Things to Do When You’re Feeling Down

I’ve been feeling quite down, unmotivated, discouraged, and unhappy with many things recently.  I’ve been saying to myself, “I want to blog/write/etc,” but then I just can’t seem to muster up the energy and desire to actually do it.  But I’m trying to break through all that, and have been thinking about some things I like to do to try to cheer myself up when I’m feeling low.  I thought, why not share my list and maybe help someone else who’s in a similar rut.  So, here we go!

1. Take a nice warm bath or shower, relax, and try to let your tension melt away.  Also, be sure to pamper yourself by slathering on a nice smelling lotion after your bath.  I would highly recommend Fluffy Bunny from Farmhouse Fresh.  It is such a soft, comforting scent, described as “mint-julep, cream and just a hint of lavender”.

2. Listen to some music.  If something soft and soothing would help, go that route.  Perhaps something upbeat and happy will chase the blues away.  Or maybe something loud would allow you to release your stress and frustration.  Press play on whatever moves you, helps you to relax, or makes coping with whatever you’re struggling with a little bit easier.  Some of my favorite happy songs are: Can’t Complain by Relient K, Step With Me by MIKA, Best Day of My Life by American Authors, and Chocolate by The 1975, though there are lots more.

3. Eat your favorite food or whatever will make you feel a little better.  For some, that may mean crunching on a healthy salad.  However, comfort food or a bite of something sweet may be more uplifting or comforting.  This isn’t to say you should run to food and over-indulge as a method of dealing with any issues, but if having a cupcake or a slice of pizza makes you feel a little happier, treat yo self!

4. Watch funny, happy, cheerful shows and movies.  Pick whatever makes you smile, laugh, and let go of some of your worries for a while.  Some of the things I turn to are: Let’s Play videos on YouTube (particularly of the guys from the Mindcrack server), Pushing Daisies, The Wedding Singer, Nacho Libre, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and lots of other movies.  If it’s funny, cute, or has fantasy elements that spark my imagination and inspire me, it usually helps me out of a funk.

5. Snuggle up with a good book.  Choose something positive or uplifting, such as an encouraging self-help book, or a devotional or your Bible (for those who are religious), or just something that lets you explore and get lost in another place and/or time.  Sometimes being able to escape into a book is a great way to relax and forget about whatever is getting you down.  Right now I’m reading: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

6. Take a nap or snuggle up in bed or on the couch with your pet.  When I’m sad, there is something so calming about having Sebastian curled up in my lap or Simon stretched out across my chest.  Stroking my kitties’ soft fur and hearing and feeling their rumbling purrs is so comforting.  Whether you have cats, dogs, or some other kind of pet, spending some quality time with an animal is a special kind of joy.

7. Write or journal.  Maybe you like to talk your feelings out on paper, tell stories, draw, or cut-and-paste.  Whatever method or medium suits you, go to it as a way to release creativity, spend time with yourself, and work through whatever might be bothering you.  I like to write stories, keep a prayer journal, and create in my Radical Self Love Bible.

8. Sip a cup of your favorite warm beverage.  What’ll it be?  Coffee, tea, cocoa?  Drinking something warm (perhaps while snuggling with your pet, writing, or reading) always seems to evoke a feeling of being enveloped in a warm hug.

9. Get all dressed up for yourself and treat yourself in whatever way will bring you the most joy!  Eat that chocolate bar you’ve been saving in the pantry, buy yourself that cute pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing, go see that movie you’ve been anticipating.

10. Do something nice for someone else.  Say hi to someone you haven’t talked to in a while or don’t talk to much.  That moment of connecting with someone else may give you a nice boost.  And you never know, maybe your reaching out is just the thing that friend or family member needs right now.  It’s could be like a happiness 2-for-1!  I know it always makes me feel happy when one of my friends contacts me just to say hello.

11. Play a game.  There are so many types of games out there!  Whether you need something to play on your own or have friends to join you, pick up that card game, board game, or video game and get to it!  A solo game may help you calm down or get lost in a different time or place, much like with a book.  And a multi-player game can do the same, with the added benefit of connecting you with other people for some laughs and good times.

12. Visit fun, calming, uplifting, and positive websites.  Don’t visit sites that are going to put you in contact with a bunch of negative crap.  Seek out content that will help you rather than exacerbate your situation.  Here are some nice sites from my bookmarks: Orisinal (a variety of cute little flash games), the quiet place project, Silk – Interactive Generative Art, Cat Bounce (Click it. You know you want to), YouTube (in addition to all the cute animal videos available, might I also suggest the funny content put out by people like crabstickz, danisnotonfire, jacksfilms (especially the Your Grammar Sucks videos), and nigahiga.  There are also so many blogs and sites out there with inspiration and advice regarding creativity, self-love, self-care, happiness, and other things that may help you and your situation.  I can’t name how many lists, blog posts, and pages I have sorted into different categories in my bookmarks so that I can refer to them whenever I need a little pick-me-up or a fresh idea.

13. Get moving!  Go for a walk, do some yoga or pilates, or dance around to your favorite songs.  It feels good to be active! Also, bonus good feelings if you go out for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!

I know there are so many more things that could probably be added to this list.  I also know that different things work for different people, and I do not intend this to be a one-stop-shop for ideas and ideas or cure-all for any issues or situations anyone is dealing with.  However, I wanted to share some of the things I find helpful or enjoyable when I start to feel down and need to do something to counter those moods.  I hope this post is useful to someone else out there.  And please do share your thoughts and ideas as well.  I’d love to add more happy to my life, so feel free to recommend your favorite happy songs, movies, and shows, and anything else you do to perk up or care for yourself when you start to feel low.