Over the past year, I have made many significant accomplishments when it comes to combatting my depression and taking care of my mental health. One such accomplishment and perhaps the biggest of them, has been learning to cheer myself up and bring myself back into a positive mindset. This has taken me quite a few years to master, so I thought sharing some tactics may potentially help anyone in a similar predicament.
1. Talk to Someone
I know this is probably the most cliche advice out there, but I mean it. I have always been the type of person that doesn’t like talking to others when I’m upset. I would shut myself away, and definitely wouldn’t talk about what the problem was. It has only been recently that I have started to understand how beneficial talking is. Whether it be talking about what is making you upset or just talking about a random topic, this certainly helps break out of your own head.
Being so far away from my friends has made this a little difficult for me, but there are so many platforms keeping us in touch. Not only can you call someone on the phone, but Facebook has messenger and now a call option, and there is also Skype.
This is probably the one of the best ways to start feeling better, just talk it out. Talk to whoever you are with, go on a coffee date with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or send a message/ call your best friend or your mum. There is nothing wrong with needing some space and being alone, but sometimes that can do more harm than good. You don’t have to talk about what is making you upset, just get out of your own head and communicate.
2. Put on some music and dance
I love music, and am a firm believer that it can affect the mood you are in. So put on some up-beat tunes – spotify is great for looking up “confidence boost” playlists and the like – dance around your room. It is one of the best ways I know to cheer myself up, even without the dancing part, just having the music changing the vibe of the room, can be an instant way to start feeling better.
3. Watch a movie
Watching movies can be both good and bad when you’re upset. Let’s face it, some movies just make us feel worse about our situations (romance movies when you’re crying over your love life) and do not help our moods at all!
But if you know a few films that instantly make you feel better, perhaps a childhood favourite, or something with an uplifting message that is going to inspire you, than put that on.
Curl up on the couch/your bed, under the covers, with a cup of tea, and let that film make you smile.
4. Read some inspiring blog posts/ watch youtube videos
Blogging and youtube have become a big part of my life, so is it any wonder that these cheer me up? But honestly, finding posts and videos that give you advice on your current situation, or what is troubling you can be a big help. They can help inspire you on your next step in life, make you feel better and more motivated, and also give you some ideas.
I never really considered this until recently when I found a few different youtubers – mostly by accident – and found how much more motivated I felt after watching their videos.
Also, along with this is TED Talks. There are so many different speakers on so many subjects, so there is guaranteed to be something that may make you feel better about yourself. Everyone takes away something different from each subject, so they are definitely worth a try.
Some videos/ bloggers that have helped me:
Ohmygosh, this girl has honestly inspired me so much! Seriously, her videos when I’m having a bad day are a god send
She’s just so happy, and her collab videos always make me laugh
5. Take a shower or a bath
You know how after a long day, a soak in a bubble bath, or letting the water wash away all the tension away in the shower, is the best way to relax? Well, why not use it as a technique to cheer yourself up?
Unfortunately, I do not have a bath where I am living in NZ, but when I lived in Australia, I would light a bunch of candles, use a bath bomb or some body wash for bubbles, and let myself relax in the hot water.
The same goes for a shower. Let the water massage your shoulders and scalp, and wash away your worries.
Just remember, not to start overthinking your problems/worries why you’re doing this. Just let yourself relax, leave your worries in the water, change into fresh clothes – you’ll feel so much better.
6. Do something you are passionate about
Everyone has different hobbies/things they are passionate about. If you have one that you know is a sure fire way to cheer yourself up, then try doing that. Yes, sometimes when you’re upset, the motivation to do such things can be difficult, but just suck it up because you’ll be happy you did it.
For me, I have a few things that make me feel better – art, writing, and hooping. My absolute favourite thing to do it draw. I’ve had a lot of trouble in the past that when I’m upset, I couldn’t draw. It would make me frustrated because being distracted, I wouldn’t do my best and it would just snowball. But, drawing is what makes me the happiest. I can only just lose myself for hours in my sketchbook.
