My Top Ten Tips When Feeling Low
Change is not easy and can leave many of us challenged: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Covid-19 has turned all of our habits upside down and has been such a magnifier in our lives. It has magnified our resourcefulness, resilience and our strengths but it has also put the spotlight on some of our weaknesses. As the pandemic continues, it’s likely that our mood can/will change.
Changing a Low Mood
Very recently I was asked to share some of my tips in an online session for a large corporate group in Cork, Ireland. The session was to help their workforce (now mostly working from home) to stay calm and balanced and learn to lift a low mood. I shared some of my favourite go-to tips with them and the feedback was extremely positive.
So here they are. These have been life-savers for me during my life. They have really been tried and tested. Like anything, these suggestions are practices that should be done daily to ensure our internal happiness tank is buoyant and remains replenished:
- Meditate – Learn to meditate. It will help you through the toughest times.
Start by sitting up straight, putting your feet on the ground, breathing slowly and deeply from your abdomen and close your eyes. Just focus on your breath and see if you can do that for 10 long, slow deep breaths, then open your eyes and check how you feel.
There are loads of ways you can meditate e.g. while walking, stirring your cup of tea, doing the dishes, not just sitting on a cushion in lotus position. In fact, it’s one thing to be able to do this when all is happy and well, it’s another to be able to do this while home-schooling kids; worried about your job or finances; concerned about your parents or experiencing tensions in relationship.
So be gentle with yourself to start with. If you’d like to listen to a guided meditation – sign up for a free one here and then listen to it in the comfort of your home
- Change your Stance – when we are sad our posture changes. Our head is down. We tend to stoop. Our shoulders drop and round forward and we collapse in our midriff. Then we become lost in our thoughts. These can turn negative, or become harsh, critical and judgmental towards ourselves.
To change your stance and your mood, mindfully stand up straight, bring your shoulders back. Look up or ahead of yourself. This will begin to change your thoughts and associated feelings in your body. Try it… And be mindful when your posture changes back.
- Get out of your Head – stop incessant thoughts/feelings by taking time to:
- Explore your neighbourhood – down a street/a neighbourhood you’ve never ventured before. View everything through the eyes of a tourist – seeing it for the first time
- Watch a movie – watch a funny movie like Laurel & Hardy – something that will make you laugh, or re-watch your all-time favourite movie(s)
- Tune in – make a playlist of your most favourite or funky or uplifting tunes
- Get out in nature (if you can at this time) – and walk barefoot. If you can’t into nature, walk in your garden, or open up the windows and bring in some fresh air into your home/apartment
- Sage your home – or diffuse some uplifting essential oils into your space e.g. * lemon, lavender, geranium, orange, ylang ylang
- Practice yoga – especially those poses where your head is lower than your body e.g. downward dog, shoulder stand, headstand etc. If you don’t do yoga, then lie on your body with your feet up against the wall and breathe deeply
- Read a book – loose yourself in a gripping novel
- Take a luxurious bath – complete with soft lighting/candles and essential oils (see above *) or Epsom salts, seaweed and music – a cuppa or even a glass of your favourite drink etc.
- Get Creative – activate your right brain and come out of your left brain by:
- Renovating an old piece of furniture – give it a new twist, paint it etc.
- Bake, decorate a cake – fill the house with yummy smells too!
- Do some Gardening – plant seeds, take care of your garden, grow herbs or veggies
- Make something – using arts and crafts or paint or knit or sew
- Write in your Journal – start a Gratitude Diary – reflect each day on 3 things you are grateful for – that includes: people, places, events, or experiences. Make an Inspirational Book – combine holiday photos and make albums with your loved ones; or collect your favourite poems, or prayers, song lyrics, phrases from your favourite novels put them into your journal. File your favourite recipes together – and then bake!
- Dance to your favourite music – or play your favourite pieces of music and imagine yourself dancing (if you are unable to move your body the way you used to). This will certainly raise a smile. Smiling releases a powerful anti-depressant called serotonin into your blood stream which will give you a boost
- Pen a Song – or a poem or story…or two!
- Make Other People Happy – plan a treat for someone you love. Think about how you can create more happiness for others in your life – whether that’s with a homemade card, a little party, make their favourite foods/cakes or have an online coffee catchup or an cocktail party with your friends – plan something special as a surprise for the special people in your life!
- Nourish Yourself Well – Create healthy snacks and eat nourishing foods to balance your blood sugar – for example: oily fish, leafy green vegetables, avocados, tofu, oats, bananas, lentils, organic nuts – especially brazil nuts, snack on seeds, figs, raspberries, raw cacao, 85% dark chocolate – avoid refined sugary foods like milk/white chocolate, cake and biscuits as these will only give you a temporary feeling of elation
- Hydrate Yourself – Ensure you are drinking plenty of fresh water, decrease your caffeine intake (have it only in the morning or stop caffeinated drinks by 3pm). After that you can detox and be able to sleep at night. Avoid reaching for alcohol. This will not help in the short nor the long-term, can cloud your judgment and negatively change your mood
- Make a Treasure Chest – this can be created in your bedside locker/cabinet in a drawer or by using a large jar or even with a shoebox. Every time you experience an event or a situation that makes you smile; laugh; feel proud; moved; joyful; satisfied; happy; loved; appreciated – write it down on a piece of paper. Fold and place it into your treasure chest. When you need a quick boost, take the papers out and read the notes
- Think yourself Happy – use your mind in a different way and think about all the things that make you happy. Reflect on times gone by with your family/friends or on holidays. Memories like these will flood your body with feel good hormones. Decide and make a conscious choice to change what you have been focusing on, switch off the TV and return to those happy times!
- Collect Jokes – Find some funny jokes and share them with friends and family. Happiness comes from experiencing something funny and laughter is infectious. When you laugh for 20 minutes each day (even if it’s fake/forced) you will produce endorphins that make your body feel good. Be sure to laugh with people – not at them.
Low Mood – Self- Love
Essentially for me the way to change my mood quickly is to do ONE thing everyday that brings me joy – whatever it is! That could be reading a magazine, having a nice herbal tea, using essential oils on my body, taking care of my hands and nails. It’s about self-love.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Andy Warhol:
“You have to be willing to get happy about nothing”
So true…even more so now!
Do let me know of your own tips that help you – or if you try some of these here, which ones work for you.
If you are still struggling with a low mood, then consider working online with a practitioner or therapist who you trust. They can help support you and make positive changes so that during this time of lock-down you can still start to feel happier. Considering using this time to make changes inside so that you can evolve and grow.
Due to Covid-19 our appointments are now only available online. We can still work together online via Skype and Zoom from the comfort of your office/home. Feel free to contact us. Call us on: (Ireland) 0871492338 or (UK) 07857369619 for a chat.
You might also like to help change your mind with one of our MP3 relaxation recordings. For details click here