You know it’s gonna be one of those days as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky because as far as you know, there’s a 100% chance of cloudy skies in your own little world.
Lately, since getting back from the U.S., finding a good routine has been a struggle. A new city, still house-hunting, new friends, everything. Not being completely settled makes it difficult to keep a consistent daily routine. This week has been one of those weeks. So here’s what I’ve been doing to keep myself from spiraling into a depressive hole.
- Get Out Of Bed
It’s easy to just write the day off when you’re not quite feeling like your sparky self. But the goal here is to “get out of a funk”, not encourage it. And staying in bed won’t help even if it feels like it’s just what you need. For me, the only thing that seems to get me out of bed is coffee. So have something to look forward to, even if it is something as simple as coffee, whatever will get you out of bed.
- Get Dressed
Even if you’re not planning on getting out of the house that day, changing out of your pajamas/loungewear can change your mood. This doesn’t mean you have to wear uncomfortable clothes. Usually, my go-to outfit for staying home but still wanting to feel put together is some high-waisted linen pants with an elastic waistband or comfortable jeans paired with a basic crop or tee tucked in. I’ll also brush my hair and put on a little makeup. This may not be something you want to do but I find that it boosts my confidence, which helps me feel that tiny bit better. And if you’re anything like me, sometimes later in the day I’ll feel like getting out of the house briefly. If I’m not dressed and looking presentable, it just makes it that much harder to make the effort. So if I’m already ready for the day, I’m more likely to get out.
- Eat Breakfast
Take some time to make yourself something nutritious to start off your day. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Some easy go-tos for me are:
- Oatmeal with cinnamon, berries, and honey
- Coconut yogurt topped with sliced bananas, granola, and honey
- Avocado toast
These are simple, healthy options that don’t take too much effort and also don’t leave the kitchen a mess. This keeps me from opting for junk food to snack on throughout the day. It also keeps your body and mind from feeling sluggish.
Writing things down is a great way to get to the bottom of why you’re not feeling like yourself. I find journaling similar to bouncing off ideas and thoughts with a friend. Even when I feel like I don’t know how to put my feelings into words, it eventually comes out and I surprise myself with the amount of things I’ve managed to bottle up. And usually, I’ll find that the root of the problem is irrelevant to what I’m actually stressed or anxious about.
I was reading an article in a Breathe magazine that talked about journaling as a form of creative self-expression. Writing stimulates the brain causing cortisol levels to drop. Dopamine is also released during the writing process. So if you think journaling is a waste of time that you could be using doing something “more productive”, think again. It will actually benefit you and your mental health in the long run. If you need help getting started, check out my blog post on How I Started Journaling Regularly.
- Complete An Easy Task
Whether it’s making the bed, unloading the dishwasher, or even just throwing out the trash, crossing out one small item off your to-do list can help get you going. Doing one small thing makes everything else seem that much more doable. And even if all you do that day is that one small task or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, a bunch of small tasks, in the large scheme of things, you will have actually accomplished more than what you expected of yourself that day. For me, my list usually consists of:
- laundry (folding/washing)
- dishes (washing/putting away)
- making the bed
- planning for the coming week
- answering texts I’ve put off
Your list will look different, so find tasks that don’t take too much of your mental energy and start there.
- Treat Yourself
We all deserve to treat ourselves, even on days where you feel like you got absolutely nothing done. Sometimes I find it difficult to justify reading a book, going out to get a coffee, buying that item you’ve been eyeing online, or just experimenting with my art supplies for the fun of it. And that’s usually on days when all I’ve managed to get done is a load of laundry. But I think we’ve grown up in a society where we think that we only deserve that “gold star” if we’ve put in the hard work. Our mental health is shoved aside, especially nowadays where it seems like every other person is dealing with mental health issues, “So what’s your excuse?”
But it takes so much energy to be constantly working against our minds, constantly fighting the urge to wallow in self-pity. That’s why, even on days when you did “absolutely nothing”, you feel exhausted and run down. That’s why I think it’s so important to treat yourself, especially on days when you’re in a bit of funk. It doesn’t mean going and spending money you don’t have. But just do something you enjoy like having a nice bath with some candles and a book, take yourself on a walk in nature, watch that movie you’ve been wanting to watch, grab a milkshake, whatever it is you like to do that you don’t let yourself do very often or don’t have the time to do. I think making it in one piece by the end of the day is a reason enough to celebrate, to be honest.
I hope this post has helped you or will help you in the future. I was writing a little every day working through a funk myself and happy that I can get this out there for anyone who needs a little boost. Let me know in the comments what you like to do when you’re having “one of those days.” I’d love to hear!