We all need a little pick-me-up every now and again, sometimes just… Well just because.
A stressful week at work, friend/ family/ relationship drama, lack of sleep, insecurities, no motivation, bad weather… Oh how the list goes on. There are so many things that so easily knock us down. What’s not always so easy? Getting back up again.
Here are a few suggestions of things I have found can help me get myself up, dust myself off and get back to bossing it (or trying to).
1. Baking and cooking
There is something honestly so satisfying about taking a heap of ingredients and turning them into something edible and (usually… Hopefully… Mildly…) delicious. Decorating cakes, with the concentration, precision and dedication is definitely therapeutic!
The best thing about it is that once it’s done you can share it, and sharing something you’ve made from scratch makes all the effort put into it worthwhile.
2. A long, long walk. Whatever the weather!
In fact, there’s something about taking a stroll in the rain that’s quite… cleansing. With my hood up, that pitter-patter sound of raindrops on treetops, the hazy blurring affect it has on the landscape and the fact you’re less likely to encounter other people… There’s something mesmerising about it.
Of course I wouldn’t be one to turn down a backpack filled with goodies on a sunny day, exploring until you find a spot with views so stunning you have no choice put to take a perch and absorb the beauty of nature. Whilst swatting flies and reapplying suncream.
Yep, I love a bit of crafting. It’s something we often often associate with children at school during wet play, or the elderly and their obsession with wrapping us up in woollen goods. But what about all the ages in between?!
Take some old jeans, add in some rips and fraying and you’ve got yourself something new to wear for nothing! Give something old a new life; rejunivation and being thrifty feels good!
4. Having a good clean
This one seems obvious to me… A cluttered room/ house/ desk equals a cluttered mind, how can you think clearly when the space around you is anything but?!
Have a good clean and feel refreshed when you can actually see some floorspace again!
5. Read a book
And I mean from start to finish, without skimming. To me this is second nature, it’s people who don’t always have a book on the go I worry about. Losing yourself in a book is a way to escape into another life, get away from your own for a while.
Perhaps something is making you particularly sad, so you need to read something humourous. Let yourself be reminded that laughter is real.
Perhaps you need something relatable. To understand we all can go through struggles may help you carry your own load.
Plus it’s a sense of accomplishment which is pretty rewarding when you close up that back cover, mind filled with conversation and opinions about what you’ve just read, the world you’ve just been sucked into and then mercilessly spat back out again.
6. Making and smashing an (achievable) list
Now, this is the key: making it achievable. I get it, you’ve so much you need to get done, and it has to be done by yesterday… But writing down a to-do list that you know you won’t be able to tick off and unceremoniously throw away like a shotput is only going to make you feel worse.
You need the accomplishment of getting stuff done, so write a list of things you can actually do. Do them. Cross list off, scratch the hell out of it if it helps. Throw list away. Weight lifted. Focus on next list.
If the list is looking too long give yourself time limits instead. Don’t tell yourself you need to complete your whole list, tell yourself to get as much done in one hour.
Separate to cleaning – this actually involves getting rid of stuff not just hiding it in a cupboard.
This could be applied to so much: your wardrobe, old gym kit, e-mails, receipts that you keep but you never go through because no one wants proof of how much they spend on lipstick, hole ridden socks, even your spice rack. Get rid of what you don’t need and it’ll help free up some head space too.
8. Teach yourself something
You may never need to know the order of the kings and queens of England, but the knowledge that you have knowledge is powerful.
That feeling of finally ‘getting’ something is pretty good, and you never know what might pop up in a pub quiz…
9. Do something different
I’ve only just started on this one, but it’s something I want to do more and more of. Get yourself out there, tip toe out of your comfort zone because how can you expand as a person if your surrounding yourself with one big blanket-like barrier that’s holding you in.
Wear earrings, go to a yoga class (even if it is singular), go to a museum alone, plant a flower if you’ve never touched a terracotta pot in your life, wear yellow, get your hair cut into a bob (maybe start with the ‘lob’!), make your own curry instead of getting a take away (see point 1, a double whammy means you’re twice as good right?!) Just do something you wouldn’t normally do and let that sense of pride wash over you, you deserve it!
10. Do something for someone else
It’s kind of selfish really, to help someone knowing it’ll make you feel better, but it is a win-win situation really, and I doubt the recipient will be complaining.
Make a friend a cake, give your mum some flowers, cook your partner a meal, clean your sister’s car when you do your own, bring your colleagues breakfast pastries… Show people kindness and you’re more likely to get it back.
Now these might not all work, so don’t take my advice as gospel. But they help me out, so if one of these can help you feel even a smidgen better, well that’s as much success as I need!