Feeling a little bit down? Here’s my tried and tested tips for perking yourself up a little bit.
(1) First thing’s first – crack out the fancy shower gel and yummy body butter and treat yourself to a little spa night. Put on a lime-green face mask and get into your comfiest pajamas. Put fresh bed sheets on your leaba and light a few candles. Fresh bed sheets, clean pajamas and candles are a personal favourite of mine when I’m feeling a bit crappy.
(2) Wear your sexiest underwear. Us women don’t have much time to match our bra and panties in the morning but when you match coincidentally it can lead to having a better day. It just makes you feel more confident to know that under your work-clothes you’re hiding a sexy satin secret.
(3) Make yourself some soul-food. I don’t mean have a bucket of fried chicken or to devour your body weight in Doritos. Make something nutritious and heart-warming. I’m no stranger to buckets of chicken myself (oh baby), but if you eat junk food all the time it can actually lead to you feeling more sluggish all the time, as well as packing on extra pounds. By making something wholesome yet comforting you get the warm and fuzzies from the food, but also feel good knowing that what you’ve eaten is good for your body (and your waistline)! My favourite healthy comfort foods are shepherd’s pie and creamy linguine.
(4) Go for a walk. Don’t set a timer on yourself, and don’t worry about setting a pace. Just walk. I promise, you will feel a hell of a lot better. A little bit of movement and fresh air can do us wonders. Stick on a pair of headphones if you like and listen to some feel-good tunes or your favourite podcast.
(5) Discover some new bands. I love trawling through youtube’s recommended sidebar and discovering new sounds. I’ve found a lot of my favourite bands this way. I would recommend steering clear of really sad music though because sometimes that can actually make you feel worse. When I’m having a bad day and put on some sad music, I just find myself wallowing. When I’m down, bubblegum-ish pop can tick me off even more, so I usually opt for something mellow such as a little bit of Fleet Foxes or Mew.
(6) Look at some cute animals. Looking at pictures of fluffy babies is scientifically proven to help lift your mood, although you may suffer a serious case of cute aggression!
(7) Keep a diary. Writing is a form of catharsis in my opinion. When I’m feeling really annoyed or anxious, I just let it all spill out into my diary or anything I have near me at the time – even a post-it note will do. Pouring my anxious woes out onto a piece of paper helps me feel more in control of my situation. Now that my anxieties are tangible I feel like I can work through them.
(8) Do something nice for someone else. By holding the door open for someone, helping an elderly person take their shopping out to their car, giving up your seat for a pregnant lady on the bus and even smiling at a stranger can not only brighten up their day, but also yours. ‘A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers’ is a beautiful Chinese proverb relating to this.
(9) Watch a really good film. I’m a bit of a film geek, and for the past few months I’ve been working my way through the IMDB Top 250 Films.
(10) Reach out to someone. It can be a family member, housemate, or an old friend. Even if you haven’t talked to someone in a little while, I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you. Even just having a natter with someone can help you feel a little bit better. Never underestimate the power of venting – we all need a helping hand sometimes and there is absolutely no shame in saying ‘I’m feeling a bit shit and I need to talk to someone’, whether that be a friend of a counsellor.
So after a chat with a friend and a nice long walk, hop into your fresh bed with a belly full of shepherd’s pie, clad in your fluffiest pajamas over your sexiest underwear and whack on ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ after writing in your diary and looking at cat videos and you should feel a little more at peace with the world.
It’s important to note that if you’re feeling down all the time it can be a sign of depression. My advice here is to not let that fester. If you’re losing interest in things you were once really into, feel detached from your peers, and feel like you’re a bit lost, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My inbox is always open, and although I’m not a counsellor, I am a pretty good listener. You can also have a look at ReachOut and Aware.ie. If you’re really feeling at the end of your tether you can reach out to the Samaritans.
Whether your suffering from depression, or just have a case of the blues, just remember that you are important. Your feelings are valid. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. You are NOT hopeless. You’re actually pretty fucking amazing, even if you do feel a little shaky right now.
I hope this makes things a little brighter,