Do you ever wake up grumpy, low on energy with no apparent reason? If so, how do you usually handle days like these? In order to avoid wasting my day feeling grumpy and unproductive, I acknowledge this feeling and have found things/activities that help me snap out of it and meet day's challenges on a lighter note, with more energy. Don't let bad mood ruin your day. After all, you'll never get to live this day over again :)
I thought I would share these 10 feel-good moves and simple tricks that help me invite more positive feelings and increase happiness level. Perhaps they come in handy on a day when you're not feeling your best. All you will need is a desire to feel happier and willingness to take a few mindful, feel-good activities towards it.
GO FOR A WALK
If there is only one thing you would do from this list, let it be this one. Going for a nice and relaxing walk is a proven way to get those much needed endorphins flowing and it's one of the best mindfulness activities. All you have to do is go for a steady pace walk and observe your surroundings and yourself. Notice people around you, animals, houses, flowers - something that you usually wouldn't pay attention to. Before you know it, you might already be out of your bad mood thanks to being present in the moment. Walking can help you find answers to your concerns as you have that monologue in your head.
JOURNAL YOUR FEELINGS
Journaling works like a therapy for me. It's not easy to start when you're feeling low, however, once you take that notebook and put the first sentence on the paper, the words start to unravel your feelings. Most of the time, this also works as a way to find out what you're truly upset about or what's bothering you. It's like talking to a good friend - it takes a huge weight of your shoulders and you instantly feel much better. Or, you may realise that things are not so bad after all.
My suggestion is to get a cup of tea, get cozy on your sofa, grab your journal and write down exactly how you are feeling. Make sure to be honest when you describe your feelings, emotions, anything that is bringing you down - get to the root of the problem.
If the bad mood feeling is repetitive, I recommend focusing on analyzing your mood in your journal (or to keep a separate notebook for this). This can be a great way for you to notice patterns/triggers that cause the low emotions, what gets in the way of those positive feelings and then find the best solution for improvement.
DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE
Have you ever noticed that lovely and warm feeling after doing a good deed? Whether it's giving someone a gift, helping a tourist, solving friend's problem - doing something completely selfless for someone else? Feels priceless, doesn't it?
Instead of being overly focused on yourself, shift your attention to someone who could really benefit from it. Such activity can trick your mind to forgetting about your own troubles. These don't have to be huge gestures. Something as simple as sending a friend a small and uplifting gift or a nice note, listening to your friend's problems and helping come up with a solution, volunteer, or bring something to eat to a homeless person. It would be a wonderful surprise to a receiver and it would also boost your self-esteem and increase happiness levels.
MAKE SOMETHING DELICIOUS FOR YOURSELF
I have to admit I'm not great in the kitchen. Like, at all. :) However, I've found that cooking or baking something when I'm feeling down definitely makes it to my top 10 mood-booster list. I open PInterest and look for the most delicious looking recipe or open one of the (few) cookbooks I have at home. I write down the necessary ingredients (after I've decided whether the recipe is something I can manage, haha) and make the trip to the nearest grocery shop.
First, it would take the mind off disturbing and negative thoughts, as you're busy focusing on following the recipe. It's a great distraction! Second, managing to make something from scratch, a new recipe that you can now add to your list and also treat your loved ones can definitely help feeling good about yourself. Small, but it's still an accomplishment. Third, you now have a treat to enjoy. That itself is a winner! :)
GO TO A COFFEE SHOP
It can be anything - a coffee shop, a library, nearest park or a co-working space. Anywhere you feel comfortable and inspired. For me, cozy coffee shop that serves almond milk cappuccino is the place to go to. A lot of times the reason for a bad mood can be the feeling of being overwhelmed or disorganised. I usually take my laptop, diary, notebook, earphones and I'm off to do some work on a project or simply researching and writing down ideas and inspiration.
Even the process of getting ready is the beginning of inviting positive feelings into my day and making yourself busy. I believe everyone is different, but what works for me is being in a lively space, surrounded by other people that are out and about, enjoying themselves (even though earphones and good music helps to feel a bit more isolated, so that you can actually get some work done) - that's when I'm feeling most productive and motivated.
Similar to going for a walk, any other kind of exercise helps release endorphins - trigger for a positive feeling in your body. I believe that exercise in general in a great way to start your day on a positive and energetic note (I talk about this in our first blog post. The exercise doesn't have to be high intensity or hard in any way. Choose something that you enjoy. I like to either do a yoga session, follow a fitness video on YouTube or simply do a 7 Minute Workout - just go get that blood flowing.
Even a short tidy-up and decluttering can instantly make me feel much more organised, motivated to get stuff done and improve my mood. I truly believe that our outer environment mirrors the way we feel inside. The act of tidying up and putting everything back to where it belongs can be so liberating and make you feel as if you declutter your inner world and everything is now nice and organised. Get rid of that physical and emotional mess. The sense of accomplishment and also the moving around part is sure to help you feel better about yourself.
If you have more time on your hands, I definitely recommend doing a proper spring-clean. Reorganize and redecorate your space, donate the clothes you no longer wear and keep only the things that are important and bring you joy. That itself can make you feel like a completely new human being. A fresh start! :)
I believe that before you can make someone else happy or bring any kind of value to others, you need to be happy with yourself and have a positive attitude. When feeling low, don't rely on others to increase your happiness levels and boost your confidence. It's all on you. It's important not to ignore the bad mood and make sure to take a good care of yourself. A little TLC.
Self-love practices are endless, so you have to find something that truly does the work for you. Such activities are about building new thought patterns and actions that reflect self-worth, therefore improve your mood. Here are are few ideas on self-love practices that you can incorporate in the day when you're not feeling your best:
15 minute meditation
Read a book from your “must-read” list
Treat yourself to a massage
Have an early night
Take a long and relaxing bath
Do positive self talk
Try a new fitness class
Go on a short shopping trip
Create a vision board (read a how-to blogpost here)
Reading self love, light and positive affirmations out-loud can also help you put your mind at ease, feel better about yourself and simply cheer you up. I suggest finding some of your favorite affirmations that speak to you the most and write them down in your diary or phone - somewhere where they are easy to find/reach when needed.
TALK IT OUT
Bad days happen to the best of us. I know it can be hard to call your friend or a family member to talk about your struggles, let your walls down and let yourself be vulnerable. However, this act itself is already liberating. Talking to a good friend or a family member can instantly make you feel better, clarify your thoughts, especially if you're feeling worried about something. It's not always about hearing the “right thing” or getting a great advice. Sometimes, all you need is a good and understanding listener, because while talking it out, you might find and understand the answers yourself. Or, sometimes you just have to vent about a problem to release negative emotions instead of keeping them bottled up inside.
WATCH AN INSPIRING VIDEO
From funny cat videos to inspiring documentaries - any are sure to improve my mood and boost my energy levels. Find what does wonders for you. When I need to increase happiness level, motivation and a different perspective into my life, I hit up TED talks. They always seem to do the work :) Here is a great one by Elizabeth Gilbert:
Do you do any of these and what are your tips and tricks to beat the blues? Would absolutely love to hear you share your advice :)
Thank you so much for reading!