Things can feel like too much sometimes; we all know that. Sometimes we all just feel a bit trapped in our lives. Whether it’s just a down day or you’re struggling with prolonged low mood, everyone needs cheering up sometimes. Over time, we’ve learnt that you can’t always rely on others for that, so it’s best to have your own plan of action for when life gets you down.
Remember: there’s nothing wrong with taking some time to look after yourself and boost your mental health, especially when you’re feeling low. You can’t pour from an empty cup – and you can’t show up for the ones you love without showing up for yourself first.
Part of showing up for yourself is taking a break when you need it. It’s not about ignoring your feelings – sometimes we just need to distract ourselves and do something that feels good for a while until we’re feeling better. Letting ourselves cry it out first can be helpful, but wallowing in our pain doesn’t do us any good!
Self-soothing techniques are simple activities that soothe the mind and body when we’re upset, boosting our mood and helping us to start feeling better! They are used in a range of therapy practices, including DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy), to help with distressing feelings but can easily be incorporated into your day if you feel like you need a bit of cheering up. These techniques are all about stimulating the senses: touch, sight, sound, taste and smell, and they are some of the simplest tools we can use when we’re feeling down. Here are 10 simple ways to cheer yourself up:
Listen to your favourite music – loud!
Whether it’s your favourite pop songs or something heavier, get your favourite tunes on as loud as you like. Crank the speakers, sing and dance or shout and cry – it’s sure to make you feel a bit better.
Try a meditation app
Meditation might not be everyone’s cup of tea – but anyone can practice it! There are many great-quality meditation apps out there featuring guided meditations for all sorts of different moods and purposes. Plus, lots of these apps have white noise, nature sounds and calming meditation music if you prefer to try meditating without a guide.
A quick run, walk the dog, dance the night away – anything that gets the heart pumping! If you’re not into your cardio, try some gentle yoga or simple stretches to help boost your mood.
We won’t always have the energy for movement when we’re feeling low, so get into your softest, comfiest clothes and wrap yourself up in comfy sheets to stimulate your touch sense. Add a hot water bottle for extra luxury.
Watch your favourite TV show or movie
Rewatching our favourites can help to calm our anxiety as we know what to expect from them. They bring us pleasant memories and familiar nostalgia. Plus – laughter! We know it boosts our neurotransmitters, so whack on your favourite standup or comedy movie and get laughing.
Surround yourself with nature
Nature can be an incredible mood-booster. Get out in the woods or to the beach, or even just 5 minutes from your door to the park. The sounds of running water, the wind in the trees and the sun on your skin will help you cheer up.
Read something uplifting
Read your favourite books, articles, blogs – whatever! Reading is a great distraction technique; making it uplifting subject matter means you can boost your mood too. Alternatively, there are so many great informative, uplifting audiobooks and podcasts out there if you aren’t the biggest fan of reading.
Eat tasty food
Cook your favourite fragrant meal and enjoy all the scents and flavours. Create an extra luxury night in by indulging in a tasty cheese hamper with top-quality cheeses and luxury snacks, then finish strong with something soothing like ice cream or hot chocolate. You deserve it.
Have a hot bath or shower
The temperature of a hot bath can feel great on the skin, like a big warm hug. You can also use this time to practice aromatherapy with oils, incense or candles. Have a long relaxing soak. Top tip: if you struggle with anxiety and heart palpitations, try glugging down a glass of cold water before getting into a hot bath or shower – this can help balance out your blood pressure and prevent unwanted palpitations and anxiety.
Get a massage
The ultimate relaxing touch! Whether it’s from someone you love or professionally done, indulging in a deep massage is a serious mood-booster that can help us unwind and release stress.
Look after yourself
When we’re feeling low and need cheering up, it can be tempting to turn to less healthy and effective coping mechanisms, like drinking or spending. Try to think about the broader impact of these habits and if they are really serving you. Do you think they cheer you up? Or do they just provide a short-term dopamine boost but eventually leave you feeling worse than before? Self-care isn’t just about luxuries, and it’s about looking after yourself. We hope this list of simple ways to cheer yourself up helps!
Gemma Sission is Head of Sales and director at Lymn Bank Farm Cheese Company, a family-run business based in Lincolnshire. With business experience across the board, from production to finance, Gemma is committed to providing exceptional service and quality to all of the company’s loyal customers.