I’m not going to say anything groundbreaking in this post, nothing will blow your socks off and I don’t think I’ve thought of anything overly original. But I know how hard it can be to see the wood for the trees when you’re feeling down, so if someone happens to read this at the right time, or remembers to read it when they need it, then that’s my job done. It’s just a list of things which are genuinely free, that I believe can lift you up when you’re down. I’ve been there, reading blog posts full of feel good things which are out of my budget, even though the author perceived them as cheap. So these are things which are actually free, and that I think could (hopefully) make you feel better.
The first thing is (and actually, maybe all of these will fall into this category), but it’s doing those tiny things that make you feel like new, the things that you vow to start doing routinely (but we never do) and that’s fine – because when we do remember, it makes us feel fabulous. It could be shaving your legs, actually, properly blow drying your hair, moisturising your body from head to toe, you get the gist. Maybe I’m just telling you to practice self care, but what I mean are those simple little things, all of which you have the means to do just lying around the house (I am presuming you own a razor and some body lotion here).
Along the same lines as the above, is digging out your favourite outfit and wearing it. I don’t give a hoot if you’re only doing the school run or the big shop – put something on that makes you feel incredible. I’m not talking about donning a full on ballgown for a trip to Tesco, but something that makes you feel really good about yourself. A nice day dress, those jeans that make your arse look great, a shirt that fits perfectly. Whatever you would usually save for ‘date night’ or an important meeting or whatever. Stop saving it for special occasions and let yourself feel freaking amazing in it.
My next recommendation is fresh bedding, we all know how incredible it feels to slip into bed with fresh bedding on. I don’t mean new by the way, just fresh. The smell, the feel, it’s a wonderful feeling at the end of the day – so I don’t actually care if your bedding is due to be changed or not, if you feel like you need something to pick you up – swap it over and have a snuggly treat at the end of the day. Just as a side note, I can’t be the only one who finds changing my bedding effort and so, if I was feeling down – the last thing I’d be arsed to do is change my entire bedding. So, you need a little bit of forward thinking here, if it’s your first night alone, or you can foresee a stressful day at work – change the bed in the morning. That way you’ll still get the lovely feeling in the evening, but you’ve got the hard work out of the way.
I also want you to recognise what makes you feel like you’ve got your shit together, for me – it’s the washing. Hanging my washing out of an evening, so that I can collect it in and put it away the next morning – always makes me feel on top form. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I’ve barely started my day, it’s one less thing to worry about and it gives me something to do whilst Sophie’s faffing around after having her bath. So as much as I can’t always be bothered to do the washing of an evening, I try and push myself to – as I know that it’ll make me feel so much better in the morning. It’s not cost me any more time, because I’d have to do it eventually anyway, but making it work in the best way possible for our routine gives me a little high.
You might be surprised that this one is so far down the list, but don’t forget the importance of your favourite music. Actually no, it doesn’t need to be your favourite – just whatever music you fancy listening to at that time. I have so many playlists on my Spotify (and I know you have to pay, but there is a free version and I think Apple Music is free?). From one that makes me feel sexy AF, one where I know all of the words for a good sing, one that make me feel like a boss ass businesswoman, one for the gym to motivate me, one for early mornings. I’m not saying you need to play ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’ on repeat – but find whatever music will lift you up in that moment, piss off your neighbours for a bit, and play it – LOUD.
I’m going to tell you that I don’t care again now, I don’t care if you showered this morning – if you always shower in the mornings – I don’t care. Jump in the shower. I say shower because I’m not a bath person and I’m not sure that they aren’t the perfect place for a wallow – but literally wash away those negative feelings. Showers are great for marking a new beginning, even a really short term and temporary one, whether it’s the ‘right’ time of day or not – strip off and have a long shower. Let the negativity wash away, combine it with the playlist you need from above, and if nothing else – it’s a distraction for 15 minutes.
Last thing now, I promise. And I’ll do another post all around journalling at some point but this is something that’s been on my mind lately. Is that I want you to reach out to people. I know that you may feel as though people should be reaching out to you when you’re feeling low, but let me quickly and kindly tell you – that’s your ego talking. People have their own lives, issues and traumas, and if you’re feeling lonely then the quickest way to combat that is to drop someone a message. It could be someone on the school run you’d love to be friends with, a childhood friend you’ve lost touch with, of course, it could also be your Mum, Sister or your best mate. But rather than sit in a spiral of ‘I’m lonely and nobody cares’, put out into the universe that you care, you care about them, and make the first move. Again, I appreciate this can be difficult, but with technology so easily at our fingertips, just start with whoever you feel really comfortable with – and just say ‘Hey, you ok?’.