And nothing breaks me out of stress easier than grabbing my hoops. There was a time when I was writing an essay for university, and every time I started stressing or lost, I would give myself 10-15 minutes to hoop. It would just instantly break away those anxieties, and leave me feeling so much better when I got back to the essay.
If you know that something you can do makes you happy, then definitely try it when you’re feeling low – whether it be drawing, a sport, photography, video gaming, writing, doing math problems… whatever it may be, try doing something you love.
7. Go out to a park/cafe
I know, going out when you’re feeling crappy… probably not high on the list motivationally speaking. Even if you are alone, going somewhere with people can be a great way to start feeling better.
If the weather is nice, than going out into the sunshine surrounded by nature, can be an amazing happiness boost. You’re soaking up the vitamin D (please wear sunscreen), getting out of your slump and so your mood will soon start to pick up.
As for going to a cafe, take a book, something to draw, or just people watch. But sometimes surrounding yourself with people, even if not directly, will help you feel so much better.
8. Read a book
I guess this kind of goes in the same area as watching a movie, or watching inspirational videos. But any book lover know that reading is a great way to escape, to stop overthinking, and go into an entirely new world. I’m not trying to say to avoid what is getting you down by escaping into a book, but just let this break the way you are thinking, and your low mood and try to start feeling a bit better.
Try reading a book that will motivate you, or one that has a strong message that inspires you to feel better. I Was Here by Gayle Forman, and Paper Towns by John Green are both books that have inspired me over the past, and have made me feel better. Non-fiction wise I would definitely recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
9. Write a list
Whether it be mentally or physically, make a list of things that make you happy, things that you are grateful for, or things you are going to accomplish. The thought of these things will make you feel so much lighter, and you’ll be able to break from your low mood a bit easier.
10. Light exercise
Exercise is probably another one on the list, that isn’t very motivationally appealing. Going for a walk, or even yoga can be great ways to relax your body, and with that your mind, and you’ll start to feel a bit better. They should also help you sleep later on, and your body will love you for it.
11. Pamper yourself
I don’t know about you, but when I put a bit of effort in for myself, that always makes me feel good. This goes with the shower/bath category, but if you like doing it, than do your make-up or your hair, put on a face mask, or paint your nails. It may not be your thing but if it is, then it will help pick up your mood and you’ll be able to start feeling a bit better.
Our moods sometimes get the better of us, and there is nothing wrong with having a cry every now and then.
But after a long sob, it’s hard not to just curl up and sleep, or just lie and stare into space. Here are a few ways to help feel better instantly…
1. Go for a shower
Trust me on this, if you have just a had a long cry, then go shower. Let the water run over your face and your shoulders. If you have good water pressure, then let the water give you a scalp message. Then go change into some fresh clothes.
If you are for some reason unable to take a shower, such as time of night etc, the next best thing I have fun is just washing your face. Grab a face washer (face towel) and soak it in hot water, then wash your face starting with your eyes. This has been an absolute live saver for me when it comes to late at night. Your face feels less stiff and a bit more fresh.
2. Drink Water
Your body uses up water when you’re crying, so replenishing it’s source can instantly help you feel better. Have a big glass to start off with and then have a few more. The headaches we all get after crying can sometimes be dehydration, so by drinking water you are helping your body a number of ways.
3. Start your own tactics
Whether you are using one of the tips above, or your own method of cheering yourself up, now that you are all fresh you can start. Curl up under some blankets and watch a movie, read, draw, dance, have a snack…. whatever you need to do to start feeling better, do it.
Just remember, it is totally ok to have bad days, everyone does … just don’t let them win.
Hopefully some of that advice is helpful to someone. After struggling with mental illness for so long, I realise it can be a process to combat those low moods, and even finding what helps.
To anyone that needs it, feel free to send me a message, I am always willing to listen. I hope you start feeling better soon.
check out the video I made to accompany this post – here