- Tuesday, 12 September 2017

10 Ways To Bring A Down Day Back Up

This wasn't the blog post I had planned to write today, but I had a pretty damn pants day so this is what I'm doing. I'm going to eat an orange, and plug myself into my chirpy sunshine playlist on spotify (which I will probably switch off soon because it will no doubt stop me from concentrating), and sit next to a radiator and write.

Instead of focusing on the rubbishness of today (honestly, don't even ask, just one of those one-thing-on-top-of-another days where you just feel crapola by the end of it all), I decided that my time and energy would be much better spent dwelling on things that are either non-rubbish, or help to alleviate the rubbishness. Let's goooooo.

1. BorrowMyDoggy
This was the first thing I did when I decided that today has been Just Too Much: I finally caved and paid the squiddly £13 for a year's premium membership, which means I now have a year of meeting and borrowing and cuddling and walking and playing with and teaching tricks to any and all dogs that Cardiff (or wherever I may be) has to offer. It's like Tinder but nicer and less judgey, and with dogs. You should do it regardless of how good your day was.

- interval to switch off my music so I can concentrate, as predicted -

2. Talking to yo 'rents (or non-rents)
I lie, *this* was the first thing I did. I called my mum, told her of my BorrowMyDoggy plan (she was very supportive of my excellent idea), breathed extremely calmly so as not to lose the plot, told her what was causing me stress, and listened to her incredibly helpful advice of "don't be stressed," because she definitely understands how brains work. (Joking Mum your advice was v great and valuable xoxoxoxoxo). Moral of the story: speak to a friend/family member/pet and you will feel better.

3. Food
When I eventually got home after much palaver, I had many many many vegetables balanced out by some chocolate oatcakes and free from rocky road. Eat things that will fuel your body and brain to function as best they can, as a combination of nutrient-rich things (veggies, fruit, grainy bits and bobs) and not-so-nutrient-rich things. I'm all for people leading a life of ├╝ber-healthy everything that will nourish your body, but sometimes if you feel a bit a terrible you just need something that will nourish your soul.

4. Tunes
Like I said above, I enjoy my chirpy sunshine playlist unbelievable amounts. I have never been so selective with what makes it onto a playlist as I am with this one. The songs that get onto chirpy sunshine are exclusively upbeat, and only make you feel, obviously, chirpy. I find that my mood is ridiculously easily influenced by the music I'm listening to, which I always thought was the same for everyone but apparently it's not? I maintain that this is the norm, and people whose moods are independent of an arbitrary outside influence that has absolutely nothing to do with how they are feeling are, in fact, the anomalies...

5. Get moving
As I write this, I'm waiting until I need to leave the house to go and brave the torrential rain (thank you oh so much, Cardiff) to walk to my handstand workshop. I go to handstands every Tuesday, and always look forward to it because not only does it get you moving and release a ton of those all-important endorphins, but it also ticks off suggestion numero dos in that it's a social activity so you chat to people and get out of your own little bubble. You don't need to go to a class though in order to get moving - on non-Tuesdays I am prone to a home yoga session, or a good old red-faced, sweaty, out-of-breath and muy unattractive run, after which I am invariably incredibly soggy because Cardiff is never dry for more than about half a minute (jokes I love u Cardiff). The point is that you can get yourself up and about without the need for anything else, although sometimes being booked into a class is handy because is spurs you on. Whatever works for you.

(Bonus oversharing detail: Mum said that she thinks handstands will be a good thing to do this evening because "You can get rid of all the toxins out of your head." Can you tell where my extreme wisdom and unrivalled intelligence comes from?)

6. Squeaky clean
Very simple but so often overlooked - a nice, hot shower, preferably with a heavy dose of shower karaoke thrown in for good measure. It's amazing what something as simple as a shower can do for making you feel better - I don't know if it's the brain subconsciously washing away the unwanted vibes or what, but it works.

7. Hobby things
What would you do in your free time if you didn't have social media? Think about it. THINK. Now go and do that. Maybe you're writing, maybe you're drawing, maybe you're composing music, maybe you're cooking, who knows - just go and do it and leave the social media for another time.

8. Just be
Okay, now take that a step further and leave everything for another time. Take five or ten minutes and just be. Sit comfortably and take in your surroundings, see if you can identify 10 different sounds, see if you can tune in to all five of your senses, see if you can really ground yourself where you are and feel a sense of connectedness with the world around you. Don't write it off as sounding too wishy-washy, because it is practised the world over and really, really makes a difference.

9. Plan
Today might not have been great; tomorrow will be, though. And so will overmorrow (yes that is the correct term). And next week will be, too. How do you know? Because you are going to plan things to look forward to. Are you looking after a German Pointer on Wednesday? Are you going to a sourdough pizza event on Thursday? Are you flying home on Friday? Is it your 21st birthday on Saturday? Are you also going to make everyone continue your 21st birthday celebration into Sunday? Give yourself set things to look forward to, and there will be something good in every day.

10. Bed
Bed sleeping or bed reading or bed listening to the radio or a podcast or literally anything that helps you relax. An early night can do wonders. And a bad day is only just that - a bad day. That means that when you wake up, it's a new day and it's not the bad day any more; you can actively decide to make it a good day. And the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner you wake up into the next day and leave this one behind.


So there we go. I hope any (or all?) of these help you at some point, maybe now but equally maybe not now but in the future instead, because even just writing this has reminded me of all the nice things that can make a down day feel level again.





(And yes I did use this as an excuse to look at stock photos of miniature Australian Labradoodles.)

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