We all need to drag ourselves out of a slump sometimes, whether that’s caused by boredom, stress, anxiety, or any other internal or external pressure. If you can feel that you need to give your mental health a boost, then acting sooner rather than later could make it much easier to find equilibrium.
Whatever your budget, even if you have significant time constraints, there are things you can do to help yourself feel better today. You deserve to see the beauty in the world, so even if you only have five minutes to yourself while waiting for a train, practice some self-care with one of these ideas.
Meditation or mindfulness
The beneficial effects of calming your mind cannot be overstated and anyone with a hectic schedule and slew of responsibilities will tell you that it can be hard to switch off. Whether you find small spaces of time in your day or opt for a week-long retreat, getting to grips with your brain can be a great first step towards improving your mood.
Often paired with meditation, yoga is a chance to really check in with your body, listen to what it’s telling you and give it what it needs. Whether you spend all day on your feet or are stuck at a desk, yoga can help soothe tired or cramped muscles and promote better sleep, which will also help you feel better.
When we are tired, all kinds of things happen to our body which are designed to get us through short-term periods of sleep deprivation, but long-term they can have a similar effect to being very stressed. When you don’t get enough sleep, it affects every part of your body, from your short-term memory to your appetite, leading to you making poor decisions.
This can have an impact on everything from what you choose for lunch to how well you drive, so it is really important to prioritise sleep whenever you can. Some people find that setting an alarm for bedtime can help remind them to get their heads down, and others swear by soothing sounds, soft lights, and even sleep-inducing fragrances to help improve their quality of sleep.
Get out in nature
Whether it’s a trip to the local park, a nature reserve, or even a National Park, being outside is good for your mood. Fresh air and sunlight will usually leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated, and if you get the chance to spot some wildlife, smell some flowers, or even dabble your fingers in a river, then so much the better.
Stroke a happy cat or dog
Therapy animals are becoming increasingly popular for good reason – the benefits of spending time playing with a cat or dog can be huge. From schools to nursing homes, the use of therapy dogs has become common when it comes to helping soothe worried children and adults.
Spend time with friends
It can feel like an uphill struggle to go out when you’re not in great form, but you can find easy ways to keep up with your friends and stay connected that way. Playing games together online can be an ideal way to hang out with an in-built topic of conversation to take the pressure off.
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Do some exercise
When you’re feeling low, exercising might be the last thing you feel motivated to do, which is frustrating as the feeling you get when you do get your body moving can be a game-changer. If the idea of a run or bike ride doesn’t appeal, find something that you actually like the sound of and try that – from roller-skating to paddle boarding, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Treat yourself like a child
If you are struggling with your mood, then sometimes you need to look after yourself the way you would a child: plenty of fresh food, with properly balanced meals including at least five fruit and veg per day; time outside exercising; and early to bed.
Work smarter, not harder
If you find that you are constantly playing catch up with household chores or administrative tasks, spending a little time devising processes to simplify things could make your life easier. It might mean keeping things in more convenient places, replacing items that don’t work with those that do, or just streamlining a system that’s got too complex, but a little focused effort can make your life much easier.
Whether you have a hectic home life or a busy job, it can feel as though every second is accounted for, which is why it is so important to prioritise yourself sometimes and fit wellness into your schedule.