Life is full of it’s ups and downs and a massive part of life is learning how to deal with the downs. Of course everyone is different and therefore everyone has different feelings and coping mechanisms, so these may not work for everyone but here are some things that I like to do when the blues show up uninvited. Let yourself feel This is one of the hardest things to do but once you acknowledge that your feelings actually exist and are valid, it becomes so much easier to identify why you might be feeling this way. Figuring out why you’re feeling down makes it easier to resolve the issue and to also know possible triggers to look out for in the future. One of my favorite things to do is light some candles, put on a record, lay on the floor and just let the feelings come and go. I allow myself to be sad or nostalgic or angry or numb in my own little safe space. If I feel like it I will write down my thoughts as well. This allows me to come to terms with my own feelings and better understand them before I vent to someone so it is easier for me to articulate my feelings and thoughts when I do choose to talk to someone. Identify your triggers This is also difficult and can take a very long time but I cannot stress how important this is in the long term. When you’re feeling down, try and take a moment to think about anything that has happened recently that may have caused these feelings. Did you see something on social media that didn’t sit quite right? Did you see someone recently that you have unresolved issues with? Have you been somewhere that has bad memories? It could be as little as seeing something on the news in passing or as a big as seeing an ex partner who treated you badly. Once you start to identify the things that make you to feel upset, depressed or anxious, you can start to either try and avoid those situations or learn to be better prepared going into them. Talk to someone Identifying your feelings by yourself is great but verbalizing them to someone can be very beneficial as well. It can be anyone that you trust, a friend, a parent or family member or even a friend’s parent. Anyone that you feel comfortable talking to about your mental health and feelings. This is something that I am still learning to do and be comfortable with. Talking about something so personal can leave you very vulnerable, which is something a lot of people (myself included) are afraid of. It’s important to recognize that fear and attempt to overcome it as getting advice or simply just airing your thoughts can lift a huge weight off your chest. You don’t need to keep your feelings to yourself. If this is something that you also struggle with, remind yourself that it’s ok to be vulnerable and that everyone is at some point. We’re all helping each other, no one is perfect. Get some sunshine If the weather is something that heavily affects your mood like me, getting outside can work wonders and really help you clear your head. Go for a walk in the park, go to the beach or just go lay outside. It’s tempting to lock yourself inside and shut all the curtains but fresh air and sun light are so helpful to improve moods and mental health. I personally always try and go outside for at least an hour everyday. The weather may not always permit this and you have to stay indoors, which can add to the bad mood and make you feel tied down, but it just means that when a sunny day does come, it’ll feel so much better. And trust me, it does. Something I like to do is sleep with my curtain mostly or fully open so the sunlight wakes me up in the morning. If you live in a heavily populated area where this may not be possible for privacy reasons, a sheer curtain does the job just as well. Waking up with the sun on your face and your room full of natural light is a great way to start the day (and it also helps to regulate your sleeping schedule!). Do something that makes you happy Read a book, watch a movie or TV show, go for a walk, do some yoga, do a face mask, clean your room, play video games. The list is endless. Take some time out of your day to do something that makes you feel happy. Make a list of things you enjoy doing that can be your go to when you’re feeling down. Doing something you know you’ll enjoy can help lift your mood . Throughout all of this it is important to remember, as cliche as it sounds, it gets better and nothing lasts forever. Take time to experiment and figure out what works for you because knowing exactly what you can do to help yourself is a great skill to have. After all, mental health should be a high priority for everyone and should be something we’re constantly working on improving or maintaining. I hope these tips gave you some fresh ideas to help you the next time the blues show up.
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