Saturday, September 6, 2014

tips for feeling better

We all have bad days.  Maybe you're fighting off a bug--or sick as a dog.  Maybe you're sad or lonely or didn't get any sleep.  Maybe you're bored or stressed.  Maybe--and though I don't like to jump on bandwagons, I support the education of the public on mental health issues--you're struggling with anxiety or depression.  Whatever it is, I've seen patterns crop up in my life over the past three years; patterns that help me take care of myself and feel better at any given moment.  Here's a quick little inspiration list for those days when you need pick-me-up ideas.

When you're sick:

  • brush your teeth--it makes so much difference
  • take a hot shower or bath--ease aches, help your body regulate your temperature, clear sinuses and soothe sore throats
  • drink a mixture of 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp raw honey, and a cup of hot water--this cures my tendency to lose my voice for weeks at a time
  • employ peppermint essential oil--it settles stomachs, clears sinuses, and blocks pain receptors naturally
  • settle in with a rice bag heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer--I have this one

When you're sad:
  • if you have time, make a new cup of coffee, take a hot shower, and when you get out, treat your day like it's just starting--I "restart" bad days all the time in order to be more productive and structured
  • micro-manage a little bit--make a detailed list of things to do in the next few hours, and include rewards (like watching a funny TV show, baking cookies, reading a book)
  • do some drawing/sketching/doodling--the sound of pencil or marker scraping over paper consistently calms me down
  • drink a cup of black tea--this may be just me, but if caught fast enough, the slow-release caffeine can prevent my panic attacks
  • buy an old-fashioned mood ring--I like to put it on, check the color, and tell myself, "See?  Actually you're calm/happy/normal!"  
  • find a place (online, books, whatever) to look at pretty things--for me, this is collecting pictures of flowers and surfing tumblr and instagram
  • listen to cathartic music (which expresses how you're feeling) for a predetermined time and then stop and switch to more positive music--a little can be helpful, but don't let it encourage you to wallow
  • do that sinkful of dishes while singing loudly
  • go for a walk/skateboard ride/swim
  • put on some soothing noises via this website
  • if it's late enough, just call it and go to bed--I have the most trouble once the sun goes down, so don't make yourself stay up late when in reality, things will probably look better in the daylight
What do you do to take care of yourself and feel better?  Do you have any tips for pick-me-ups?