It’s not uncommon to feel a little down in the dumps every now and then. Sometimes, the black cloud of crankiness settles itself over your head and pours unhappiness until you’re soaked through to despair. When you’re having a day where you feel upset and emotional, it’s important to have a few tricks up your sleeve to pull yourself out of the slump. Whether you’re upset because your lover left you or your cat has a cold, or if you’re just having a general case of the blahs, this list of suggestions should help to pull you out of your funk.
1. indulge in some animal therapy. If you have a pet of your own, spend some time snuggling or playing with them. If you don’t own an animal, visit a friend who does. If neither option is available, travel to your local pet store to check out the puppies and kittens.
2. Call up a close friend for a chat. Even if you don’t talk about what’s bothering you, just hearing their voice might be enough to put a smile on your face.
3. Run yourself a bath and dump in a load of bubble bath. Then, sink into the bubbles and enjoy your favorite book while you soak.
4. Go down to the art supply store and stock up on chalks, paints and pastels. Then, spend the afternoon drawing or painting. It doesn’t really matter whether you have any artistic talent or not, just enjoy yourself.
5. Take a mental health day. Call in sick to work or school and just stay at home and relax. Don’t get too caught up in getting things done or making the most of the day off, just do exactly what you want to do, for one whole day.
6. Go for a long, brisk walk through your neighborhood. Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
7. Grab a camera and take a bunch of photos of your favorite people. Have the pictures printed and then pin them all over your walls.
8. Treat yourself to one deliciously decadent purchase. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that you’ve been lusting after.
9. Eat Pop Rocks.
10. Go to your local playground and run amok. Swing on the swings, slide down the slides and make yourself nauseous on the merry-go-round.
11. Get in touch with a friend or relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Call or write to them and find out when you can catch up.
12. Wear a fabulous hat or a gorgeous hair ornament.
13. Put on your favorite album and dance uncontrollably. Close the blinds and lock the doors so that nobody can see you if you get self-conscious.
14. Try out a new recipe for something deliciously extravagant, like banoffee pie, red velvet cupcakes or mango sorbet.
15. Pack a picnic lunch and head to the park. Take along your best friends, your dog or your favorite stuffed animal.
16. Rearrange your living space. Put your trinkets and ornaments in different spots. Take all your photos out of their frames and replace them with new ones. Surround yourself with things that make you smile.
17. Wear a bright colour, even if it scares the bajeesus out of you.
18. Hire out a ridiculously hilarious film. Choose something with very little plot, but plenty of silliness to have you rolling on the floor with laughter. My suggestions include Anchorman, Happy Gilmore, Biodome, Hercules Returns and anything from the Monty Python Gang.
19. Head to a dingy karaoke bar and sing your troubles away.
20. Scream into a pillow.
21. Treat yourself to a deluxe pedicure, with a foot and leg massage.
22. Wear a tiara to do the housework.
23. Pin a whimsical bow into your hair.
24. Use a marker to write a dirty word on your inner thigh. Leave it on for the whole day, and giggle whenever you remember it’s there.
25. Eat a strawberry lollipop.
26. Smile at everyone. Compliment your bus driver, thank the waitress that brings you your lunch and grin at the cashier at your supermarket. Being polite and courteous to others can act as a happiness tonic.
27. Do yoga. It’s great for your flexibility, and it’s so, so relaxing.
28. Buy a hula hoop and spend a couple of hours trying to master a couple of tricks.
29. Try a change of scenery. Take your lunch or your work outside. Buy your morning coffee from a different café. Eat breakfast in bed instead of in front of the TV. A little change in scenery can leave you feeling all shiny and new in no time flat.
30. Change your computer desktop to something that makes you smile, like a picture of your friends or family. Mine’s a lolcat.
31. Wear your very best, super-special pair of underpants. You know, the ones you normally save for romantic rendezvous? Slip them on under your everyday wear for a little happiness boost.
32. Make a pot of peppermint tea and sip it while flipping through a glossy magazine.
33. Have a spring clean. Tidy up your makeup drawer, clean out your desk or tackle the mountain of clothing that’s teetering inside your wardrobe. Even if it’s only a small job, I always feel happier after I’ve organized something. Perhaps that’s just the nerd in me coming out?
34. Have a nap, complete with comfy pajamas, a satin eye-mask and clean pillow cases.
35. Build yourself a fort using the couch cushions and a blanket. Then, curl up inside with your favorite book or your laptop. It’s the perfect way to escape from the world.
36. Put glitter in your hair, on your nails, on your lips. A little dash of sparkle always improves my mood.
37. Take out a bunch of magazines and newspapers, a big sheet of paper and some scissors and glue and make an inspiration board. Clip out any pictures or words that take your fancy and glue them all on to the paper. You can choose a theme for your board or just go with anything that catches your eye. Then, hang your board somewhere where you will see it every day.
38. Buy yourself a whimsical mug to drink your tea or coffee from. That way, every sip will bring a little smile.
39. Start planning your next adventure. Think of something that you’ve always wanted to do, and then figure out what steps you need to take to make it happen. Buy a journal and dedicate it to this purpose. Then, whenever you’re feeling down, spend some time plotting and planning, working a little bit closer to your goal each time.
40. Write. Grab a journal or a piece of paper and just write down anything that comes into your head. You can write a story or narrate the events of your day. You can describe what’s getting you down or just scribble random words. I find the very process of putting pen to paper so cathartic and wonderful.
What do you like to do when your mood hits a bit of a snag? What’s your sure-fire way to feel better? If you have any suggestions to add to this list, I’d love to hear them.