5 Pick-Me-Ups for Difficult Days

No matter how lovely the day, or how happy you are with your routine, there will always be moments when you have the mean reds, the Sunday night blues, or feel deflated and tender. Sometimes you can trace the reason why but some days you’re just out of sorts and need to be treated gently. Here are 5 places to begin.

  1. Hang a bulletin board where you can see it and cover it with all your favorite things. Cut out ads from magazines, tack up your favorite photos, display those beautiful clothing hanging tags that you never like to throw away. It’s so satisfying to do something that doesn’t have to be perfect, and seeing all these items that represent you will give you a real sense of well-being without costing a thing. I’ve found that bad days are sometimes caused by a disparity between who we are and who we hope to be, and this project tends to bridge that gap a little.

2. Stop by Sephora for some perfume samples. The perfume wall at Sephora might be my Tiffany’s. It’s one place where everything is lined up neatly, polished to a high shine, and packaged to perfection. Try out a new perfume or two and ask for a few samples to live with day to day. Choose a scent that reminds you of something wonderful; the beach, your grandmother’s garden, a smoky bonfire. Like a great book, it will take you out of your present for a moment and transport you to somewhere you love to be.

3. Put clean sheets on the bed, along with the best pillows and and the fluffiest blankets in the house. Now is no time to be selfless; You can put them all back later! Burrow in for a few chapters of a great book, or an episode of your favorite show. Light a scented candle if you’re a scented candle person. Hide away your phone and give your body a real rest. Even if you don’t sleep at all, letting your body melt into the softness for an hour or two will recharge you as well as any nap.

4. Feel the sun on your face. Sneak off to that green patch behind your building or to the local park, and find a sunny spot to close your eyes and breathe. If it’s cold, bundle up. You need to be comfortable to relax. Then luxuriate in the sun’s touch on your shoulders and on your eyelids and be still.

If your heart won’t slow or your brain won’t stop, repeat a soothing thought. Try “I am exactly where I should be,” or “There is fire in my soul and grace in my heart, and everything will be okay.” Go home, or back to the office, knowing you are actually healthier than when you left.

5. Make a list of everything you need to do and everything that’s hanging over your head. Include things like “call Comcast to see why the bill was high this month,” but also general worries that don’t have an obvious action step right now, like “GRE test results come in next week”. This practice takes these thoughts out of your head and into a safe place, so you don’t have to keep repeating them in your mind constantly. You’ll get a feeling of control and security, and sometimes (not always) the list will be shorter than you would have thought.

We all have moments, and days, like this. The best solutions are ones that balance self-kindness and realignment to your inner voice. Give yourself good, comforting experiences. Stop and listen to where your discomfort and discontent is really coming from. Identify what is worrying you. A small step in the right direction can make you feel fulfilled and successful and, above all, like yourself again.

What are your go-to pick me ups for hard days?

Images via: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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