Having a truly crappy day? Give yourself a break with these turnarounds:
Connect. When something really painful happens, I immediately reach out to two people: my partner, Mark, and my best friend. I can always count on Mark to give me a hug and put a cat on my lap, and my best friend will sit on the phone with me while I cry, and offer to exact revenge on anyone who has wronged me. Even if I’m not ready to talk about it and my best friend (probably) won't publicly shame anyone, knowing that they have my back is comforting. Someone loves you and wants to be there for you, too. Let them know you need support right now, even if it’s just a text to say, “Today was the worst. Can you remind me that it’s going to be ok?”
Find (or borrow) a furry friend. We don’t give companion animals enough credit for responding to our distress with affection. Being around them can reduce our stress and blood pressure, and even reduce some symptoms of depression. Is there really anything that can’t be cured by holding a puppy? Maybe allergies, but you get my point.
Get some sun. While tempting, staying holed up under the covers all day when you are already feeling low may not turn your day around for the better. Getting sunlight on your face can help you feel more alert, and even just 5 minutes in nature can boost your mood and self esteem, especially if you’re being active while you’re outside.
Turn yourself upside down. Strange as it may seem, being upside down can be a serious pick-me-up. If you can do it safely, a pose like handstand can energize you and offer an endorphin boost. For a more accessible anytime inversion, try “legs up the wall” pose. Sit on the ground with one hip hip touching the wall. Place your hands on the ground behind you and lie back, sending your legs up to rest against the wall. Relax here and breathe into your belly for several minutes.
Laugh. It’s no wonder people say laughter is the best medicine. Physiologically speaking, laughing makes us breathe faster so we are getting more oxygen, and our heart rate and blood pressure increase, mimicking light physical activity. But on a more human level, it helps to be reminded that life doesn’t have to be so serious. This can be as quick and easy as watching a funny video. Here’s one of my favorite go-to’s. What’s yours?
Get an early night. We’re more vulnerable to the world’s heaviness when we haven’t slept well. A good night’s sleep can make even the most uncomfortable situations more manageable. Let your rough day be an excuse to go to bed a little earlier, and wake up better prepared to handle whatever tomorrow throws your way.
Want more support for practicing unapologetic self kindness?