We have all been there at some point, regardless of whether or not you have clinical depression. That slump that seems impossible to get out of, where even the most simplistic task is arduous. I have days where it feels like the pile of dishes in the sink are staring me down judgmentally and I still lack the effort to get up and wash them. Usually when we reach this point, we are over worked, over stressed, going through something difficult, or just plain bored. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to recharge and pick yourself back up again.
Here’s some of my personal tips!
- Act like a kid again. Color, paint, make an artsy mess. Let go for a while, forget about the dishes and have some fun. Color outside the lines. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Take a relaxing bubble bath. Some people like to use essential oils, I prefer bubbles or Epsom salt. Let the warm water wash away some of that stress.
- Binge watch a crappy movie, some trash tv, or whatever you’d like. Grab a cozy blanket and maybe a cup of tea (I’m more of a coffee person) and soothe your soul.
- Turn off your phone. Even for an hour. Knowing people can’t reach you during “you” time can be so alleviating and liberating. It can be hard, especially if you’re like me and worry about everything, but that’s exactly why a break is wonderful.
- If you can afford to, treat yourself to something. Maybe you have been wanting a new book for a while. Maybe you want some chocolate today, damnit! Well, every now and then, that treat is all you need for a pick me up. Life’s too short to deprive yourself.
- Make a list of things that make you happy. Be as detailed as you want. For example, every morning I look forward to sitting down in silence with a warm cup of coffee that has a bit too much creamer and I savor it.
- Try something new. It doesn’t have to be something outrageous. It could be a new food, a new book saying hi to a stranger. Or, if you’re a bit more courageous than myself, go ahead and give skydiving a try.
- Say no to something you don’t want to do but usually say yes to. At first, it feels terrifying and like your stomach is in knots. Rest assured, it usually goes better than planned and leaves you feeling liberated and even boosts your confidence.
- Despite the fact that society wants us to be strong every second of every single day, if you need a good cry, let it out. Crying releases stress hormones and is actually good for you. I like to watch a sappy movie to help me let it all out. No shame in the crying game!
- Remember to take time to breathe and appreciate the little things. I like to make a list of things I’m grateful for so that when it feels like everything is going down the toilet, I realize it’s not so bad. I also like to make a list of things I’ve accomplished. Given my illnesses, my accomplishments can be something as simple as showering. Make it your own.
- Sometimes, we just need to vent. You can use a journal, which is my favorite because paper won’t judge me, or talk with a friend. Bottling up emotions is like shaking up a soda; whatever is in there is going to erupt eventually. Don’t let it be you.
- I know life is busy and overwhelming but sometimes we just have to press the pause button and do what makes our heart happy. A walk in the woods, sunbathing, watching cat videos on Youtube. Listen to your body. It will tell you if you need a break.
- Set small, attainable goals. In our perfectionist society, we feel like we need to get to the top of the mountain in one leap. Unless you can fly, that is unrealistic. More than likely, so is a person flying. Anyway, it takes a series of baby steps to reach the top, and goals should be treated the same way. I make a to do list of about 3-5 items each day so that I feel accomplished when I check things off. Also, it keeps me from feeling like I have fallen completely behind in life because hey, some is better than none and it’s another step closer to where I want to be.
- Listen to your gut. Intuition is one of the most useful tools in guiding us toward happiness. If your gut is saying hey that’s not a great idea, listen. On the other hand, if it says brilliant idea, let’s do this! Do it. I was afraid to quit a job I loathed with every fiber of my being despite my gut saying get out of there. I finally did it and have never looked back.
- Get moving! If you hate exercise, try something fun like dancing, hula hooping, etc. Whatever gets your endorphins (feel good hormone) flowing.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how to make yourself happy. It is different for everyone. Remember that asking for help is okay though and so is taking a break. I hope my ideas prove helpful! Let me know in the comments what you do to wind down, relax, or cheer up.