We’ve all had those days when even getting out of bed can seem like a struggle. The last couple of years has done a whammy on our mental health. Each one of us has gone through our share of challenges and setbacks. If you have been experiencing low mood and anxiety, it can make it hard to focus on the positives. When you’re feeling like this, here are some tips to try.
1. Break up your day into bite-sized chunks
Sometimes thinking about ALL of the things that need to get done almost causes a sense of inertia, which is the reason why we struggle to get out and start to tackle our day. Try and break it up into the things that need to get done that day and things that can spill over into the coming days.
Remember that you can also ask for help. We so often feel like the only way to get things done right is to do it ourselves, but this also creates a deep sense of feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. What if as part of breaking your large list of to-dos for the day, you also put some thought into what parts of this can be done with the help of someone in your life. When your goal is not so daunting it helps you to get started on it.
2. Reach out to a friend/family member
In our feeling of being in a low mood, we sometimes also isolate ourselves from the people who mean the most to us. For some of us, this might be a family member and for others, this might be a friend. Life is always better when you share it with someone and your worries and struggles feel lighter when you talk about it with someone you love and trust.
Now, you might not feel like sharing your deepest, darkest fears and struggles and that is OK. Reach out regardless of what you talk about. I find that hearing a friendly voice also helps shift the perspective of your day. Hearing how your friend/family is feeling might help shift your mindset and you might end up helping them while helping yourself.
3. Take a mental health day.
Feel all of your feelings and take that day off for yourself! This could mean a variety of things. Maybe you need the day to soak in all that you are feeling. Maybe this can be your opportunity to do the things you enjoy, but otherwise don’t get to do. Read a book, go for that hike at a nearby trail, and try out the new coffee shop/ice cream place! Treat yo’ self! Just know that bad days don’t last forever and give yourself the kindness and grace to let yourself feel and focus on YOU!
4. Organize/declutter your personal space
Sometimes the best way to feel better on the inside is to brighten up the stuff on the outside. I cannot stress how much getting dressed and ready for the day helps me feel better on the inside too. It seems reversed and yet it always seems to help. This also works well, when you take a few minutes to tidy up or organize the clutter in your personal or work area. Just making the bed sets the tone for the day or folding and putting away that load of laundry that has piled up makes one feel better. It helps to work on things that you do control and the best part of it is that you now have a better-looking and more organized spot than when you first started on this day. Hopefully, it is a win-win and you come out of it feeling less stuck and motivated to keep the positive impact going.
5. Make a list of the things that make you happy
It’s a beautiful day to stop dwelling on things you can’t control -Michell Clark Ever heard of the Upward Spiral Effect? It is used to explain a continuous process of upward growth mobilized by self-reinforcing positive thoughts. So, when you are feeling down and out on yourself and struggling through your day, think about the things that make you happy. I think of this as a way to create a ripple effect of happy thoughts. And guess what it does, it tells your brain to focus on the positives and helps shift you from a negative decline in your thoughts to a more uplifting positive advancement.
A great way to put this in action is the Three Good Things Exercise. This is a classic technique developed by the founding father of Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman, and is one of the easiest ways to boost positive emotions. It’s simple, but it works wonders.
Write down three things that went well each day. If you want a quick, simple, and cost-free way to start your upward spiral, try doing this exercise every day. Put it into action by thinking about 3 things that make you happy when you wake up every morning. Practice this daily and build a healthy, positive uplifting ritual that will help keep those blues away.
While you cannot reprogram your brain overnight, you can start by making one small change at a time — and celebrate your first step to a happier you.
wowe is here to help you with this by enabling small changes in your life. Starting with helping you notice the small things that you are already doing and helping you build on those by creating those upward spiral loops and building on good habits.
If you’re struggling with your mental health consistently, don’t just try to power through it day after day. Consider seeking professional support for your mental health. In the meantime, if you have occasional anxious or low days, try some of the ideas I have suggested and that wowe will continue to provide to you.
Also, let us know if there are some tried and tested techniques that have helped you. We love hearing from our readers! Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
positivehabits selfcare mentalhealth upwardspiral depression anxiety