Those dreadful days, we’ve all had them.
Days where nothing goes our way and all the forces in the Universe seem to be conspiring against us. Days where we’re left feeling exhausted and bitter and the smallest things get on our nerves.
Much like most things in life, these days are inescapable. Perhaps you’re having one such day right now, and you simply can’t get yourself to do anything but sulk around.
And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay if today is just not your day and you don’t feel as chirpy as you usually do. Your feelings are valid and so are you. What’s important is that you take time off and focus on yourself. Put yourself first, take care of yourself, and do whatever it is that eases your mind.
I cannot guarantee that the steps below would make all your troubles go away, but maybe they will take your mind off them and turn this horrible day around, just a little bit.
Here are 12 Self-Care methods to help you during difficult times!
Declutter your surroundings
I KNOW, I know. This is probably the last thing you feel like doing right now but trust me. If the bed you’re on looks like a trash can just throw up on it or you cannot tell your desk apart from a garbage dump in the Philippines, there’s no way you’ll be able to relax your mind. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter.
So, clean up your surroundings and it’ll not only make your room more soothing to look at and be in, but it’ll also fill you with a sense of accomplishment. Admit it, the few times that you end up cleaning your room once every few months feels pretty good, doesn’t it?
Take a shower
Showers are scientifically proven to improve mood. They not only clean up your body but also rejuvenate your mind. Warm showers are said to induce feelings of emotional warmth, making people feel better and less lonely. The fact that you will feel clean and refreshed definitely helps too. So, take a shower and get into a pair of your most comfortable clothing afterward.
Cry it out
The act of crying mostly has negative connotations attached to it, but sometimes, it can be exactly what you need. If you feel like you want to cry, go for it. It’s not a bad thing, and no reason is too petty. In fact, a good cry may just help get all the frustration out and leave you feeling better.
Expose yourself to nature
I don’t mean go hiking in the woods, just take a minute to look out and appreciate nature. Lookout at the green leaves, the way they rustle in the wind. Stare up at the sky and watch the beautiful cotton clouds or the way the moon glows. Just sit by your window or go up to your terrace and allow yourself to find beauty in the things that surround you.
It doesn’t have to be a breathtaking view, just the usual things we never pay attention to. Quieten your mind and take a minute to pay attention to those very details. There’s something about staring up at the vast sky that can make you forget about the banes of earthy existence for a while. Try it.
Listen to some music
This is another scientifically proven method to improve your mood. There’s music for all occasions, be it dancing, screaming aloud in the car, or sulking in your room. Listening to your favorite songs can lift your spirits. So turn off the lights, blast the AC, lie down on your bed, close your eyes, and hit the play button on your playlist. In addition to songs, you can also listen to ‘mind relaxing’ and ‘healing’ music, which is said to be therapeutic.
You’ll find a good compilation of such music, complete with nature sounds on both YouTube and Spotify. This kind of music will put your mind at ease and have a soothing effect since listening to sounds such as that of waterfalls, or the chirping of birds is proven to increase feelings of positivity and relaxation.
Snuggle up with your favorite movie/show and comfort food
If there is a movie or a show that cracks you up, or keeps you hooked enough to momentarily forget about everything else, get some cushions, get comfortable and put it on. Don’t forget to also have a plateful of your favorite food to chomp on while you watch. Be it a burger, french fries, or ice cream. Don’t think too much about it, you’re allowed to eat whatever your heart desires if that’s what it takes to cheer you up. Plus, it’s better to be sad while eating French fries than it is to be ‘just sad’.
Talk to someone
If there’s someone you feel comfortable with, who you believe would lend you an ear, then reach out to them. Be it a friend or a family member, talk to them about what’s bothering you if you wish to, or just spend some time with them. Being in the company of people we love can fill us with warmth and make us feel better. But even if you just want to be alone or don’t have someone you feel comfortable with, that’s okay. You’ll get through this on your own just fine.
Do a bit of journaling
You don’t have to be an author to pen down your thoughts and feelings. It’s not about what you write, it’s just about letting your emotions flow out from within your heart onto the paper. Release all the negativity from your mind and ease the burden inside you. Even if a string of curse words is all you can come up with, it’s fine. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you let it all out. If you’d rather type instead of writing manually, go for it.
This may seem like a strange method, especially if you’re not into the habit of writing but it could be therapeutic, so give it a try. Doesn’t hurt, right? Maybe you’ll even discover a penchant for journaling.
Cuddle your pet or a soft toy
If you have a pet, then you already know what a joy cuddling your little floofball is. They’re a literal bundle of joy and hugging them releases hormones that reduce stress and fill you with feelings of calmness. Moreover, your pet deserves all the cuddles. And so do you. Even if you don’t have a pet, don’t fret. A stuffed animal may not be as good as a real one, but it’s the next best thing. Cuddle your old soft toy and it’ll help you de-stress.
Watch videos of cute animals
There’s no way that a picture of a fluffy Samoyed or a cat doing a TikTok dance won’t make you crack a smile. Watch some cute and funny animal videos and before you know it, you’ll be evoking suspicious glances from your mom, wondering what you’re laughing at. Head over to @barked or @meowed on Instagram or r/aww on Reddit to give you the doze of pawsitivity that you need.
Scroll through some memes
Once again, laughter is the best medicine. Head over to your favorite meme page and scroll through some funny memes, whatever floats your boat.
Be kind to yourself
This is the most important form of self-care. Be kind and patient with yourself. Tell yourself that it’s okay to have a bad day, that your feelings are valid. Don’t beat yourself up overtaking time only to focus on yourself and not doing anything “productive”. Put yourself first and prioritize your mental well-being. Everything else can wait. Remind yourself that this too shall pass, just like every other bad that you’ve had before. Bad days are inevitable, but then, so are good days.
About the Author: This is an article by Ahana Chowdhury.