In recognition of mental health awareness month, I thought I'd list the things that I do when I'm just not feeling like myself. Recently, I've been feeling that way and I think that identifying the strategies I use to help myself feel better is very much worthwhile. Hopefully, they can help someone else too. So, if you just feel sad:
Go for a drive – Put on some good music, and just let go for a little while. Follow the roads where they take you. Maybe invite a friend or a family member to tag along. This is probably the thing I do the most when I’m not feeling like myself or when something is weighing on me.
Read a book – Distraction, distraction, distraction. While it might not be the healthiest method of coping, sometimes you just need to not think about being sad for a while. Reading a book can help launch you into a different world for a bit. Maybe pick up a new one, or something you’ve read many times.
Bake or cook – You could bake for yourself, or someone else, but I always find it to be fun and relieving to put on some music or a TV show and then just focus on putting the ingredients together. And then when you’re done you’ll have something yummy to eat!
Find a new TV show – Try something out that you’ve heard a friend say they like, or something you’ve been waiting to give a shot. Nothing quite like the joy of getting hooked on a new series.
Plan a trip, even if you have no intention of going on said trip – Pick a place, and just go for it. I usually find a house or a hotel, pick flights, find activities, and plan anything else that I might actually plan for a regular trip. Plus, even if you can’t go on your trip right now, maybe one day you’ll be able to!
Journal – This isn’t one I do all that often, but when I do I find that it can be really helpful. Sometimes you don’t even realize all of the things you’re feeling until you just try to express them. A pen and paper can really do the trick sometimes and provide a good outlet for emotions you’re not comfortable sharing with others.
Talk to a friend or family – Recently I’ve been going through some really difficult feelings and emotions. They’ve been brewing inside, and I’ve kept them bottled up for quite a bit. My best friend finally got back to my hometown after being away for school and I cannot express the relief that I felt when I finally just got to spew everything I was feeling. Talking about things is relieving. If you have someone you trust enough, I really suggest just talking about your emotions. It can be so helpful.
See a therapist – A professional listener is sometimes what we all need. Therapists can help us learn how to redirect negative thoughts into something more productive, and they can help us organize our feelings and get to the root of the issues we’re having. If you aren’t seeing a therapist I really suggest trying it out, even if you don’t think you need one.