There are times when we all feel stuck in a world of our own making, which can sometimes become dreary, overwhelming, and all things sad. At such times, it feels impossible to remember how beautiful being alive can be. We have come up with a list of 20 things to do when you feel down to make you feel better when you feel this way. Remember, we all go through these emotions and you are not alone when feeling them. Here are the 20 things you can do to feel better when you feel down.
20 Great Things to Do When You Feel Down
1. Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
In the world of social media, often all that we get to witness is the happy side of people’s lives; their achievements, the parties they went to, weddings, children, etc. Social media portrays success but not the struggle with which it comes. At such times, it becomes easy for us to look at people’s lives and feel that we are never doing enough. So, it is important to remind ourselves in such situations that happiness and health come first. What matters most is not what the media portrays, but what makes you happy, whether it’s a long weekend spent doing nothing or a raise at work.
2. Put a little distance between yourself and the issue at hand
You must have looked back at your past self and thought you were unnecessarily worrying yourself about things which don’t even matter to you now. Hindsight, thus, can truly be a miracle at times. You can use this approach of distancing yourself from your issues and reflecting on whether they will matter to you in the coming year, in the next five years, etc. This can help you look at the present issue from a new perspective and find ways to get out of it.
3. Think about the things in life that make you feel grateful
Try to include a practice of listing out 3 or 5 things you are grateful for right after you wake up or before you go to bed. This practice will help you cultivate the habit of looking at the good side of things and will help you stay optimistic even during hard times. You can also use this trick whenever you feel down. List everything you’re grateful for, as well as everything you can achieve by building on what you’ve already accomplished.
4. Stop feeling guilty for resting
5. Take naps
Not taking care of your body or resting will only make you feel more burnt out, which would lead to further unproductivity. So, please enjoy every little achievement, be it getting out of bed on a bad day or getting your dream job. Give yourself time to absorb the result of all the hard work that you put in. Take vacations and off days to energise your body before it becomes too exhausted to even do that. Mostly, stop feeling guilty for doing things that make you happy. Life is too short for that.
Even taking a short nap of 20 minutes can help you feel recharged and ready to tackle your next tasks. So, do give yourself these small breaks so that you don’t feel overworked and tired all the time.
6. Get up and Move
It might seem very exhausting to even think about exercising when you are feeling down, but it really is one of the best ways to get yourself out of the rut you find yourself in on a day when you feel down. Exercising helps release serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel happier and more focused. Try doing light exercises that you enjoy. There are a lot of video tutorials on YouTube which take you through exercises you can do while in bed. So, perhaps, give them a try.
7. Take a walk
If the aforementioned suggestion seems too farfetched for you, try taking a walk around your neighbourhood. Taking a walk can help lift your spirits by clearing your head. It can help you come out of your mind and the imagined world full of bad consequences we create when we feel down, by showing you a world full of kindness where people help each other, laugh and walk while holding hands, smile at kids and help them back up to their feet when they fall. Not to forget how soothing nature can be for your psyche.
8. Surround Yourself With People You Love
Sometimes, being in the company of people you love can help you forget the problems you are facing. The pandemic has shown us how, in times when we can’t meet our loved ones, a phone call can do wonders in making us feel connected. So, try giving someone you love a call whenever you feel sad. Even when you don’t feel comfortable sharing your troubles, listening to people talk about the ups and downs of their lives can help bring normalcy to your life. If you can meet a loved one, it can make you feel even better. It has been scientifically proven that a tight hug can release happy hormones. Getting out in a new environment can also help take your head out of the rut you find yourself in at home.
9. Try eating some dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, chemicals that can increase blood flow to your brain and improve your ability to think clearly. But don’t go overboard because it also has a lot of caffeine, calories, and fat. You may just require a little square of the dark stuff, made of 70% cocoa or more, two or three times per week.
10. Play some music
While listening to music might be fun, there is evidence that it also offers psychological advantages, such as affecting your mood. According to a 2013 study, listening to uplifting music can quickly increase happiness and mood. No matter how well or poorly you sing along, your brain produces natural painkillers when you do so, which can improve your mood.
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It’s beneficial to you; we are not being silly. Laughing might seem like the last thing you want to do when you are feeling down but it might just be the way out of your sulky mood. The brain releases chemicals during laughter that aid in the body’s defence against infection and pain. So look for amusing TV shows or movies when you feel low.
12. Do a Good Deed
Your body produces endorphins when you do something compassionate for someone. Endorphins act like natural painkillers connected to pleasure, trust, and social interaction. It has been demonstrated that giving to others can boost your self-esteem.
13. Plan an activity
According to one study, those who are able to reconcile living in the now with making plans for the future are more resilient in the face of stress and less susceptible to depressive symptoms. The study compared mindfulness and proactive coping as two distinct approaches to stress management. While proactive coping entails making plans in order to reduce stress in the future, mindfulness focuses on being present in the moment.
The findings demonstrated that planning future goals was beneficial for reducing everyday stress, but it was most effective when done in conjunction with present-day activities. These results imply that while it’s crucial to enjoy the present, you can handle challenging emotions and stressful situations when you are having a hard time by thinking about the things you want to accomplish in the future.
14. Play or cuddle with pets
Merely being near your pets can help make you feel better. Doing so releases a hormone called that uplifts your mood and connects you to other living things. Your heart and spirit can feel lighter when you spend time with a pet.
15. Hydrate your body
You may experience fatigue, irritability, or a general lack of energy when your body requires water. It might even impair your mental clarity. You can try hydrating your body through fruits and vegetables rich in water content as well.
16. Avoid feeling hangry
You may feel exhausted, hungry, and possibly even a little irritable if you don’t eat enough to power your day. Lean meats, veggies, fruits, and whole grains all contain nutrients that will energize you and fuel your brain. Additionally, because they take longer to digest, you get energy throughout the day rather than all at once. Junk food, on the other hand, may give you a surge, but it also may cause a crash.
Try to keep your thoughts at bay while concentrating on your breathing. The goal of meditation is to keep trying, so it’s okay if you get sidetracked because of your thoughts. If you incorporate it into your daily routine on a regular basis, it can help you de-stress and improve your mood.
18. Go on a Vacation
If you simply can’t get rid of this feeling, you might need some time to rest, refuel, and assess your situation. This can assist you in seeing all the positive aspects of your life that are often obscured by the bustle of daily life. Additionally, it relieves the strain of home or work life and helps strengthen relationships with family and friends.
19. Don’t discount the significance of a good cry
According to a biochemical examination of tears. Tear droplets include an endorphin called leucine-enkephalin, which is known to lessen pain and elevate mood. Additionally, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology argued that crying is linked to the activation of the parasympathetic nerve system, which triggers a relaxation response. According to the same study, “criers most often report mood improvement if they receive consolation from others,” thus it could be beneficial to express yourself in front of a close friend or relative.
20. Unable to understand your sadness? Try writing
When you can’t seem to get over your ex, messed up your important work presentation, or had a significant dispute with your partner, it can be simple to identify the source of your anger. But other times, you could feel depressed for no apparent cause. When this happens, Sunny Joy McMillan, a life coach, advises picking up a pen and a piece of paper and “writing without stopping for five minutes or more.” In addition to discovering what’s making you upset on your own, writing itself has been shown in multiple studies to have positive psychological effects. You can also consider keeping a journal if this tip seems helpful to you.
These are but a few ways to feel better on your low days. Many, many more things can help you in such tough times. Remember, you matter and you add value to the lives of those around you, probably without even knowing it. As Taylor Swift famously said, “You’re the only one of you.” So, remember to take good care of yourself.
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