We all have those days. Sometimes it extends a little further than a day. How can we uplift ourselves out of a rut and start to feel better?
Before continuing with the list, it is important to note why you are feeling sad in the first place. These things can help you feel happier, but it is important to make sure you solve whatever problem caused the sadness. Anyone with depression should consult with a doctor for a more accurate and medical fix since I am no expert. These are just some things I do when I am feeling rather down.
Okay, so let’s start the Go-away-sadness festivities:
Books are a good way to escape reality for awhile and think about someone else’s problems besides your own. Or, if you are really looking for some hope or motivation, there are some good self-help of philosophy books as well.
- Loud music
Loud music has been shown to calm moods. Music has been shown in some studies to physically relax your body, and has psychotherapeutic benefits as well.
- Go outside
Sunshine and fresh air can really alleviate a mood. Going outside to do your exercises increases the likelihood of feeling good. In 2010, some researchers at the University of Essex’s investigations show that just five minutes “green exercise” can improve self-esteem and mood. If you don’t want to exercise, you can always read, take a walk, paint, or just sit in the sun (with sunscreen of course!) to soak up nature as much as you can.
I don’t know about you, but if I want to feel good, being clean really helps. It makes me feel better if I do something productive as well. Dusting and making my bed are quick fixes, but if I feel really down, I might rearrange or redecorate my bedroom or another room in the house. A change in surroundings can help mix up the routine of life and make things seem new.
- Hang out with animals
More studies have shown that animals can boost moods as well. Pet therapy and the introduction of cat cafes and yoga are indications that animals really do make people happier. If you can’t be with your own or a friend’s pet, watching cute animal videos online can help! Who doesn’t love watching cats being silly? Or a puppy sliding down the stairs?
- Write / video
If you are feeling the need to express yourself, writing down your feelings or recording yourself saying how you feel can help as well. If you don’t want to talk about your feelings, you can always just be creative to get your mind off things by writing whatever you like or creating a video.
- Stretch / exercise
Once again, studies show getting your endorphins flowing can really uplift your spirits. Plus, when you exercise, it boosts your self-esteem as well. And when you feel good about yourself, you tend to be happier in other aspects. There are more studies that claim regular exercise can “help alleviate long-term depression” as well, so stretching it out can help with your slumps as well.
- Draw / color
If writing or recording isn’t for you, you can always try and draw. Concentrating on something can help distract you. If you aren’t into drawing, you can always color. There are many adult coloring books out that have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress because coloring is an activity that allows you to zone out and become fully absorbed in what you are doing. When there are little distractions, it’s easier to fall into a rut, but when you can focus on an activity, your mind is at ease.
- Start a DIY project
If you are feeling creative and want to make a useful item, maybe a DIY project is more up your alley. Been meaning to redecorate or make an art piece? Try a project to distract you, especially if you are sad about not being more productive. This way, you can be creative and productive at the same time.
When I don’t feel one hundred percent, I feel like having a treat. This isn’t always a good habit, but a small treat does lift my spirits. Baking a treat for yourself or to share with others can help distract you and you get a yummy result! You can always try baking a healthier, yet still delicious, treat like zucchini chips if you don’t want to stray from a healthy diet or don’t like sweets.
- Try something new
Sometimes the banality of your life can make you feel sad after scrolling through an adventurous Instagram. If there is a new skill or art you wanted to try, maybe even a new restaurant or store, give it a go. Something new will definitely make you feel a little less blue.
- Begin a new binge
Not feeling like going out or seeing anyone today? I feel. Why not try a new show or movie? Something funny like Parks and Recreation or Scrubs can help make you laugh away the sadness.
- Treat. Yo. Self.
The treat doesn’t necessarily have to be food, but it definitely can be. Or maybe there is some new makeup product or shoes you’ve been wanting to buy? Depending on your budget, scour the sales racks and find a nice little pick-me-up treat. This is not recommended for people who are chronic spenders because a new purchase may not make you feel as happy as someone who doesn’t spend money on themselves often would. If you are a chronic personal-spender like me, try buying a present for a friend. Treating someone else can make you feel just as good, maybe even better, than treating yourself.
- Find out what random holiday it is and celebrate it
There are so many holidays, there is practically a new one everyday. National Hat Day? National Kitten Day? National Pancake Day? You name it, there is probably a holiday. So why not find out what day it is and celebrate?
- Call up a friend
Missing your friends? Why not give them a ring? Or start a Snapchat conversation. Reaching out can help initiate the conversation you have been longing for and can lead to a really nice catching up session, or the promise of meeting up at a later date. Life gets busy, but don’t forget about the people you care about.
- Drink a hot drink
Happiness is oftentimes associated with warmth. A warm cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate can warm up your insides and start making you feel good and calm. Especially after a particularly cold day. Just holding a hot cup can make you friendlier.
- At-home spa day
If you are like me and don’t want to spend money going to an actual spa or don’t like people touching you, create your own spa at home! Draw a nice hot bath and drizzle some essential oils in, light some candles or incense, put a face mask on. When you get out, lather up a nice lotion or oils and snuggle in a cozy robe while playing calming sounds in the background.
- Find a comedic Youtuber
When I want a quick pick-me-up, I turn to my favorite Youtubers to bring a smile to my face. There are many story-tellers, sketch-makers, advice-givers, etc. on Youtube and you are bound to find someone you like and identify with.
- Online or physical window shopping
Sometimes just looking at stuff makes me feel a little better because I’m not so wrapped up in my own mind. I just browse and add stuff to a wishlist and forget about it usually. If you are having money troubles, and that is the cause of your sadness, this one might not be a good idea. Unless you want to bargain-hunt a particular item that you have been meaning to treat yourself with. It’s your happiness and money, so it’s really your call.
- Explore town
Feeling the need to pop-punk “leave this town?” Maybe you should wait and explore first. There might be new small businesses, or a little cafe you never tried. Or if you really feel the need to see some new faces and escape localized troubles, head over to the next town and see what’s going on over there. Getting out in the air is good for your sadness anyway.
- Look at memes
I’m a sucker for a good meme. I laugh easily, so scrolling through Tumblr for some dank memes and cats usually makes me feel happy.
- Eat a hot meal
Soup is my number one feel-good dish, but eating hot food in general makes your stomach warm and happy. Some studies have even claimed you should eat at least one hot meal per day. It is also important to consider what kinds of foods you are putting into your body. If you have been eating too many carbohydrates or sugars recently, eating a healthier dish can help boost your body up, causing you to feel happier.
Sad because you feel like you’ve been selfish? Or because you feel useless? I’ve been there too. Fortunately, by volunteering, you can kick either of those feelings in the rear-end. Volunteering is productive, and it’s for someone else’s well-being. Find something local, and go out and help someone or your local shelter.
- Go for a drive
For some people, going for a long car ride (not during rush hour) relaxes them. If you are feeling antsy, maybe going for a drive can help ease your mind, give yourself a change of scenery. It can also allow you to zone out, which has been explained under coloring as being helpful for your mental health.
- Play a nostalgic video game
There are quite a few things on this list you may have done as a child, so why not add a favorite childhood game? Children’s games tend to be easier and friendlier in content, so it can help bring back some good memories and push the adulting away for awhile.
- Feel it
Sadness needs to be felt, and shouldn’t be pushed away all the time. If you are feeling the need to cry or vent, allow yourself to do so. Feeling sad doesn’t feel good in the moment, but afterwards, you can begin to heal.
Is there anything you do to lift your mood? Add to the list below or explain how one activity on the list has helped you.
**All gifs and images were taken from Giphy.com**