I’ve realized that I could either keep doing the same things over and over and wait for life to happen to me, or I could actively pursue how I wanted to feel. I’ve learned that I can change my feelings and that I choose how I want to feel. Over time, I’ve developed little habits that help me feel better on those days I feel down and out, like:
Since I’ve been off work these past couple months, this has been the most difficult, yet the most rewarding action for me. Scheduling less into my day has helped me focus on the most important tasks of my day, actually getting them done and feeling accomplished. Normally, I’m guilty of over-scheduling, feeling “busy” then demotivated because I didn’t even get through half of my to-do list.
I try to stick to my workout routine for the most part, but there are days when I feel really down and lethargic. On those days, it seems nothing will get me out of bed, let alone get me to the gym. And that’s OK. I don’t force myself if I truly know it’s just not going to happen but I try to get moving a little. Whether it’s a walk around my neighbourhood in a hoodie and cap or some light yoga at home, I know I’ll feel better than if I just stayed in bed all day.
Decluttering One Small Space
I just feel better when things are a bit neater, I don’t exactly know why. I’m not a clean freak but when my bed is made and my personal space is clutter free, I tend to breather easier, and feel more calm and relaxed. I also don’t feel guilty about having to clean my messy apartment when I just want to curl up and read a good book.
Every morning, I use my 5 Min Journal App and write down 3 things I’m grateful for. Some days it takes a bit of thinking but it can be as complicated or simple as you want. Personally, I’ve found that over time, being grateful has made me into a slightly more positive person. I’m still a realist but I tend to see the good in things much quicker than before; find the “silver lining” in situations.
Being an over thinker, I find that I tend to live in the past or the future a lot. I’m never really in the moment because I’m always thinking about something that may happen and I never give myself time to just be. I need to learn to focus on the here and now because I can’t change the past nor control the future. Things will find a way to work themselves out.
Connecting with Someone
Although I’m pretty content being alone most of the time, I also tend to get caught up in my own head a lot with my personal struggles. I get so wrapped up that I can’t see beyond my own problems and I feel terrible. Connecting with another helps me because it takes my mind off my struggles while allowing me to focus my attention on someone else. Sometimes, it’s just a message on Facebook or a text but it makes a huge difference.
Doing One Thing Only
It doesn’t really matter what it is or how long it takes – just that it’s important to you. I think to myself, “This is the one thing I will complete today and feel accomplished.” For me, some days it’s that I completed my workout while other days it’s to re-organize my entire closet. The point is, if I finish this one thing, I’ll feel good about myself and I find that I’m more likely to tackle another task the next day to keep the high going.
Finding one thing to be proud of everyday is tied into being grateful, but different. This is about taking pride in my accomplishments or how I’ve treated people and recognizing myself. Sometimes we don’t get the recognition we deserve but this way, we can recognize ourselves and be confident in our own accomplishments and abilities.
It can be a lame joke, a YouTube video or at yourself but laughing everyday is important as it’s an instant, natural mood booster. It’s important to take the time to laugh while being present enough to enjoy it everyday, even if you have to actively look for your laugh. Sometimes, it can feel unnatural at first but once I get going, my mood almost instantly improves.
These are a few of the ways I actively try to create feel good moments in my life. It’s still a work in progress but little actions now translate into more frequent feel good moments. If you have any thoughts or other suggestions on what’s worked for you, please let me know!