If you’re feeling down on yourself, overwhelmed, or lost, here are five easy things you can do to help put you in a better mindset.
1. Look at Cute Videos of Baby Animals
Unless you somehow hate all animals, baby animals make the world seem like a better place. The smile response is pretty instantaneous. For one of my favorite baby animal videos, check out Nayembi, a baby Gorilla at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Spoiler Alert: The girl likes her broccoli!
2. Do a 5 Minute Meditation
I like to use the app, Calm (available on Android and iOS). If you prefer not to use an app, you can simply focus on your breath. There are many variations on breath work meditation. My favorite to do to calm myself down is to breathe in for 4 counts and breathe out for 8 counts. This helps you to breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly.
3. Remember to HALT
HALT is a technique that asks you to examine whether you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Sometimes you may be feeling down, but are not sure why. Remembering to HALT will help you pinpoint what you are feeling, so that you can do something about it. If you’re hungry, eat a healthy snack. If you’re angry, you could vent your feelings by writing in your journal. If you’re lonely, reach out to a friend by phone or text. Or better, yet, schedule some time to hang out face to face. Finally, if you’re tired, make sure to get enough sleep.
4. Put Away Your Screen
Right now, we live in a world where screens are everywhere. They are at home, at work, and in your pocket. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of sorts, even looking away from your screen for 5 minutes can be helpful. It also has the added benefit of resting your eyes.
If you’re not sure what to do with yourself without your screen, that’s a sign that you may need to limit your screen time. It’s okay to start out slowly! Try mindfully brewing yourself a cup of coffee or tea. Or refill your water bottle and sip it slowly for five minutes.
5. Plan Something Fun to Look Forward To
When you’re feeling sad, a great trick to feeling better quickly is to make plans to do something incredibly fun or enjoyable. When it comes time to do the thing you planned, you’ll make yourself feel much better. However, the anticipation of the fun event will make you feel better even sooner.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Check the upcoming showtimes at your local movie theater. Pick a showing and put that on your calendar. If it’s a particularly popular movie, you can buy your ticket in advance.
- Plan a board game night with your friends
- Check out a local event website and pick any event that appeals to you and fits your schedule.
- Text a long-distance friend that you haven’t heard from lately and plan a Skype date.
I’d love to hear your suggestions as well. Please let me know in the comments what helps you when you’re feeling down. Take care!