Everyone feels vulnerable, sad, and lonely from time to time but if you know how to cheer yourself up, then you’ll get through many of those tough moments just fine.
If you’re just having a bad day (or week) and need to cheer up, try some of the following. I hope you feel better soon!
1. Make your own CHEER UP book. If you’re experiencing lots of days of feeling down, you might benefit from creating your own “Cheer Up” book. Create a list (like this one) of every activity you can think of that will cheer you up. Type it up, add some pictures, print it out, and have it bound.
2. Breathe. Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that releases tension from the body and clears the mind. You tend to breathe shallowly or even hold your breath when you are feeling anxious. Many people do this and are not even aware of it. Shallow breathing limits your oxygen intake and adds further stress.
3. Water. Drink some water. Mmmmm…water. Dehydration can cause a variety of problems, including imbalances in your noggin. So fill up a glass with that clear liquid and take it down. While you’re at it, why don’t you take a multivitamin just for good measure? Don’t stop at that one glass. Be sure to have a few through the rest of the day.
4. Hugs. If a friend or loved one is available, go snag a hug from them. You have to give a hug to get one. Sometimes all we need is a good old fashion hug. A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that hugs increase the “bonding” hormone oxytocin and decrease the risk of heart disease. Touch also releases two feel-good brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.
5. Play with a dog. If you don’t have one, go get one! When I say play, I mean really play. Get down on the ground, chase her around, throw her “ball” and have a good old time. You’ll be spreading some love, exercising, and making both you and her feel better.
6. Caffeine. Go get a soda or coffee (iced or hot). Caffeine is a natural mood enhancer. Not only does it taste good in coffee and soda and make you feel better – it also helps to get out of the house to get some fresh air. For a couple dollars, this is a cheap and pleasurable pick-me-up.
7. Call a friend. Open up that cell phone, and start going down the contact list. If you’re not willing to call them (unless it’s a professional contact), then maybe you should delete them. Family members and friends should be available to support one another. A good old-fashion chat will add a new perspective on life in general, and it might provide some pleasant distraction from whatever is getting you down.
8. Watch a funny movie. If you have the time, slip in one of your favorite comedies or go rent one. And when you get to the funny parts, give yourself permission to laugh and laugh hard. Laughter is very good for you, especially when you don’t think you can.
These should lift your spirits right up! Commit to just 15 minutes, and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll want to keep going after your 15 minutes are up.