We’ve all had them. The days where things just aren't going our way, and for whatever reason, the world around us seems intent on providing endless trip-ups. The days where nothing is especially wrong, but also not especially right.
So, when the shit hits the fan and it feels like everything is too much (or maybe not enough), here’s a starting point. You can find specific techniques for mood-boosting elsewhere, but this is more of a tick-list for checking in on yourself at testing moments: a few questions to pose whenever you’re overwhelmed, and need some possible ways to shake it off.
- Are you hungry? Have you eaten enough? Is your blood sugar low? Will your grump lessen if you have a bowl of pasta? Or a good salad?
- Are you dehydrated? When did you last have water? (This impacts your brain’s ability to make decisions)
- Are you sleeping enough? Is it time for an early night, or a reassessment of your routine?
- Could you do with sluicing it all away with a long shower, or a luxurious bath with plenty of bubbles? Will washing your hair make everything else feel more manageable?
- Can you stop and just breathe?1
- Do you need to stretch your legs? If you’re at a desk, when did you last get up? Would a walk – even if it’s just down the street and back – help rejig things?
- Have you spent too much time getting distracted on social media? Is it making you feel guilty? Envious? Restless? Can you put your phone onairplane mode for a bit? Or fling it in another room for an hour?
- Do you need to do something a bit more strenuous and exercise? Is it a day to get lost in getting active for a little while?
- Conversely, do you need to slow down – take some time out to meditate, for example?
- When did you last speak with someone you trust? Or just someone who makes you laugh? Can you ring a friend or family member who won’t mind you moaning for a bit? Is there someone who you can hang out with who’s guaranteed to boost your mood? Are you willing to ask for help, or just for some kind company, if you need it?
- Is there something you’re putting off doing? Can you think through the consequences of it –how long the task might take, for example, or how much easier it would be to just do it rather than fret and procrastinate and put it off?
- Is it time to do something kind for yourself? Plan an adventure? Cook a meal? Take yourself off to the cinema? Dance around your room to some very, very loud music? Put on your best lipstick and face the world more boldly?