That empty feeling that accompanies sadness and anxiety is something I’m all too familiar with. You should know though that it is not permanent, and acknowledging how you feel by comforting yourself is a form of true self-love, and you deserve to give time to yourself to pause and recharge, and if that means doing nothing that exerts you physically, that is also ok.
Please remember that the following are based on my personal experiences, and that I am not a professional. I highly suggest you seek professional advice for help on managing moods.
1. Watch something that brings you joy.
Sometimes the low moods we experience can be so intense that we may not see a way out. And if you are somebody who is self-aware you may try to think positive things, but then you realise that something that made you feel happy yesterday, does not make you feel happy today.
This is why I always suggest to my friends to watch their favourite movies with a cup of tea. Maybe a childhood favourite that when you watch it, it feels like you’re being hugged. Or a modern action film that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
I know some may see watching a movie as a waste of time or not productive. But we all deserve to escape every now and again, and what better way to do that, than to immerse yourself in a different world for an hour or two.
Another good thing about movies is that you won’t feel as terrible as watching a full season of your favourite Netflix show in one day.
2. Why not do some yoga?
If you’re like me and only really exercises a couple of weeks before your beachy holiday, then I highly recommend doing at least 20 minutes of yoga when you feel low.
Yoga has so many benefits, but what I love about it is that it helps me to be in the moment and to be in tune with my body. I see it as a gift to my mind, soul and body. So gift yourself.
I literally just go on Youtube and type in ‘20 minutes of Yoga for beginners’. A tip of mine is to imagine yourself releasing all the inner tension as you stretch your muscles and do your breathing exercises.
3. Why not journal?
Journalling is so beneficial to the mind and understanding yourself, I cannot even begin to explain how much journaling has helped me when I felt confused, sad or just straight up like poop.
It doesn’t have to be anything that’s cringe and you don’t have to start it with something like ‘Dear Diary’. You can just start writing anything that comes to mind. I personally like to start my journal by describing what I have been doing during my day, from the moment I started to feel low.
4. Dress up for yourself.
I 100% believe that self-care is not just taking care of your external self, but it is also about taking care of your mind. Self-care is about encompassing all that makes YOU and caring for it.
However, some of us (aka me), need to look good to feel good. Whether your method is to put on your best clothes on your way to your local shops, or to just be at home. It cannot be denied that looking good helps you feel better.
5. Get creative.
I know that not everyone feels confident in painting and trying creative things if you do not consider yourself to be an artist. But art is a language, a form of communication that transcends what is common. So I urge you to get a piece of paper and pen (if you have art supplies, then great you can really express yourself here) and just scribble what you feel. It doesn’t have to look like anything from this 3D world or even remotely perfect. Use that as your expression of self, and then at the bottom right corner of your piece of paper write down one word that describes what you were feeling.
If you’re creative, sometimes your mood is directly influenced by your motivation to create, regardless of which niche in the creative industry you lie. Trust me, I can relate to feeling like absolute crap because I do not feel like my physical work is up to my standards. For artists my tip is to walk away from your work, let it go. Then come back two to three days later when your mind has cooled and thoughts are clearer and create the necessary changes to your art, or even create something completely different.
Do nothing and let yourself feel, then get back up.
Sometimes you just want to do nothing, and that is okay. In the world order we currently live in, you may feel pressured to do something towards either improving your skills or working on your side hustle during your downtime. But it is okay to remove yourself from the race for however long you can or want to. If that is just staying at home and finishing your favourite series, or watching childhood movies that bring you joy, meditating, reading a book or spending time with family or friends.
You will be doing yourself a de-service if you do not make time for your favorite activities when feeling down. Refill your cup with what brings you joy, and then get yourself back up and out into the world.
Reminder, it is okay to not feel okay. Do open up to your friends and family and let them know how you feel. You may be surprised at how much your joy circle may be able to uplift you.