I often find when the days get shorter, and the mornings darker – it’s easy to fall into a funk (a seasonal funk) and not feel like our best-selves all the time. I have put together a few of my favourite things to do when life gets like this, I hope they help you as much as they help me!
Lets start with the simple things.
SMILE. Smile when you’re in the car, when you’re cleaning the house, when you’re getting ready for the day. Yes you might look like a looney at the supermarket smiling your way through the veg counters (or tryna’ smile through the things you don’t enjoy like picking up your dogs crap or scraping ice off you car at 7am) but smiling is contagious. Smiling changes the chemicals in our brain, we can literally trick ourselves into being happy!
MUSIC. Blast your favourite upbeat playlist, dance, sing out loud. SHAKE YA BUTT. My favourite playlist at the moment is “Pop Relax” by Spotify. (I have also been blasting Mariah Carey and any Christmas classic since November 2nd, but this is of course optional).
SELF CARE. Self care is different for everyone, it can be as small as taking a few moments for yourself a cup of tea with your favourite biscuits. Mine are a hot shower, yummy smelling lotions and the comfiest PJ’s, other days it could be a massage, or a trip to the Nail Shop and treating myself to a mani pedi – choosing bright and brilliant colours! Whatever it is you choose to do, give yourself some time to relax and recharge in the best way for you.
PHONE DETOX (ish). We can do so much on our phone these days, it’s hard to be away from them for more than a few hours. We don’t have to totally restrict our time on our phones or social media, but instead use our time on it more wisely. Unfollow accounts that make you feel crappy – follow more mindful profiles, people who are making a genuine difference. Check out: @upworthy and @mindbodygreen, these are some of my favourites for a daily dose of goodness. Message friends and family, stop endlessly scrolling. Sign up to email letters from your favourite writers/authors and get interesting facts and quotes sent to your phone on the daily. I have signed up to James Clear’s (Author of Atomic Habits) emails and absolutely love them! When you wake up in the morning, let yourself be awake for at least 30 minutes before checking on your phone (and make sure its on silent while you sleep!) I try and leave checking my phone (or at least social media) as one of the last things I do each morning.
MOVE YOUR BODY. Every morning I wake up and tune into my body. Some days it’s a sweaty gym session or a fun exercise class, other days it’s a walk in the park (for example, taking our untrained Frenchie for a walk is a workout in itself). Either way, getting your body moving releases the stale energy and makes room for fresh joyful energy!
STOP BEING SO DAMN BUSY. It’s okay to cancel plans sometimes. It is okay to say no to things if you aren’t feeling up for it. Learn to put your wellbeing first. We don’t have to be busy all the time. I used to hate not having a plan for each day – I’d panic at the thought blank space on my calendar and soon find something to fill that time up. Now however, if I have a free week of evenings and no plans, it’s just about the best week ever! When we are busy all the time, we aren’t fully present with what’s going on in the moment – we rush from one thing to the next and in doing so we don’t give ourselves fully to anything.
I know in my case I was desperate to stay busy the whole time to avoid my actual problems. Issues that need to be dealt with can be easily avoided with distractions and excuses. It wasn’t until I made the decision to make more time for myself and leave behind the hectic city life that I came face to face with a lot of things I had been suppressing. Our problems don’t magically go away because we sweep them under the carpet. Don’t wait for them to get worse before you address them. Less busyness. More time being present.
GRATITUDE. Take a moment a day to think about all the good in your life. Check your privilege. We can get so busy chasing the next thing that we take for granted the things we already have right in front of us. Think of your circumstances, the people in your life and the miracles that have led you to be right here, right now (exactly where you need to be). Waking up each day is a blessing, making breakfast, getting to work safely, your health – I could go on and on! Even if you feel there isn’t much to be grateful for that day – there is always be something.
Something that has helped me in the past, is to think about three good things in my life that are happening currently. I think about the small moments that have lead me to these achievements and focus on how i can emulate them again to remedy the harder times. I have no doubt you will see that the good always outweighs the bad. Journaling has helped me massively! You don’t have to write more than a few sentences each day, I try and write down what I am grateful for that day – big or small. I had always believed I was grateful person, I appreciated my life and the people in it, but it wasn’t until I realised the power of saying “THANK YOU” for what I have, that I started to practise REAL gratitude. The kinda gratitude that will change your life. If you want to know more about the importance of gratitude, and how it can bring even more blessings into your life, I highly recommend reading The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.
TALK TO SOMEONE. This is something I have really been working on the last few months, reaching out when I am struggling instead of keeping it to myself. If you are someone who loves to help others, yet struggle to help yourself, just remember that you can’t give from an empty cup! Look out for yourself, reach out to friends and family. In the past, I would never want anyone to worry about me, so I never told anyone. I found myself suffering in silence for a really long time. It doesn’t have to be like that. It can be as easy as a phone call, a 30 minute coffee date, or a walk with a close friend. I’m certain my boyfriend and I’s best chats are when we are walking the dog. Talking to people always puts things in perspective.
Our minds have a habit of making things seem worse than they are. When we open up, we are able to see things differently, someone may say “Hey! I went through the same thing and this is what helped me”. Your problem will seem smaller and small problems are easier to over come! Either way, no matter how big or small your problem is, you are never a burden. Your needs and emotions are just as important as everyone else’s.
I hope you are able to take something away from this post, I hope that these tips can help you as much as they help me. Time to enjoy this festive period as the very best version of you possible.