Maybe it’s because Mercury is in retrograde. Maybe it’s because your job’s a joke, or you’re broke, or your love life’s DOA. Regardless of the why, everyone feels the yuckies sometimes, and it’s important to take extra care of yourself during your down times. There are a lot of self-care tips out there, but not all of us are “breathe and meditate” kind of people, and not all of us can afford to go out and get a mani-pedi every time we feel a little bit bad. Here are some things you can try the next time you feel blue to get your mojo back.
Let yourself feel bad
A lot of self-care tips are focused on making you feel better, as if bad feelings are something that you should always try to avoid. That’s not only not helpful, but can also be dangerous. Sometimes, you just need to feel bad for a while. Let your feelings take their natural course, and keep in mind that you will not feel this way forever. Life is full of light times and dark times; embracing the dark times and learning how to feel through them will help you more fully appreciate the light.
Do a sleep
It has been said that sleeping is the human equivalent of turning it off and turning it back on again. Sleeping is a magical and palliative experience that can take out of the maze of bad thoughts when you can’t find the way out yourself. Go to bed early or schedule some time to take a fat nap. Get in your jammies and make sure you have plenty of fluffy pillows and blankets. You will almost always feel better in the morning, so shut down and reboot.
Knock one thing off your list
When you feel sucky, it probably isn’t the best time to tackle your list of long-term goals and dreams. But doing just one thing--maybe that annoying thing you’ve been putting off forever--can help you feel better about yourself. So schedule your dentist appointment, or wash your car, or buy toilet paper. Who knows, maybe doing one little thing will help you find the momentum to do more. First, the dentist, next, the world!
Dogs are the universal cure for all bad things. It is known. Dogs are pure furballs of emotion and are always 100% present. They will help you embrace your own emotions and be present too. If you have a dog, play with them NOW. If you don’t have a dog, go to the dog park and play with someone else’s. If you feel weird about doing that, just tell the owner you’re considering adopting a [insert breed of dog], and they will probably be thrilled to let you hang out with their dog for a while. If you are anywhere near a shelter, go visit the animals. Some shelters will let you walk a pupper if you ask.
Reach out to a friend
If there is a person in your life whom you love but haven’t talked to in a while, this is a good time to do it. They will most likely be thrilled to hear from you, and that will remind you that you matter and you are loved. If you aren’t sure who to reach out to, grandmas are always a good place to start.
Find a body of water and chill there
Water is inherently soothing, and the negative ions it throws off are good for your health. Go to the beach, a river, a lake, or even just a nice fountain. Try to mirror your emotions to the water. If you’re near a placid lake or pond, try to be as calm and serene as the water. If you’re near the ocean or a river, feel the energy of the constant change and movement to help you get unstuck. If you can get in the water, visualize the water washing away all the bad feelings. When you emerge, you will feel physically and mentally clean.
Do something nice for someone else
It sounds kind of counterintuitive. Aren’t I supposed to taking care of MYSELF? Kindness and happiness are inseparable. Making someone else feel good makes you feel good. You may not have the money to make a huge donation to a world-changing philanthropic cause, so start small. Compliment someone’s eyebrows. Pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru. Send your mom a nice text.
Do something with your hands
Sometimes yucky feelings are the best creative fuel. Doing something mindful can expel some nervous energy and help you compartmentalize your feelings. Play the piano. Do a puzzle. Beat your face to the nines with every palette you own. I like to draw or write on a whiteboard--the way the marker feels against the whiteboard and the squeaking sound it makes is relaxing to me. Don’t knock it till you try it!
Remember that this won’t last forever
Don’t lose hope that you will feel better. Even if the circumstances that made you feel icky in the first place don’t change immediately, your mood will stabilize. The human mind is incredibly resilient, and you will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.