Sometimes there are days when you just don't feel like your normal self. Whether it's stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, or you're just "off," feeling bad can be a vicious cycle! First you feel bad, then you feel bad that you feel bad, only leading you to feel worse . . . see where this is going?
Fortunately, there are some really simple ways to turn your day around — and many of them are free! Try some quick fixes to bring yourself a burst of sunshine and a little extra happiness.
- Work it out. Yay endorphins! Feeling some anxiety? Anger? There are workouts for that. Even if you're just feeling "meh" for no particular reason, a nice, heart-pounding, supersweaty workout can help you feel normal again. Not into intense exercise? Go for a gentle yoga class to restore your body and brain.
- Connect with people you love. If you're feeling off, sometimes all you need is a little human connection to spark joy again. If you're stressed, vent to a family member or friend. Feeling sad? Maybe you need a hug from a significant other or time playing with your kids.
- Go for a walk. If you just can't bring yourself to do a workout, oftentimes a low-intensity walk can do the trick, too. Get your legs moving, change the scenery, take a break from technology and the stresses of the world, and give yourself a restart.
- Drink more water. Dehydration can actually lead to crankiness and moodiness and even trigger anxiety. Make sure you're hydrating — it might also be a good idea to avoid caffeine if you're feeling anxious.
- Gratitude journal. Take a few moments to journal and write down every single thing you're grateful for in your life. It may seem like a challenge at first, but dig deep to think of every teeny, tiny detail. Simply being grateful for being alive and being healthy is a wonderful place to start! It's been proven that practicing gratitude increases happiness and reduces stress.
- Get outside. A breath of fresh air and some nature does a body — and brain — a whole lot of good. Bonus points if you can walk barefoot or go into the woods (both of those reduce stress exponentially!).
- Meditate. Find a calm place where you can be undisturbed for a few minutes, and try meditation. It's a surefire way to clear your mind and get a nice reset.
- Treat yo' self. Self-care isn't just a buzz word, and it's definitely not selfish to make sure you're taking care of yourself when you're not feeling your normal self. Bring yourself joy by grabbing a smoothie from your favorite juice shop, buying flowers from the farmers market, or booking yourself a fancy workout that you wouldn't normally go to. Maybe a nice lunch with a friend or a shopping trip with your mom or a pedicure with your sister is what will give you a mood boost! Take a moment to turn off the stress and plan something nice for yourself, no matter how small.
- Laugh. Add some laughter to your life! Talk to your funny friend, scroll through some memes, binge-watch Friends, see a funny movie, or go to a comedy show. A little comedic relief can go a long way.