Lately, so many of my friends and family (myself included) have been feeling uber stressed out - it's just that time of year. Whether you can't stop worrying about finals, the holidays, all the things you realized you wanted to have accomplished during this year of 2014 but didn't… just know that it’s okay to feel sad for a while. When people tell you “don’t be sad”, they’re trying to help, but sometimes actually letting yourself feel is the best way to ultimately heal. Take as long as you need, and when you’re ready, I wrote this list of 30 ways to brighten your spirits (I wrote this last year, but it’s still relevant)!! It really helped me, so I hope some of these things will help you too!!! :)
Here are 30 ways to brighten your spirits:
1. Sing your heart out to your favorite feel-good anthems (Firework by Katy Perry? I think yes!)
2. Meditation - there are tons of amazing tapes on YouTube and/or iTunes.
3. Go to bed no later than 11:15PM….
4. …so you can start every morning slowly!! Hit the snooze, lounge around in bed. Read a riveting novel and sip your coffee leisurely. Make it a hazelnut with your Keruig. Put on that extra whip. Do a word search or Sudoku or crossword puzzle. Shower for a half of an hour – or better yet, a whole hour! Turn the heat all the way up. Pick out four different outfits. Put on one of them. Take it off. Replace it with a different one. Then head out to work/school/wherever it is that you need to be off to.
5. Two words: Mani. Pedi.
6. CHOCOLATE… ALL OF THE CHOCOLATE.
7. Take a walk in nature.
8. Journaling or writing your own blog is so cathartic and can bring ineffable bliss and a greater sense of purpose.
9. Partake in your favorite form of exercise.
10. Give back in the form of volunteering your time, being a mentor, or fiscal donations.
11. Spend time taking care of/supervising/playing with younger children (examples include playing with your baby sister, babysitting your neighbor's kids, etc.)
12. Read up on a topic (however nerdy and/or trivial it may be) that you've always wanted to learn more about.
13. Cuddle with your pet(s)
14. Remind yourself that it's okay to take a nap for 20 minutes when you're super stressed out and just need a break for a while!!
15. Call a relative, friend, or loved one whom you truly miss
16. Make a subtle change about your appearance: part your hair on a different side, wear a new cardigan, actually remember to use that acne cleanser in the morning. Switching up something slightly about the way you look will help you feel special without being so drastic to the point where you've become unrecognizable to yourself!
17. Make music: violin, ukelele, guitar, piano; the list is truly endless.
18. Cook a meal. It doesn't matter if it's just oatmeal, or if it's a gourmet pasta dish; as long as you're taking the time to make something for yourself, it will help to heal your soul (and here's hoping it'll taste awesome, too!)
19. Study a language that you've always desired to learn.
20. Snuggle with your favorite stuffed animals (don't hate. everyone should snuggle with stuffed animals on a regular basis because as small children, that's how we calmed ourselves down, and there's no reason why it won't still work nowadays! hahaha!!)
21. Head to the beach. Even if it's snow-covered, there's just something so incredibly peaceful about smelling the sea air (no matter the temperature!!) and washing the waves crash in. There's something so comforting about knowing the waves will always be there to come up during high tide and then go away during low tide but they will come back again… you can always count on it, like a loyal friend hahaha!
22. Find comfort in a higher power, whether religion or another form of comforting philosophy
23. Drink more water. Drink less soda.
24. Do arts & crafts: draw. paint. take pictures - NOT instagram pictures, but real actual pictures with a real actual camera. color in a coloring book. complete the most desirable of pintrest crafts.
25. Stick up for somebody. Whether it be in the work place, the playground, your group of acquaintances/friends/comrades. And help the people who can't help themselves, even if you don't know them!
26. Every night before bed, think about 5 things you are grateful for that happened that day !!
27. Add more of the color yellow into your life. Clothing, paintings, accessories, nail polish, socks…. just little pops of yellow will instantly brighten your mood!
28. Make sure (ask yourself) that your relationships with the people you spend time with are truly meaningful. Are you using them just to get by? Would you be better off trying to meet new friends that you can actually connect with on a deeper level?? Or do you love the way they make you laugh or smile even when you didn't think it would be possible for them to get you to because you've just been having such a rough time of things? Can you picture yourself wanting to keep in touch even if you were to graduate/move away/switch jobs/etc? Really consider these questions because it's alright to acknowledge that people grow and are dynamic rather than static characters. We are constant changing in our values, beliefs, cultures, and interests. It is okay to change. There is no need to feel guilty if this change separates you from the people whom you once called your closest friends.
29. Always remember to say the following four magical phrases when applicable: Please, Thank You, I'm Sorry, I Love You!
30. READ READ READ READ!!!! Everything. Books, magazines, blog posts, news articles - anything.
What do you do to cheer up your mood when you're in a funk?