11 April 2016

10 Things To Do When Your Day Goes to Shit

Sometimes life wants to punch you in the face, and there is nothing you can do it control it, so you succumb to the resulting misery. It's dark, but it's a fact of life. Maybe everything that could go wrong did go wrong, or you were embarrassed in public, you're stressed out of your mind, or just plain grumpy. I'm no psychiatrist by any means, but out of personal experience I've found certain actions can help on those days when things are out of your control — but instead of falling into despair, you want to pick yourself up. And I hope you do.

You don't necessarily have to do all ten things in one day. They are really suggestions you can pick and choose to fit what YOU feel like doing that day. For instance, when I am mad and impatient and crabby, I don't feel like doing a light-hearted and slow yoga routine. I want to go run madly listening to angry music. So listen to what you, your mind, and your body wants.

1. If the weather's nice, get out of the house.
Being trapped in your normal living space can be suffocating, and you perhaps fall easier into the trap of Netflix for six hours, then Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for another two while lying in bed at night. Get away from the screens and go outside where the air is fresh, the scenery is usually better than the four walls of a living space, and you can reinvigorate your soul. That's right, your soul.

2. Get home, in your PJs, ASAP.
On the other hand, if you've been at work or school all day and your feet hurt, you feel drained, and for god's sake you just want to rest and relax — get on home. Build your cozy 'fort' — blankets and pillows everywhere, hot tea or cocoa, if you have fairy lights (and if you don't you should, it will make daily life magical) turn them on, and put on your comfiest clothes. You deserve it.

3. If it's chilly outside or in your house, get your bum in a tub/shower.
Often when I feel overwhelmed and tense, nothing literally relaxes my muscles more than a hot shower. A tub would be more ideal so I wouldn't have to stand, but use whatever you have. You don't even have to wash anything — I often just put on a shower cap so my hair doesn't get wet, and stand in the glorious warm water with my iPod playing in the background. I use my best-smelling, more luxurious body wash and just enjoy the pleasantness of it all.

4. Write it out.
This is for when I have so many unspoken or maybe passive aggressive circumstances happening in my life. I feel overwhelmed, I kind of want to explode but I can't. That's when I grab my journal and go to town. I write every emotion I'm feeling. I write what I would say to this person or that person if I could. I write my fears, my hopes, my regrets, my anger on the pages. To be honest, in these moments I often find myself crying because it's such a release. We need that sometimes. 

5. Get lost - in a book, movie, or TV series.
Escapism. It doesn't have to mean running away from your problems. It can let your imagination carry you to a place where things are different and you aren't the centre of life anymore. Plus, it honestly can make life more interesting. Life can be mundane — let stories take you somewhere new and exciting, that's why they are there. My favourite escapism movies are the ones so removed from actual life: Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies. Usually anything by Pixar. Plus, they have a hopeful undertone, and that can be important when you're down in the dumps. Good triumphs over evil, always.

6. Clean.
This depends on your personality of course. But I generally can work and function better when the space around me is orderly, neat and clean. I can think, I feel like I can breathe, and it makes me feel productive when I've done nothing else the entire day (postgrad student problems...). Clean flat = clean mind.

7. Have a wild, don't-care-what-you-look-like, dance party for one.
My friend and former roommate Kerrigan taught me this one. Nothing helps better when you're in a horrid mood and so damn frustrated by everything happening in life at the moment. You're overwhelmed and you have this pent-up tension in your body. Girl, dance it out. I'm serious. Lock yourself in your bedroom, make a dance playlist with your absolute favourite dance-y songs (Beyoncé is a good choice — girl power), and turn it up as loud as you can on your headphones. Don't look in the mirror — cover it up, because you are going to let loose and not care what you look like. Dance wildly, like a psychopath. Sing along if you can or at least mouth the words. This isn't like a lame movie moment where you sing in the hair brush — this is basically a workout. I end up sweating a lot. And most of the times it also really cheers me up. 

8. Listen to the music that makes you happy. 
You're at home, chilling out, trying to make yourself feel better after a shit day. It seems like a no-brainer, but listen to the music that makes you happy. Or calm. Or expresses any feeling you feel like emoting on that day. Get that Taylor Swift if you're mad at a boy; I like to play my favourite beautiful/emotional classical music I've saved on Spotify to calm down; and if I'm angry, I hit up my punk pop bands of my high school days. Let the music express what you're feeling inside until you're bored of it and are ready to pick yourself up and move forward.

9. Talk to someone you trust and will listen. 
You're not alone, and feeling alone when everything goes wrong is no good. Reach out, even if you feel silly or embarrassed by whatever it is. Life is too short to keep everything pent up, and the long term effects of it are not worth it. Meet up, talk, and if you don't want them to give advice or give an opinion, tell them beforehand. Sometimes you just have to get it all out with your voice, so it just leaves your body, and by listening they can help you feel lighter because of it.

10. Yoga, my friend. 
Or any physical exercise that you normally do if you work out. If you don't, yoga can be a great physical release for any mental build-up or tension in your body. There are tons of videos on YouTube for guidance, my absolute fav being Yoga With Adriene. There are videos for beginners or more experienced yogis, but it's all about feeling good about yourself. Yoga will let you stretch out your body while relaxing your mind and help you find strength in yourself. Physically and emotionally. Yoga helps me find peace and forces me to focus on the present, which can be hard to do in future-focused modern times where we're always looking at the clock.

There are my ten tips. I really really hope this post is helpful. I'm writing this when I'm not feeling too hot myself, and I wanted to brainstorm what actually helps me in these moments. I hope this can be a reference when a bad day rears its ugly head your way, because I know in those times it's hard to remember what I can actually do to help myself. And I hope you also help yourself and not give in.

Let's chat!