Life has its ups and downs, as we’ve all experienced it. When you’re feeling low, here’s a list of 5 things to try:
There have been many studies on gratitude, showing how it can improve a person’s long-term happiness and decrease depression. When you’re feeling low, remembering what you’re grateful for, what brings you joy and what you’ve accomplished, is an instant mood boost. Practicing gratitude doesn’t mean you should minimise the hardships you’re going through, but rather recognise what you still have despite these hardships. This helps you put things into perspective and hopefully disconnect from the negative mindset we become bogged down in when we’re low. Even better, try keeping a gratitude journal and creating a habit out of it – studies show that the best benefits from gratitude come with time.
When you’re feeling down, it can be easy to get stuck in your routine and force yourself to push through. While this is useful at times, taking a break to re-centre yourself can actually be very helpful. It can reduce your stress, thus improving your mood and the quality of your work, whatever that may be. Breathing exercises are a proven method to reduce stress and can take as little or as long as you feel like. For a quick exercise, breathe in for 4 seconds, out for 8 seconds and repeat 20 times – by the end, you should be feeling much more centred. For a longer exercise, try a guided meditation or guided breathing – find a quiet room, find a comfortable position and either use a meditation app or find an online video for the length you’d like.
Oftentimes, you might be feeling down because your body is run down. You may be wondering what has happened to make you feel this way or wonder why you’re overreacting to something that shouldn’t bother you, but these may be signs that you need to focus on yourself and take care of your body. When we’re stressed or down, we tend to cut down on all the healthy habits we try so hard to build – exercise, healthy food and sleep. However, all these habits are what increases our tolerance to stress – cut them down and our ability to cope diminishes. Focus on these 3 areas:
Move: Go for a walk, go to an exercise class, go to the gym or for a swim – anything that gets you off your feet will help!
Nutritious food: Focus on having a healthy and balanced diet. Bad eating habits manifest differently in people – some start eating highly processed fast foods and others eat a lot less – both can negatively affect your body and your mood. If you find that you don’t have enough time during the week, try and meal prep before the week ahead. If you like cooking, but don’t have time to organise recipes and buy ingredients, try a recipe box. If you have a canteen at your workplace, try and go for the healthy option or get an extra serving of veggies. You need to make sure you feed your body!
Sleep: The recommended sleep hours for adults is to have 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re feeling extra tired, don’t be afraid to take a nap or go to bed early to replenish your energy. If you’re struggling falling asleep, check out our article on sleep hygiene [Insert link to: 6 Sleep Hygiene Tips for Skin Health].
When you’re down, it can sometimes feel difficult to make yourself do anything, especially if you already have a list of urgent tasks. But making some time to do something you enjoy can provide you with much needed stress relief to be able to tackle your long to-do list. Disconnecting from the hustle and bustle and engaging with your hobbies is important for your wellbeing. Whether you’re reading a book, listening to music, playing a video game or any other activity that allows you to log off, it’s important to take breaks and do something you enjoy.