or, 5 things to do to feel happier when you’re feeling down
I’m going to be frank… I’ve just been going through some shit the last few months. Nothing serious, but I haven’t felt like my normal self. I’ve felt uninspired, a little glum, lethargic, down… feeling certain negative ways about myself that I haven’t had much experience with. And honestly, it’s a bit scary! For example, those that know me well know how much I love fashion and curating beautiful outfits, even if I’m just going from work to home. But I haven’t been “dressing up” much lately, and one week I literally wore leggings as pants to work every single day. I mean, thank god I work at a company that allows me to do that, but usually that’s just not my style! But I simply didn’t have the emotional energy to look cute so I didn’t even try.
Everyone goes through these times of feeling down, unmotivated and just outright sad. It truly is not easy to get out of a sadness slump, but there’s almost always something you can do to try and help yourself feel better. So I put together a list of five things to do to feel happier and improve your mood when the depression demons begin creeping in. I hope this list helps you as much as it helps me!
1. Listen to a really good, uplifting playlist
Sometimes I forget the power of music and what it can do for my mood. Generally speaking, when you’re sad it seems logical to listen to sad music, when really you should do the opposite. Find & save or create a playlist on your phone of bops that you can always plug into when you’re feeling low. Be sure to pick songs that historically put you in a good mood; whether that means upbeat pop songs, Disney soundtracks, gangsta rap or classic rock (or a mix of all?) is up to you! I have a playlist on Spotify called “Certified Slaps” that helps me get out of a funk, you can follow it here if you’d like or listen to a preview below:
2. Plan a social night in.
When I’m feeling down, I always think that going out and being social will put me in a better mood. But lately I’ve felt that I get more joy from planning a night-in with my closest friends, where we can actually talk to each other and dissect what’s going on in each other’s lives versus go out and make small talk with bar strangers. Game nights are especially mood-lifting! A good round of Cards Against Humanity, What Do You Meme, or my personal favorite, Scattergories, always gets me laughing and feeling better quickly.
3. Take a group class at the gym
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the gym can make some people feel anxious (ahem, me). But working out produces endorphins, endorphins tend to make you happy so going to the gym SHOULD make you feel happy. My advice, if you’re like me and workout machines scare you, take an uplifting group class! Feed off the positive energy from other classmates and it may make you feel better yourself. Or, join an intramural sports league. The dynamic and camaraderie of a team can certainly help you get your mind off whatever is making you feel down.
4. Do something creative
Doodle, paint, craft, sew, anything to get those creative juices flowing. Buy an adult coloring book or make a trip to Hobby Lobby to spark inspiration. You could even sign up for a wine & paint night, take a wood-working class or visit a local ceramics studio. There’s a creative outlet for everyone’s interests, and the hardest part sometimes is getting started. Some of the most memorable pieces of art were created by artists who harnessed their feelings of sorrow and depression and translated them into their creations. So let your artistic imagination run free, like a little kid, and you may quickly relieve yourself of negative feelings.
5. Get outside and explore nature
Whether this means complete tranquility far outside city limits or a short walk to your neighborhood park, spending time outdoors will likely boost your spirit. Sure, the elements aren’t always on our side – I always make the excuse that it’s too cold / rainy / gloomy / snowy to do anything outside, but I’m challenging myself to change that mindset. Even a walk around my inner city neighborhood can lift my mood. If you live close enough to nature, take a day trip hike with your friends, family or just your dog. Explore your local parks, botanical gardens or arboretums. Force yourself to leave the house, even when you might not want to, because I guarantee it will make you feel better.
I hope this list sparked a little hope and inspiration for you if you’re going through a tough time right now. What kind of things do you do to help yourself get out of a bad mood? Sending you love wherever you are.
As always, thank you for reading! xoxo