Whether you struggle with energy levels, are recovering from an illness, or just need to take some time for yourself. There are times when we all need to take things easy and slow down, or don’t feel like facing the world.
Those days can be hard, especially if you’re anything like me you beat yourself up about not being able to do all the things all the time.
So what do you do to get through those kinds of days? I have to remind myself to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness tips to get you through a bad day
When I’m having a bad M.E day I do the little things that don’t take much effort but make me feel better for doing them. A little bit of pampering, a lot of self-love and compassion, and practising gratitude for the little things that make you smile and brighten up a very cloudy day.
Here are some ideas of little things to do to help get you through a bad day.
1. Hot bath
Staying in bed is the worse thing you can do when you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Unless I am actually really poorly the one thing I always do, no matter how bad a day, is run myself a hot bath. Not only is soaking into the hot water one of my favourite feelings it’s a little indulgence. The hot water warms and soothes aching muscles, and you always feel relaxed afterwards.
Add some candles, music, bath salts, or a good book. Whatever you prefer.
And at the very least, at least you managed to get clean!
2. Pamper (paint my nails)
Do whatever little luxurious thing that makes you feel good about yourself.
For me that’s painting my nails. It always succeeds in making me feel a little more polished and put together, even when I’m definitely not.
So whether it’s a face mask, a hair mask, painting your nails, a little pedicure…. whatever your thing is. Do that 🙂
There’s nothing like escaping into someone else’s world / life to help you forget about your own feelings, or how bad you are feeling.
Autobiography, fiction… whatever your preference. If you enjoy reading it’s a good bet that engrossing yourself in a few chapters will lighten your mood and help you forget your problems for a little while.
If books aren’t your thing, then have a couple of issues your favourite magazines on hand instead.
4. Go for a walk
Obviously this one is only if you can manage it. But if you are physically capable then getting outside somewhere quiet with nature, going for a small walk and just appreciating what’s around you does wonders. Breathing some fresh air and clearing your head when you are sick at looking at four walls is pretty good for you too.
And if you can’t manage to go for a walk, at least sitting outside in the fresh air for half an hour or so.
Either way, feel the sun on your skin, smell the flowers, notice what animals and small creatures are about. Notice all the little things you see that make you smile.
5. Make your favourite snack or meal
For me this is making a hot drink, usually tea. It is comforting, warming, and soothing. It has a ritual involved in making it how I like drinking it.
What’s your favourite snack or thing to eat /drink?
Make that. Take pleasure in the steps to make it. Appreciate its scent, savour the taste of each bite. Notice how it makes you feel and enjoy the process of something so simple.
If it’s just that you’re in a bad mood / bit of a funk emotionally cleaning and clearing out your personal space not only makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. But it clears the air (literally), and fills it with a far more positive and uplifting energy.
Put on your favourite soundtrack whilst you’re at it and have a sing along to double the mood improving effects!
Even just tidying up your personal space and clearing the clutter can help you feel calmer, more relaxed, and in control.
As they say “a tidy desk equals a tidy mind” I’d go so far as to say a tidy home equals a tidy mind too. It’s a very intentional way for you to be organised, intentional and live simply and meaningfully by removing what doesn’t serve you, and what makes you feel anxious or anything but good.
Music is great for any mood. Whether you want to lift your spirits, feel happy, have something to relax you and make you feel calm. Or it’s your favourite feel good soundtrack.
Whatever the antidote to your current feelings and situation put some music on. Use music to change your mood.
8. Feel good movie
When you are feeling low on energy or down in the dumps watching a film is an easy and simple thing to do, that’s doesn’t take much energy.
A good comedy romantic or otherwise, a musical, a fun pixar film (Minions is my favourite), or your favourite classic – breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pretty woman…. you get the idea.
Watching a good movie or show, one you know you like and enjoy and gives you that ‘feel good factor’.
The days when you are struggling and down, are the days that are good for you to choose one of these films. Relax with a duvet or cozy blanket and enjoy.
9. Talk to a friend
A friend, a partner, a loved one or family member. Sometimes just talking makes things seem less terrible. Having a shoulder to lean on when times are tough helps to make you feel less alone.
If you don’t want to talk about what’s getting you down, even talking about something else and having someone else lighten the mood can make you feel 10x better.
10. Journal it out
Sometimes it’s hard to express how your feeling, or even what you’re feeling and why you are feeling it to start with.
Feelings can be damn confusing!
Writing it out, even if you don’t know what to write to start with, it usually helps unravel things.
Start by free journaling if you are stuck – write whatever comes into your head. Go with the flow and see what comes up. Or start by writing about how awful you feel and the ‘why’ will usually start to reveal itself.
Either way, acknowledging the feelings, accepting them, and allowing your self to sit with them and just feel. That process helps you move through them, and release them.
Honour the feelings, even if you don’t know why they are there. There doesn’t always have to be a logical reason. But the worst thing you can do is to try force yourself to be happy and ignore any negative or unwanted feelings. In the long run that just makes things worse.
11. Practice gratitude
Part of being mindful is being more self aware, more present and aware in your day-to-day. This lets you listen to your thoughts and feelings and gives you time to process them, as in the journaling I just talked about. But also, by staying in the present, gives you the space to appreciate and notice all the little simple things you are grateful for.
You can do this even on your worst days.
Whether it’s a mental list or something you do as part of your journaling, make not of the things you are grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be much – a hug from your partner or kid. A text from a friend.
For me it can be something as small as seeing the red kites in the sky. Picking forget-me-not’s on the way home. Or sitting in the garden with a cup of tea and enjoying the sun on my face.
If you can appreciate all the little moments in your life and the people you are with they all add up to a bigger feeling of happiness and an enjoyment of life. If you can do this on your worst days it lifts the fog just a little and things don’t feel quite so gloomy and cold.
I covered more on mindfulness in this post if you are interested in reading more.
12. Buy yourself some flowers
Sometimes it really is the little things that can bring you sunshine. For me that’s a bunch of flowers. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a few freesias or tulips. Even wildflowers. It’s a treat for yourself, it’s practicing self-love. It’s saying “I know you don’t feel great today but you’re still awesome”.
Plus having something pretty to look at and something nice to smell just brightens up the room and makes you feel good.
It doesn’t have to be flowers if that’s not your thing. Treat yourself to a candle or whatever it is that’s a small gift to yourself, that brings you pleasure and lifts your mood.
Make yourself feel good <3
With love always