Sadness, loneliness, negative self-talk, depression, anxiety…
A lot of us have experienced it at some point. Today I completed a 5k run to raise awareness on anxiety and depression, two mental disorders that I’ve experienced first hand myself at times, and deal with in my family on a regular basis. This sparked the idea of a new blog post: although medications and therapy CAN be helpful, everyone needs a strategy to cope with these negative feelings that life so often predisposes us to experience. These are some of the things I do when feeling down…
1. Exercising as a preventative tactic.
I honestly believe that working out on a regular basis has helped me feel better not only physically, but mentally too. We all know that physical movement releases endorphins which are our happy hormones. Since I’ve began exercising on a regular basis, I feel mentally and emotionally stronger in overcoming all difficulties: rough days at work (I have extra energy to be able to do other things in my free time), arguments with family members & living in a stressful situation, and getting past things that don’t turn out as expected & coming up with a different plan. Not to mention, being in a better physical shape definitely increases your confidence so that you are automatically more likely to get through any challenges & accept them easier when facing them. KEEP YOUR BODY STRONG, and the spirit will follow!
2. Spending some alone time
Sometimes when you are feeling overwhelmed & stressed out, it’s best to simply seek isolation so that you can catch up on what matters to you at the time. “Me time” is a great way to do just that! Demanding work schedules, responsibilities around the house and our families can really contribute to feeling like you aren’t enough, or aren’t doing enough. When this happens, it’s best to just shut out the negative talk by focusing on YOU! Take a day off, you don’t have to go anywhere, staying home alone can be nice too. But if that’s not possible in your case, consider getting a hotel room nearby! In fact, if you have the money to spare, stay at a resort! They will have spa services, pay per view movies, and most importantly room service. Take the time to BE WITH YOURSELF!
3. Cuddling with stuffed toys
Even if it sounds funny, or immature, cozying up in your favorite blankie and hugging your favorite stuffies can be very therapeutic!!! When you are misunderstood by others, personifying a cute plush toy can help you feel less lonely and more loved! Not the same as actual cuddles with another person, but super beneficial nonetheless. Also a great way to release some much needed endorphins! I do it on a regular & I’m not ashamed to be seen in public with my stuffed animals (they are AWESOME)!
4. Shopping as an investment in yourself
Ah, yes, good old materialistic habits. Although often wasteful, shopping can sometimes really help you feel better about yourself. Just seeing yourself in a fresh new outfit can increase your confidence & encourage you to dress better/feel better. This can prompt you to go out more often which in turn will enhance your social life. Feeling good about yourself attracts existing and new friends alike, bacause we all have a need to be around positive, happy people every once in awhile/or on a daily basis. Buying new clothes for work can motivate you to do well at your job or business, just like a soft new pajama can help you relax in the comfort of your own home or that of a friend. You deserve to put some money toward what actually matters – YOU. “Invest in yourself, it’ll always be worth it.”
5. Write down the positives
All of us tend to focus too much on all the negatives: things we want but don’t have, comparing ourselves to others and feeling inferior, anything along those lines. Instead of just thinking bad thoughts, grab a pen and paper and force yourself to write down everything positive going on in your life. Don’t be modest! We all tend to undermine ourselves and our achievements, when in fact when you look back you realize how much you’ve accomplished and how much you continue to do. We have to be grateful for everything good and normal in our life, even being physically sound and having a roof over our heads.
When all else fails you, chocolate will give you that emotional boost you are craving. I personally enjoy melting Hershey kisses in my sweater pockets while watching Friends, Gossip Girl, or whatever favorite show or movie that will take my mind off things. Plus, better eat chocolate than drink alcohol or use other mood alternators.
I hope you found this post helpful. It is so important to recognize the need to make an effort to avoid negativity. Feel free to try out my methods, if you haven’t already done so, and continue to make a conscious effort to apply them when needed. Don’t ignore even the smallest negative feelings because they will build up. Resolve them before they escalate. Life is hard on all of us, and unforeseen challenges will always come up to frustrate and sadden us. Only by conscious effort and smart application of things that make us happy on the inside, can we overcome them. This is the only way to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE…
Please share your strategies in the comments. Thanks for reading!