I am pretty lucky, for some reason I have a natural predisposition to be optimistic and happy. I genuinely feel blessed to be healthy, doing something I love and to have amazing people in my life.
However this week I lost my merry a little. A few events happened that threw me around mentally, and then I got sick which left me a little behind with work.
I didn’t have the energy to reply to simple texts, emails and every time I looked in the mirror I felt pretty unattractive. My nose was red, my eyes were puffy and my hair a constant frizz ball.
So I started to recall the things I do to lift my spirits and thought I would share them for those suffering the winter blues or sickness.
- Exercise/getting outside – Normally my go-to for happiness is to put my iPod in and go for a run or hit the gym to do some weights/yoga class. If you don’t run or you’re not a gym person (or you’re sick), going for a little walk outside to get some vitamin D is also really effective.
- Music – I have a few songs that really lift my mood when I am down. I play them while I am making breakfast, sing them in the shower and sometimes even break into dance while I am by myself in my office haha (I am not even joking!). Find some songs you love that make you smile (doesn’t matter how embarrassing) play them through your iPod or in the car and have a little sing or dance.
- Food – If I am feeling down, generally eating clean healthy food makes me feel better, especially after exercise. Getting home and having a green smoothie makes me feel like I have just received an A+ for life! However, sometimes when you’re sick you also need to pay attention to foods your body is craving and that lift your morale. For me this week it has been chicken soup, cheesy pasta, cheese flavoured corn chips and marvellous creations chocolate. To quote my nephew Henry ‘these are sometimes foods only’.
- Lists – When I am feeling 100% I normally follow a daily list of all the things I need to achieve which align to my weekly goals. However, when you’re sick or very down you may need to keep it pretty simple and almost back to basics. For example today my list was: shower, wash hair, do my washing and complete 4 work tasks and watch a movie. But your list might be even more basic than this. For me, writing a list and physically ticking off items gives me a sense of accomplishment and productivity.
- Writing – I have always found writing therapeutic. Sometimes when you’re feeling really unhappy about an event, it is easy to channel your mind into further unhappiness because that event takes up all your focus. I try to write down some things I am grateful for in life and also list achievements I am proud of, I then also write down why I am upset so I can get it all out of my head. You don’t need to have all the answers, however for me putting pen to paper clears up some space in my head and helps me gain perspective.
- Positive energy – I am so lucky to live with the most amazing 3 individuals who completely warm my heart every time I see them. They are always there to help pick me up when I am feeling down and I love our funny random chats and adventures. I think it’s good to know your friends who give you positive energy and good advice. Of course it’s great to talk to them, however it’s also good to have a fun distraction.
Warnings. When you’re sick or mentally vulnerable, these are my be carefuls …
- I try to stay off social media. Whilst I love social media and it plays an important part of my business, you can get caught wasting a lot of time and comparing your life to those around you. And when you’re laying in bed with a tissue up your nose, or have been crying because the boy you love has moved on, it is easy to feel like everyone around you is prettier, happier and more successful than you. However, we know the reality of social media is that it is only the best parts of people’s lives and their most attractive photos. I sometimes even look at my own personal Facebook and think ‘gee, my life looks exciting and I always look hot’ – however I know they are the top 10% of photos (and for every photo, maybe 20 others photos didn’t make the cut).
- Don’t make big decisions. If possible, I try and stay away from the big-ticket items when I am down or sick, especially with my personal life. It is always okay to leave things a couple of days, or sleep on a big decision if you’re physically upset about the event.
- TV/Movies – This is not a ‘stay away’ it’s a be careful of what you watch. For example, if you have just gone through a break up – do not watch The Notebook. I always stick with the light hearted, fun loving, trash TV shows or movies, often childhood favourites.
- Alcohol and big nights out – This for me is also a be careful. Obviously if you’re sick you should definitely not go out, but if you are feeling a little fragile about an event or relationship sometimes a big night out can leave you feeling even worse the following day. So if you do want to get out, make sure you’re with people who love and care for you and that you will have lots of laughs with (and don’t send any drunkie texts!).
Remember, it is 100% normal to not always be merry and beaming smiles. Life absolutely will throw us some tough situations that will leave us unhappy and it’s important to acknowledge the events and respond to them.
This is just my ‘get Dani Merry again’ list. What’s yours?