10 Things to Do Right Now If You're Feeling Low
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We all have those days.
Those days where we want to shut the curtains, wriggle under the duvet and hide.
But there are things you can do to elevate your mood - try some of these...
Crank up the music
Music is a great healer - there's a reason ancient caves have been found to have incredible acoustics, where people would have gone to hear singing, chanting and humming echoing around and resonating in their bodies. Nowadays we turn to CDs or digital playlists and crank it up. If you have a digital music player - or if you listen on your phone - add a few uplifting tunes to a playlist, or build a whole playlist just for those days. You can listen to some of the ones I have on my Apple Music Playlist here (some might be a bit sweary). And another thing - classical music has been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety, and I've included three of my favourites here too.
Take a nap
Sometimes when we're feeling sullen and like we have no energy, it's because we really need to recharge. Try taking a nap if you're feeling tired - a short one of 20 minutes or so might just do the trick. I've done this a few times, and woken up refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Hugs are amazing. They're like a battery charger for your soul. Bring a loved one in for a hug and it can make you feel so much better. It's actually quite scientific - hugging releases hormones that give you an instant feeling of wellbeing. Hug for 20 seconds or more for maximum benefits.
Nope, not pizza, even though you might feel like it. Eat something fresh and healthy, like some fruit or your favourite salad or snack. It'll help you recharge with some readily-available energy and the flavour might just cheer you up, too.
Take a shower
Never underestimate the feeling of a warm shower when you're emotionally a little bit down in the dumps. If you prefer a bath, run a warm one with your favourite oils, scents or bubbles. You'll feel uplifted, clean and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Yesterday I had a hot shower at 3.30pm. Amazing.
With phones, tablets and computers, there's really no excuse to ever feel lonely. Texting works, and so does a video call to someone you love - family, friends or a partner. A quick 5-minute phone call, curled up on the sofa does wonders for the soul. Even better, get together. There might be restrictions around our socially-distanced world right now, but you can always pop over to a friend's front garden or meet up in an open space, like a park. Make sure you abide by the rules where you live, but just waving to a friend from a distance in the supermarket queue and exchanging a quick smile and 'how are you' has lifted me up.
One of my favourite Life Coaches ever, Jenna Sinclair (who was kind enough to write the foreword for my book this year) says that there's no bad weather - only the wrong clothes. And she's right! Sitting in the sunshine drinking a cup of tea with your eyes on the blue-streaked sky is amazing. And I can't tell you the euphoria of finishing a motorbike ride in a heavy downpour, too. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it's the adult equivalent of splashing in puddles. Or splash in puddles. If people stare, they're only wishing they were doing it, too. Getting out and experiencing nature always lifts my spirits. Try a park or a walk in some beautiful woodland.
Seriously? Laughing gets your happy hormones flowing. Do some silly dancing, do air-guitar or lip-sync battle to your favourite song, put on your favourite comedy. Laughing releases tense muscles and cheers you up straight away.
Can't laugh right now? Then smile. Just crack up the corners of your mouth and turn it into a little smile, all to yourself. Speaking from experience, it's really hard to be sad when you're smiling. It's like your brain gets freaked out and you just start to feel better. Try it!
It can be difficult to find things to be grateful for when you have a low mood. But there's always something. What about being grateful for access to clean water? Or the oxygen you breathe? A warm bed, or someone that loves you. Make a list of five things you're grateful for and watch your mood lift.
Liked these tips? You might also like my book Love Life, Stress Less - a collection of short, bite-sized chapters to help lift your spirits. It's over on Amazon now.