Strategies I Use When I Need Cheering Up (In and Out of Lockdown!)
Written by Aisling from the Youth Trust Mental Health Taskforce
This is a list of things I do to practice self-care. There might, be something of benefit to you on this list, but we’re all different and have unique coping mechanisms – do what make you feel good!
Watch something funny
My go-to low mood tv shows:
Modern Family, IT Crowd, Downton Abbey, Big Little Lies, Dance Academy, House of Anubis, The Good Wife, Stranger Things, Father Ted, Derry Girls, Nashville, Greys Anatomy, That 70s Show.
Celebs who make me laugh:
Robin Williams, Graham Norton, Chris Martin, Andy Murray, Joe Lycett, anyone from Mock the Week (to name a few).
Social media can be a bigger cause of stress and anxiety than we consciously realise, so going offline for just a few hours can make all the difference.
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels
Listen to uplifting content
Watching TED talks and Crashcourse can boost my mood and distract me from my thoughts, whilst simultaneously teaching me something new.
If you’re feeling proactive or motivated to instill some change, you could listen to podcasts or motivational Youtubers like Matt D’Avella or Thomas Frank.
Getting lost in a book tends to be a perfect distraction. I enjoy reading fiction, newspapers, or even quotes. I follow @thegoodquote on Instagram – they create hopeful and positive quotes and posts daily and is my favourite Insta account.
I find looking at artwork or photography to be quite therapeutic. National Geographic’s Instagram accounts (@natgeo & @natgeotravel) frequently post gorgeous natural landscape images.
Change of scenery, move your body
Exercise- channel your energy into physical activity, it can be cathartic – something as simple as going for a long walk can be a big help.
Walking is my first port of call when I’m trying to shift my mindset. It is utterly freeing, being surrounded by nature – a good time for reflection and gaining perspective.
Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash
Take a bath or shower
Water is not just physically cleansing, but also emotionally cleansing and calming for me. Use it as an opportunity to pamper yourself and wash off the day.
Unwind for a good night’s sleep
Winding down properly before sleep is essential. Here are some ways that I, a major insomniac, make falling asleep easier when my mind is overly active:
– Lavender scent on my pillow
– Cup of herbal tea before bed
– Sleep mask
– Listening to soft music (David Gray, Dodie, Agnes Obel, any classical e.g. Satie or Chopin, Sleeping At Last, Sufjan Stevens, Matt Maltese, ‘Peaceful Piano’ or ‘The Most Beautiful Songs in the World’ playlists on spotify).
Let it out
Write – poetry or journaling can be an amazing outlet for emotions. Jot down everything you’re feeling and it may free you of some of the tension, or help you to rationalise what’s going through your head.
Connect – call a loved one. My circle, close friends and family, truly are paramount to my happiness, wellbeing and success. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people close to you – for a rant when you just need someone to listen, or for advice when you need a helping hand.
Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash
This post is written by a member of the Youth Trust Mental Taskforce, a volunteer group of Youth Mental Health Ambassadors. The sharing of links within this article does not indicate an endorsement from the Isle of Wight Youth Trust.