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Today I woke up grumpy.
I felt sad, down, and useless.
When I’m having one of those days, I know I have a low mood to combat, and as you may already know, it’s not always easy to shake it off.
Sadness (especially for no particular reason) can swiftly bring us down, making it harder and harder for us to pick ourselves back up.
Thankfully, I’ve learned how to improve my mood and go easy on myself when negative feelings take over me. Most importantly, I understand that sadness or struggling with a low mood is normal. Not every day is going to be perfect or to our liking. There will be days that might be harder than others, but with a few small practices (and willingness), we can stop the inner battle with ourselves and make changes where necessary.
If you’re having one of those days too, doing these eight little things might help you out:
1. Move. Sometimes I forget how therapeutic and beneficial moving my body is. Motivating myself is not always so easy—especially when I feel low—but once I get up and start moving, I remember the emotional and mental rewards. You may go for a walk, exercise, do household chores, or dance. Do anything that makes you feel engaged with your body.
2. Breathe. I really want to write “meditate,” but I choose to make it easier for you. Sit for a few minutes, even if for one minute, and focus on your breath. Let your emotions and thoughts come and go as they please. In other words, let yourself be. Doing this little exercise always helps me to understand my feelings and mental state better. (It will also calm you down. I promise.)
3. Healthy distractions. Reading, watching a movie, journaling, gardening, cooking, drawing, or walking my dogs are usually good distractions for me. Engaging in activities I love heals me. I don’t block my incoming thoughts or my feelings; however, I let them run through me gently and softly while focusing on other beautiful things that matter to me.
4. Find your motivation. It could be reading quotes, watching videos, a specific movie, or even a person. Whatever it is, do it. I usually read quotes that lift me up or watch inspirational videos. It almost always makes me feel better, even when I believe otherwise.
5. Drink water. I don’t know what’s the link between water and mental health (feel free to google it for me), but keeping myself hydrated slightly alleviates my mood. So keep your bottle of water refilled and nearby.
6. Connect with someone you love. When I feel sad or down, I tend to isolate myself from the outside world. However, I’ve been pushing myself recently to stay more connected with the people I love (and who surely make me feel better). Never underestimate the healing power of a strong community. When you feel like avoiding everyone you know, remember that “happiness is only real when shared.” Reach out. Talk to someone.
7. Do you have pets? Great. They’re (at least for me) the best source of happiness. Walking my dogs, playing with them, and cuddling them provide a sense of relief that is magical. Their energy is pure and innocent; maybe that’s why they make me feel better.
8. This too shall pass. Last but not least remember that whatever you’re feeling right now will change. Your low mood will eventually come to an end and better, happier feelings will occupy your mind and body.