But that's not what this post is about. This post, friends, is about something much more important: how to feel great even when it feels impossible to do so. I don't know about all of you, but this summer has been uncharacteristically stressful. I've definitely had some high highs and low lows, and if I'm being honest, I don't always know how to handle the stress and frustration. Little by little, though, I've found some great strategies for showing myself love and fostering joy, and I'm sharing five of those with y'all today. Let's dive in!
1) Make an Appointment
Okay, before you start rolling your eyes, hear me out. While I actually do believe that getting big-kid appointments scheduled and done with is stress relieving, I'm more so referring to making an appointment with yourself. It's easy for us to schedule coffee dates with friends, lunch with Grandma, visits to your hometown, etc, but why not schedule time for yourself to have an extra hour in the morning to read, write in a journal, or just contemplate? I don't know about you gals but I know that when my day starts out rushed and frantic, it's a huge hurdle to overcome. My mood is sour, and my disposition is just icky. But when I have even just an extra 30 minutes in the morning, I can get dressed for the day emotionally as well as physically. Sometimes I'm bad at doing this every single morning, but it's all about baby steps.
2) Take Inventory of Your Time
Yes, I actually mean it. How many times in the day do we think, 'wow, if I only had more time in my day, I could finally practice _________ .' I'm super guilty of this. And the truth is that your much more likely to be overwhelmed by anything stressful in your life if you feel like you never have time for anything. Much like an eating journal, take a day and write down how much time you spend doing each thing. You can even blame me, I'll be the weird friend for you, it's okay! But write down how long you spend scrolling through Instagram. How long do you spend watching Netflix? How long do you spend cooking dinner? It might seem strange, but you'd be surprised how much time we spend doing mindless things. And while I love doing mindless things to decompress, it would reduce the stress in general to be conscious of the time you spend, and make you more focused and productive to take stock. And hey, who knows, maybe you'll finally discover you do indeed have time for that creative writing class on Wednesday nights or the wine and painting class on Tuesdays. You'll be surprised!
3) Have A Dance Party
In a phrase: shake your tail feather! Have you ever heard the saying that if you physically smile you'll feel happier? Well, I'm still on the fence about that specific example, but a similar principle applies to a good old fashioned dance party. Do it in your car, do it while you're walking to work, do it when you're brushing your teeth in the morning, HECK, you could do it at the mall! Who cares? It's amazing. I am not a scientist, but I can speak to my experience with this, and y'all, it is insane how much your mood changes after just 2 minutes of dancing like a crazy lady. You don't have to be poised and polished, just shake it. Shake it and you will feel better! Any music that pumps you up will be perfect. (My personl favorite dance-party-until-I-feel-more-jubilant music is anything from ABBA, Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, and Stevie Wonder! What's your go-to playlist?)
4) Shift Your Perspective
This may sound painfully obvious, but it's true. It's scary how easily we can get caught up in dumb drama and have pity-parties. The world is suddenly crashing down if one insignificant thing isn't panning out the way we'd hoped. Well, newsflash: it could always be worse. And even more than that: there's always a new day. How we choose to look at our situations can completely shift not only the atmosphere of our day, but also the level of joy we're able to maintain in general. Did someone just cut you off in the passing lane? Deep breath. Did your sister just wear something of yours that you did not okay? Calm yourself. As cheesy as it sounds, life is indeed a journey. As we know from any self-respecting movie or book or tale of any kind, the hero always has to experience some hills and valleys along the way. It makes them who they are! If you choose to look at bumps in the road as learning experiences and opportunities to become a better version of yourself, those curveballs that life often throws your way are a lot less scary.
5) Cut Yourself Some Slack, Queenie
Self talk is so powerful. I'll be the first to admit that I actually love using self-deprecating humor on occasion, but I definitely try to check myself and how often I use that because of the fact that words are powerful. And so is grace. Giving yourself a break. Absolutely none of us have it together at any one point. We're human, we make mistakes. Some seasons in your life may seem like a patchwork quilt of mistakes (mine currently), but that's the name of the game. This certainly piggy-backs on the tip of shifting your perspective, but I think it's incredibly important to give yourself a pass. We're our own worst critics. Only we ourselves know that those jeans fit a little looser last month, or that we didn't end up writing that letter we'd meaning to. And it's okay. It is. As long as you're trying your best (which we all are), that is all you can ask of yourself.
I hope those are helpful to you! Life is far too stressful sometimes, but you know what? We're queens, and we can do this, together. What're some of your favorite ways to rise above a bad mood? Let me know in the comments!