantic novel isn’t for you. Or maybe it is. Let yourself believe that love is possible even if it’s not with the person you first thought. Equally, as silly as it sounds children’s books work just as well. As a teacher, I read a lot of children’s books as part of my day job. But think about it guys, they’re supposed to be uplifting and they’re easy to read.
Why not go out of your comfort zone and give it a go?
- Relax in a deep bubble bath.
I suppose this one explains itself really. Run yourself a deep, warm bath and have a long soak. Oh and bubbles. Bubbles are essential! Some of my favourite products to use for a bubble bath are Lush bath bombs, Radox bubble bath and Zoella’s beauty range. All that’s left to do is watch your stresses float away.
- Dance it out!
In the words of my favourite Grey’s Anatomy duo Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey, ‘dance it out’. Sometimes life is tough and it feels as if everything is out of your control. So, in these situations all you can do is let go for a little while to make yourself feel better. So, put on your favourite music, play it at full volume and dance it out. That’s right, dance, sing and just go crazy. Who cares if you look silly? Allow yourself to let go a little while and have fun. After a while, you’ll be laughing at your questionable dance moves anyway! A personal favourite used by my flatmate and I is ‘where does the good go’ by Tegan and Sara, which Cristina and Meredith use to dance out in the 10th season.
P.S. If you’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy… why not? Give it a go!
- Change your attitude.
‘Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things.’
– Walt Disney
I recently went to a conference for work on wellbeing and the phrase ‘change your attitude’ immediately caught my attention. The way we perceive the things that happen in our lives has a direct affect on how we feel about them. For example, something might happen that immediately makes us think ‘that’s it! My life is over!’ or we could think ‘this is just a bump in the road. I’ll try this and I’ll move on. Things will get better’. If we try and approach things with a positive mindset we’ll be able to overcome them quicker.
Again, easier said than done but worth a shot, right?
So, this was quite an epic length blog post! These are my top twelve ‘pick me ups’ which work for me. Give some of them a go and see what you think. Let me know what ones you’ve tried and if you’ve got any to recommend!