You know those days when you wake up and you just don’t feel great? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you’re feeling down. Yeah, we all have those days; I know I’ve had my fair share. On days like that, self-care is so important. I think we tend to forget that just as we took care of our bodies physically, we also need to take care of our mind. Self-care looks different for everyone but there is one common element: it’s damn important.
Last week I had a several days in a row where I was just not feeling myself. I was sad, angry and felt like a failure. Those are not fun emotions to feel, but I tried my best to practice some self-care techniques I’ve learned over the years. Those techniques helped me to be more optimistic and be able to see that these feelings are temporary. Today I wanted to share some of my self-care tips with you, for days when you’re feeling down and want to figure out a way to make yourself feel better. I hope they’re useful.
Acknowledge your feelings.
First and foremost, I think acknowledging your feelings when you’re feeling down is the most important. So often we feel negative emotions but we choose to keep them tucked away, because we don’t want to deal with them. But the more we do that, the more those emotions build up, and eventually it will become too much. If you’re experiencing negative emotions, take a moment and think about them. Why are you feeling this way? Can you do something about it? Sometimes there’s a clear reason we feel down whilst other times we just feel crappy for no good reason. Either way, you feelings are valid and it is at these points that self-case is so important.
One way I acknowledge my feelings is by writing them down. Writing has always been cathartic for me and I often explore my feelings through writing. For you it might be something different; whatever it is, encourage yourself to identify how you’re feeling and explore your emotions.
Move your body.
Your mental well-being is so interlinked with your physical well-being. I know that staying in bed all day is the most tempting thing to do when we feel down, but that is not going to allow you to feel better. I find that once I’ve moved my body, I feel so much better. I’m not saying that doing some squats is magically going to make you feel happy again, but a little bit of exercise can definitely help you towards feeling better.
My favorite way to move my body when I’m feeling down is yoga. It not only works your body, but it also allows you to calm the mind and find some inner peace. Something else I love to do is going on a long walk.
For me, fresh air and time in nature heals so many wounds. Like I said above, going for a long walk is something that I try to push myself to do when I’m not feeling great. My favorite place to go is to a nearby forest, Hampstead Heath, where I can walk for hours amongst the trees. Breathing the fresh air and appreciating nature truly help with feeling happier; I honestly think that spending time in nature can cure so many of our problems.
Have some comfort food.
Food can be a very emotional things, and I’m sure we all have some comfort food dishes that bring back happy memories and make us feel a little better. Whether that’s a soup your mom makes all the time or a plate of chips that reminds your of your childhood; allow yourself to indulge in some comfort food. I do think that eating healthily had positive effects on the mind, which is why I always make sure I still get in all my nutrients on an off day. But it’s all about balance!
Do something you love.
Paint, read a book, cook, knit, photograph, bake; we all have activities that we love and instantly make us feel better. Some of mind are writing, painting and cooking and I try to do at least one of these activities on days where I’m not feeling myself. Reminding yourself of the good things in life, the things that you enjoy, is inherently going to make you feel a little better.
Give yourself a break.
And lastly, give yourself a little break from whatever things might be causing you stress, anxiety of grief. Of course, we can’t drop everything as soon as we’re feeling down (I mean, if we could just not go in to work whenever it was causing us stress, that would be great…), but there are some smaller things you can give yourself a break from. If you’re feeling pressured into helping out at a friends event and it’s causing you stress, ask if you can take on less responsibility. If keeping on top of your blogging schedule is causing you anxiety, stop writing for a little while (that’s what I did, I took a little break on here, but I’m so happy to be back!). Whatever it is, take a break.
I hope you don’t have to use these tips too often, but for when you do feel down I hope this is helpful. If you ever want to chat, always feel free to get in touch with me, I’m here to listen.