Whether it's a case of the Mondays or everything seems to be crashing down around you, it's terrible to feel stressed, anxious or depressed. We've all had those down days and know how hard it can be to shake off the funk—but there's hope! Try these simple fixes that are bound to lift your spirits.
- Acknowledge the impermanence of your current mental state. If you're feeling anxious or sad, it's really difficult to remember that you're not always going to feel like this. Often we're so consumed by our current state of mind, it can feel like it's never going to end. But of course it will! Take a few minutes to acknowledge how you're feeling and even say it out loud a couple of times "I'm feeling anxious…I'm feeling anxious." Then let it go and wait for it to pass.
- Move it. Sometimes the last thing we could even imagine doing when we feel crummy is exercising, but it's can be all you need for a boost. Even light exercise will stimulate blood flow and release some "feel good" endorphins. You don't need to block out an hour—just take 5 minutes to spark some good feelings.
- Fake it 'til you make it. Even if you feel like curling into a ball, slap a smile on your face. It's probably one of the hardest tips to follow, but it works. Research has shown that smiling when you're stressed or sad can instantly lower your stress response.
- Get it out of your head. If there's something in particular that's eating away at you, release it from your mind and body by writing it all down on a piece of paper or in a journal. You'll likely find that you can move past something after you've gotten it out completely—and you'll be less likely to lose your temper or patience on someone.
- Break out the coloring books. We're not kidding! There's a growing group of people who use coloring to help relieve stress, and it's actually not a new thing. Carl G. Jüng is the first psychologist documented to use coloring as a relaxation technique. You can find special "adult coloring books" or you can go grab a few from your kid's closet.
- Organize your space. Often when you're feeling out of sorts, the space around you is disheveled as well. If you're feeling stuck and crummy, do some mindless organization. Clear out that junk drawer that's been bothering you, clean out your car, sort papers on your desk. The act of cleaning and clearing may give you the break you needed and free your mind.
- Plan a fun outing. While it can be hard to muster up the motivation when you're down and out, if you can force yourself to plan something fun, it'll help boost your spirits right away. Plan something for this evening or next weekend. It doesn't have to be something extravagant, even a simple, but special dinner at home, a walk through a forest preserve with a loved one or a trip to the movies.