Have you ever felt down and had trouble getting back to normal? That has been my current struggle for a while. I blamed it on the fact that I have been living out of boxes for months. I moved into my new apartment at the end of May and I just haven’t had the time or the motivation to sit down and get settled in completely. In fact, my office has been officially renamed, “the box room.” My mother has come by multiple times to help, but it just feels never ending. Last week, I had finally had enough. I cleared my schedule and spent several hours unpacking and cleaning everything, all in an attempt to rid myself of this mood. Which I did, as my gloom disappeared… for about an hour– then back into my slump. I started feeling discouraged, it seemed impossible to get back to my normal state of mind. Do you ever have those days/weeks/months? Where you try to tackle everything that could possibly be bringing you down, and still find no relief? I have a history of chronic depression, so this has been a recurring thing for me. But over time, I have compiled this list of tips and tricks to help when I am feeling down.
- Call your mother
This sounds silly, but for some reason I always feel relieved when I vent to my mom. Sometimes she gives me advice, sometimes she just listens, and sometimes she venmo’s me money to order a pizza. I mean, its hard to be sad when I have a whole pizza to myself.
- Go for a walk
Y’all, I hate getting out of my bed when I am feeling down. It is my safe place and where I feel most comfortable. When I am overwhelmed, sad or just in a weird mood, my first instinct is to crawl in bed and stay there until I get hungry. But most times, that does more harm than good. Something that never fails to boost my mood is going on a walk. I usually take my dog and we walk until she plops down on the ground waving her white flag. It gives me the opportunity to clear my mind and breathe in fresh air. Its easy to feel like the everything around me is gloomy and sad when I am buried under my blankets with the curtains drawn. Going outside reminds me that my problems are small compared to the world around me. That brings me so much peace.
This seems to be the first piece of advice we receive when telling others of our problems. I am the type to say “you’re right,” but never really follow through with it. I feel so silly going to God with my small issues. I mean, why would He want to hear about my sadness? What right do I have to feel sad whenever He has given me so much to be joyous about? Well, because He is our Father. God isn’t here simply to hear the good things or the big issues. He wants us to come to Him with everything. Tell Him about your day, about your problems, about what you had for lunch, or about the things that make you feel joy. He loves us and delights in the time we spend with Him. I always find myself feeling so much better after spending time in prayer.
- Treat yourself
This can mean so many things… for me, it means lemon cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, a glass of wine and a sappy movie. Its important not to overdo it, but indulging every once in a while can be really good for the soul.
- Make a list
Maybe I am speaking only to my fellow type-A’s, but I am so much happier when I feel like I have a plan. Many of my problems stem from feeling out of control. I like to sit down and list out whatever I am feeling unhappy or unsure about… my goals, my life plan, things that make me happy (like I am doing right now), things that I am thankful for, or just a to-do list. Having those things in writing show me that I have a good reason to get up and carry on.
- Read a book
I am obsessed with reading. I have always been… In fact, my mom used to ground me from books before she would take away my phone or tv privileges. For me, there’s nothing more compelling than curling up in a big blanket, with a cup of coffee and getting lost in a story. It clears my mind of my problems and fills it with whatever story I am reading. It gives me a break from my thoughts for a while and I usually find myself in a much better mood by the time I am done.
Journaling is like venting, only to yourself. Sometimes writing down your problems will give you immediate relief. Other times, you will feel exactly the same. But I like it because it’s nice to go back and read your journal entries later on and see how things have changed.
- Take a bath
If you know me at all, you know this is probably my favorite thing to do. Baths are my “me time.” I usually turn on relaxing music, close my eyes and feel the stress and anxiety leave me. The best way to do this is to put two cups of epsom salts, one cup of baking soda and lavender essential oils in the bath. Then, soak for at least 20-25 minutes. Not only does this promote relaxation, but it also detoxifies your body.
- Get dressed
This seems like a simple concept but I am the world worst for staying in pjs and a messy bun for days when I am in a bad mood. But the saying, “look good, feel good” is tried and true. Getting dressed up will improve your mood 9/10 times.
- Take a nap
When all else fails, take a nap. Let your mind and body reset, then get up and make yourself do something productive.
These are things that typically help me out. What things help you when you feel down? I would love to hear answers in the comments!