When it comes to coping with our everyday emotions, sometimes a little self-care goes a long way. Here are a few tricks to have in your feel-better toolkit:
1. Speak nicely to yourself. When you hear negative self-talk rumbling in your head, replace it with an encouraging or kinder thought. Show yourself the same compassion you’d give a good friend.
2. Set yourself in motion. Do anything active — even if you don’t feel like it. Once you get started, you may be surprised how good it feels. Walk on a work break. Stretch for a few minutes. Dance around your room.
3. Breathe stress away. Calm your mind with deep breathing. Even a few minutes can help. If your mind starts to wander, just return to focusing on your breath.
4. Focus on what’s good. Do you sometimes dwell on negative events or encounters? Try not to give them more space in your mind than what’s worth appreciating. Take it to the next level: Use a gratitude app or write in a journal about what you’re grateful for. It may take some effort at first — but you may find you get better at it with practice.
5. Spend time with a friend. Being around caring people who make you feel valued can be a real boost. Even better: Put your phone away — and give your full attention.
6. Nourish yourself. Take time to make yourself a healthy snack — like a tasty smoothie. Wholesome foods can help boost your energy and mood. When it feels like a treat, that’s an added perk!
7. Look to nature. Being in natural settings can be good medicine for the mind — helping calm nerves and relieve mental fatigue. Can’t get outdoors? Even gazing out a window at the sky and clouds might do the trick.
8. Give yourself some credit. Feeling down on yourself? Write down at least 3 things you’re good at or like about yourself.
9. Shake up your routine. We can all get in ruts sometimes. Eat lunch under a shady tree. Drive a different route home. Try a new recipe or workout. Do something fun and creative.
10. Call it a day early. Skimping on sleep can affect your mood — and make it harder to cope with everyday challenges. If you’ve been shorting yourself, a good night’s rest might do you wonders.