Sometimes, it’s hard to feel cheerful. This can be fuelled by a number of factors, both internal and external. You might have just had a row with a friend, or encountered a problem at work. Or, you might just be feeling down for no reason – that happens too, sometimes!
Whatever the cause, it’s vital to practice some self-care; to give yourself the best possible chance of recovery. Here are some handy tips.
Practicing meaningful self-care
All too often, we deny ourselves self-care; regarding it as indulgent or selfish. However, you deserve to be looked after and cherished, by yourself as much as others!
- Talk it over. Don’t bottle your feelings up; they’ll only explode out at a later date. If you’ve been feeling low for an extended period of time, book an appointment to see your GP. There’s no shame in this – depression is a registered medical condition, and like any other health complaint, it needs to be addressed. If you prefer, try talking to a friend or family member – sometimes, just letting those feelings out can be beneficial.
- Relax and unwind. Our hectic 21st century lives leave us little time to sit and just be present. Meditation is a great way to self-care, but it’s not for everyone. Try relaxing in a warm bath or simply reading a book for half an hour; it really makes a difference.
- Keep a journal. This small, simple act of self-care provides the perfect way to ‘get your feelings out’ on paper. Each day, just write a few notes about what happened, how you felt about it, and what you intend to do in the future. It’s a great way to get your thoughts in order and to prevent over-thinking too.
- Get outside (and active). There’s something restorative about being out in the fresh air. Even if it’s just a short walk down the road, this can serve to recharge your batteries, leaving you feeling more positive about life in general. Even better, get involved in some form of outdoor-based exercise or sport – like running or playing football. Exercise releases endorphins, which elevate your mood.
- Spend time with others. Now is not the time to hide away in the home. Arrange a night out with friends, or a special evening with your partner. Spritz on some empowering perfume, like the ultra-powerful Aventus Creed for her, wear something glamorous and really go for it. Afterwards, you’ll feel pleased that you made the effort. Try to make this a regular habit too – staying in every night isn’t good for anyone’s mental health.
- Listen to your body’s needs. Try to stay in tune with your body. For example, that outbreak of pimples could be a sign of stress or poor diet. Injecting a few more green vegetables into your meals might make you feel better. If you’re yawning your head off, that’s a clear sign that you need to sleep. Don’t make excuses – your health and wellbeing are far more important than that work deadline.