You say “We gotta look on the bright side”
I say “Well maybe if you wanna go blind”
If you haven’t heard Paramore’s song Rose Coloured Boy from their newest album, After Laughter, I advise you give it a listen. The song is said to tell the tale of lead singer’s, Hayley Williams, internal battle of both trying to think positively but also allowing yourself to have moments of sadness, anger and confusion etc.
This is something I can relate to – after being so down for many years and wallowing in it, I tried the opposite, to always think positively, fake that smile and it’ll all be better. Newsflash – you’ll wear yourself out, I did.
I’m slowly learning, as a human, we have a range of moments from contentment and sheer joy to downs and a general feeling of being uneasy, sometimes even for no reason, and that’s okay. Acceptance of these emotions is almost better than trying to mask them, if you say to yourself “I feel shitty and that’ okay, it’ll pass’ it’s easier than faking the ‘I’m ok’ line.
But for when those feelings do occur here’s my 5 tips for minding your mental health and allowing the downs to not be miserable, but valuable, through allowing yourself some well needed self-care.
- Take a walk or do some form of exercise – Fresh air is great, not only can being closer to nature help you to feel more calm but I also find taking the time to connect with the world around us really helps to appreciate the little things in life. So whether its the crunching of the leaves under your feet, how sweetly that red breast is singing or simply how beautiful the sun setting is, pausing and appreciating what life offers us for free brings a sense of calm. Alternatively, breaking a sweat either outdoors or at the gym, naturally releases endorphin’s in the brain making you feel good!
- Take a bath or generally treat yo self – Whether that involves a face mask, a bubble bath, a fresh shave, a massage, a new haircut.. whatever it may be, do it (as long as you can afford it because a negative bank account isn’t going to make anyone feel better about themselves!) I am a man comfortable in my own masculinity to say at times I’ve done one or a few of the above to improve my general mood and a little self-TLC never did any harm. If you take care of the exterior it can have an equal effect on the inside and your mental state.
- Talk to a friend – Sometimes the greatest negative feeling can be a sense of emptiness and loneliness. Sadly this is something I’ve learnt with getting older. Friends move on, they get jobs, they move house, they find a relationship and these developments can leave you feeling left behind. The reality of it is though your friend probably didn’t even realise and it just takes a little reaching out to say “Hey, I’m feeling a bit lonely, can we hang out?” to improve that feeling. Even if its an acquaintance you want to get to know better, a friend you haven’t seen in years, sometimes reaching out can help more than just yourself, because a humans we like others company and sometimes it’s nice just not to feel so alone in this world.
- Get motivated – Sitting around feeling sorrow for yourself about certain things is fine, but if you do that for too long the issues can grow and become over bearing. So if you’re sad about a lack of money, use the time to apply for jobs – you’ll feel more responsible and like change is on the way, improving your mood and your situation. Take it in baby steps and the issues causing the trouble won’t seem as bad, if its dating bringing you down – chat to someone new, take a risk, friends – reach out and talk to them, organisation issues – draw up a calendar and start planning, Whatever it is, sit down and gather some internal motivation and get trying to start making realistic changes within your life. Being in a rut is never going to improve unless you make an active decision to change.
- Look out for number one – Saying no is okay. I REPEAT: SAYING NO IS OK. By this I mean if a group of friends are dragging you to go out but you know you won’t enjoy it because you need some head space – that’s okay! This is something I struggled with and still do to this day, trying to please everybody when you’re not even capable of pleasing yourself is only going to wear you out. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, your time is your time and you use it how you wish, same with your finances, your space and everything else. I truly think this one is very important so please take note. Justifying your actions if you’re not hurting anyone is not required.
That’s my simple guide to improving your mood but also accepting that it’s okay not to be okay. I hope it helps someone or gives you something to think about, and remember if you ever need someone to hang out with, chat to or enjoy nature with, my inbox is always open no matter how close or rather, not, we are.
That’s all for now and take care!