Having a bad day? Here are 11 simple reminders to help you feel better | wit and pleasure

Editor’s Note: For anyone feeling overwhelmed, we hope the reminders in this post, originally published in October 2020, help make your day a little brighter.

Sometimes the simplest advice is the hardest to take. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “self-parenting” before, and while the concept makes sense on the face of it, learning to be a parent is often a lifelong journey. To make it a little easier for me, I often think about what my mother would say, along with the other loving figures in my life: my therapist, in-laws, girlfriends, teachers, and mentors.

I asked our team to share some of the best advice they got from their moms or other wise people in their lives (either the advice they give their own children). The goal was to put together a small snippet of his worldly wisdom to share with you today. And if you haven’t remembered to call your mom (or any comforting figure in your life) to say thank you lately, remember that gratitude will make your serotonin soar when you’re feeling down.

And now, helpful reminders for when you’re having a bad day. These are the simple but incredibly important things that we tend to overlook or forget when we’re running low on power.

1. Drink some water (or jump in the shower).

When was the last time you had a drink of water? When was the last time you took a shower? Drinking water or being near/in water are great ways to help yourself heal. When you’re overwhelmed, showering sometimes feels like the last thing to do, but it’s something that will help you get back to your center.

2. Make sure you’re eating.

When was the last time you ate? What have you been eating? There’s never a bad time to make a healthy choice when it comes to food. Ask yourself what kinds of foods generally make you feel energized, strong, and focused, and follow those instincts. Greasy foods have a time and a place, and it’s not usually when we need to be extra careful with our bodies and minds.

3. Get some sleep.

It is time to be very clear with yourself about the bedtime routine that will help you sleep as well as possible. What rituals can you start before going to bed that will help you rest more easily? Go to bed earlier, put your phone away, do the things you know will help you get more sleep.

4. Repeat a mantra.

I have certain mantras for different periods of life. One for when I’m anxious (my anxiety feels worse than what I fear)one for when i’m sick (I trust my body and what it needs to do to heal)one for when i’m grieving (grief is part of the human experience)and one for when I’m dealing with tough decisions (there is no right or wrong, only forward).

Repeating these mantras helps me get my head in a place where I can become logical and rational again, and not let my thoughts slip away. What are the mantras that work for your life?

5. Cry.

It’s okay to cry.

Check in with yourself, and if you feel physically overwhelmed or need an emotional release, let out a few tears if you can. If you’re taking an SSRI, it can sometimes be harder to find this version, so when it comes, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. I cry a lot less now, so when I do, I make sure to give myself the time and space to let it out. And wow, does it feel good!

6. Practice acceptance.

Peace is being in the moment without judging. Worrying about what happened or what is in front of you is not a way to fix what you feel. Focus on what you are doing right now and try to do it without judgment. Check in with yourself and ask yourself, “Am I okay?” and try to be okay with it if the answer is no. (I understand that this isn’t possible in all circumstances, but when it is, it can be a useful perspective.)

7. Change your scenery.

Sometimes it can be tiring to stay in one place for too long. Ask yourself if you need a change of scenery to help adjust your state of mind for the better. If you do, something as simple as moving to another room, another work space, or a neighborhood park can help you reset yourself and start anew.

8. Call a friend.

If social interaction sounds appealing to you, making a simple phone call to a friend or family member (or getting a hug from someone, if that’s an option for you) can help you get out of whatever spiral you’re currently in. .

9. Spend some time alone.

Sometimes you need social interaction (see above). In other cases, interacting with others can be exhausting. When that happens, if you can, spend some time with yourself doing a favorite activity, thinking a little, or doing nothing.

10. Put down your phone.

The new iOS system has widgets that let you check how much screen time you’ve used, something I find so useful for keeping my phone usage under control. If you’re feeling burnt out by technology, put your phone in another room and focus, literally, on anything the rest.

11. Take a few deep breaths.

When we feel stressed, one of the first things we should do is take a deep, intentional breath. Pay attention to your breathing patterns during times of stress. You may find that you are holding your breath at times or taking short, shallow breaths without even realizing it. The next time you experience anxiety, try practicing belly breathing; you might be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

We’re never going to completely eliminate bad days, but we can find ways to make them better when they do happen. Here’s to better bad days for all of us.

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