5 tips to turn around a ‘down day’

We all have ‘those days’ – the ones when nothing seems to go right, when you are overwhelmed and overwrought, when you wake up with a serious case of the ‘mehs’. For years I’d let them control me, I’d see them as a sign that my depression/anxiety were ramping back up, I’d give in to those feelings and ride with them. One down day would often result in a down week.

One important thing I learned along the way is that we are not our feelings. We can acknowledge our feelings, give them space, whilst putting some distance between them and ourselves.

While our feelings are real and valid, we don’t have to give them the power to control our lives.

No matter how aware we are, we will still have those days, when we wish we could give in and go back to bed, hide away from the world and wallow in our sadness. Having some strategies in hand to help you turn those days around can make a huge difference.

So what can we do on these blue days?

1/ Let go of the unimportant

While we can’t always drop everything, work and family commitments aren’t that flexible, we can choose to let go of the things that we can. If you’re like me, you’ll have a giant to-do list everyday, and on days when I’m feeling awful that will bring me more stress. I cross everything but the bare essentials off my list and know that I can do them another day when I’m feeling better.

2/ Practice kindness

How often do you berate yourself for feeling sad or down or blue? That always makes me feel even worse. What about if we turned it around? Instead of being angry about how we feel, we gave ourselves compassion. Look yourself in a mirror, and tell yourself you know you feel bad today, that it is OK to feel bad and you honour those feelings. Ask yourself why you feel that way, and what you can to do make yourself feel better.

3/ Shake it up

When you’re feeling down, trudging along in the same old routine may not help. If you can, shake your day up a little. Can you get out for a walk? Do some yoga on YouTube? Even just go and sit in your garden? A change of scene and routine can work wonders when we are not feeling our best.

4/ Get creative

Finding some time to induldge my creativity always makes me feel better. In can come in any shape or form that suits you. Write, paint, draw, bake, sew, garden… remember, it doesn’t have to be something you think you are good at, just something that you love and enjoy.

5/ Salt water

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea

Isak Dinesen

I found a love for HIIT workouts when I was recovering from a breakdown, building up a good sweat always left me feeling better than before. A soak in a bath with a cup full of Epsom Salts is equally helpful, followed by a big glass of lemon infused water. Also, sometimes I found when I was feeling terrible, I’d fight off the tears, and I refused to let myself give in to my feelings. What about if we stopped fighting and let it out? A good cry can be so releasing – pop on your favourite weepy movie and let those tears flow.

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