There are some days that are so bad that it is just about impossible to improve your mood. Usually, even on the worst days, there are things that can help, however. This last month has been exhausting, busy and stressful. I have been lapsing on self care and also on many other things, from Instagram for this blog and for my main business to dishes, housework, yoga, and healthy eating. I’ve had more than a few tears and I have let a few bad habits creep in as well.
Today, I woke up feeling tired and moody. The thought of a busy workday did not help much. I may have eaten both of my remaining chocolates (at least they were healthy cacao chocolates). I also had a slight meltdown on the loo, as one does on those sort of days. Then I took a deep breath and decided that I needed to get my proverbial shit together.
Here’s the thing… it is ok to have bad days. It is actually healthier to let yourself have bad days and allow yourself to feel sad or stressed or tired than to force yourself to feel happy when you are not happy. After surviving clinical depression and managing to wean off medication, I still get a bit nervous about bad days. Although it is important to give myself room to feel less than wonderful, I have learned the hard way that it is also never a good idea to let those feelings take over. It is when we start to have bad days every day that things really start to fall into a downward spiral.
With that in mind, how do you improve your mood on bad days in a way that is nurturing and supportive rather than pressuring and dismissive? Let’s take a look.
Improve Your Mood on Bad Days
Rather than letting bad days take over, it helps to find ways to improve your mood and give yourself space to feel better without trying to force yourself to cheer up. I’m a huge believer in positive thinking and I set daily affirmations, but I know that some days require a different approach. Here are some of the things that help when you are having one of ‘those’ days.
As hard as it seems to find anything to giggle about, you will instantly feel better when you have a good laugh. Today, I got the catnip out and had a few minutes of fun watching my ridiculous ginger cat go into full-blown weirdo mode on the kitchen floor. The other cats enjoy their catnip, too, but Jasper really gets off his face. Laughing at something silly helped reset my mood, making me remember that life isn’t all bad.
I’ve been off my mat far too long. Today, I found a really amazing home yoga video for stress relief and I took half an hour over lunch to do some yoga. It was gentle and soothing and it helped me reconnect with myself, somehow. Even if you do a few stretches, it will help to soothe out the tension in your body, which will make you feel better.
Lavender is my go-to natural treatment for just about everything. I use it in my bedtime steams and I also drink lavender Rooibos tea when I need an extra boost. I also have a calming rollerball blend that contains lavender that I put on my pulse points when I need a boost. The smell itself is comforting but it also has magical properties that help you relax.
My mom is my go-to person when I am feeling down. Moms are amazing like that, aren’t they? I also get cheered up by fun emoticon chats with my sister, Skype rants with a friend who sends me terrible vegan jokes that make me laugh, and inspiring chats with the incredible women I am lucky enough to call friends. It’s not easy to tell people when you are feeling down. Sometimes, just saying to someone that you are feeling low and want to chat can be a good way to improve your mood.
Music gets me through good days, busy days, bad days and just about every other type of day. When I really need a good boost, I put on Sisters of Mercy and dance around my work area. Morcheeba also helps. So does Fleetwood Mac and whatever else I am currently loving. Just avoid the stuff that makes you get emotional (that never helps).
I’ve done as much work as I can manage for the day. Tomorrow, I have a super busy day ahead. I’m going to have to work on Sunday, too (and it’s not the first working Sunday this month). I’m still not feeling absolutely on top of the world – I do feel a lot better than I did when I woke up.
What do you do when you have those days? Let me know what you do to improve your mood when you have bad days.