Hello dear friends!
We’re living in a stressful world right now. Things feel tumultuous. Out of control. Heading in a scary direction. Perhaps you’re dealing with other stressors in your person life too- work deadlines, money issues, relationship tension, or symptom flare-ups. All of this can really add up and take a toll on your health- mental, emotional, and physical.
In the midst of tragedy or trauma, it’s not uncommon to feel dazed, like you’re zombie-ing through your days, totally detached from your usual routine. Maybe you’re bingeing on unhealthy foods, using drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, or losing sleep. We all have our habits that we fall back into when we’re extra stressed, but most of the time, these don’t actually do anything constructive to help us.
So when you’re struggling, and need something to establish some sense of normalcy or a small, manageable way to feel even the tiniest bit better, here are a few ideas…
1. Go outside
There’s nothing like being cooped up indoors, or under harsh fluorescent lights, to make you feel sour. Even for just a few minutes, go outside. Sit in the sunshine. Breathe in the fresh air. Wiggle your toes in the grass. Gaze at the horizon.
2. Hug someone
It sounds so incredibly simple, and yet how many of us get hugs on a regular basis? A comforting embrace can shift your mood and help you feel like you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends, family, coworkers, or even strangers. And yes, hugging your beloved pet does count!
3. Take a warm shower or bath
I don’t know what it is, but every time I take a nice hot shower, I feel so much better. Soak your beautiful bod in a luxurious bubble bath, if that’s your thing. Or jump in a long shower and let the water wash away some of your tension. Include your favorite aromatherapy or body wash for an extra boost.
4. Drink a big glass of water
Yep, I know, I sound like your mom. But we are all chronically dehydrated to some degree, so don’t shy away from downing a big glass of cool, fresh H2O. It can calm an anxious stomach, give your skin some moisture, and help your immune system stay on top of things. Plus, it’s an easy thing to check off your list, and that feels awesome.
5. Change your clothes
It might sound weird, but trust me, it actually works. Especially for those of us who spend a lot of time around the house, hanging out in those 3-day-old sweatpants has been shown to dampen your mood. Find a fresh change of clothes that feel soft, fit well, and smell clean.
6. Watch funny/cute videos
It’s no coincidence that posts about cute puppies and blooper reels skyrocket during tough times- we’re all looking for some little way to laugh or take our minds off of things for a bit. A quick Google or YouTube search can yield hundreds of options to help you smile, from baby hippos to standup comedy. Don’t be afraid to indulge.
7. Organize something
Putting things in an orderly fashion helps us feel more in control over our lives, and can be a nice stress-reliever on hard days. Do a mini decluttering session, organize your sock drawer, or arrange your bookshelf according to the Dewey decimal system. Whatever strikes your fancy. It feels good while you’re doing it, and you can enjoy the results too.
8. Do a media fast
There are a lot of terrible things out there in the world, and the media provides a constant stream of it. Do yourself a favor and take a break from all the noise for a few hours or days. Turn off notifications on your phone, refrain from watching the news, and switch to an add-free music station. Give your brain a break from the fear, vitriol, and negativity.
9. Make your favorite meal
Now, I’m not advocating you totally abandon your healthful diet for long, but sometimes it’s nice to savor some comfort food. As long as it won’t do serious damage to your body, give yourself permission to make/bake/order/buy your absolute favorite meal. Take your time eating it, mindfully enjoying each bite, and don’t shame yourself.
10. Reach out
We’re not meant to walk through pain alone, but too many of us do it. You have more people that love and care about you than you may realize, so resist the urge to hide away from the world. Call a friend, text a family member, make an appointment to see your therapist, invite people over to share a meal, or go to a support group meeting. Lean on your people when you need to, and of course, if you’re really in a bad way, there are resources that can help you:
When you have a few of these tricks up your sleeve, it can make the rough days a little bit easier. Investing in some easy self-care can make a difference in your mood and your physical health, so don’t shrug it off when your body is calling for it the most. If you need help staying consistent in your self-care routines, you may like to check out my health coaching services.
But in the meantime…
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~