How are you feeling today? Try these tips to feel happier today.
With the Covid19 pandemic we have spent much of the past year unable to do the things that bring joy into life. Every day I speak with someone else affected by this inability to experience life. Many people find that meeting friends, listening to live music, feasting one’s eyes on art, immersing themselves in a live play or simply having the human right that is choice to go out and about as they wish maintains stable mental health. When you search for ways to feel happier, relieve depression or anxiety there are so many different options but very few of them recommend staying at home and not going out! If you are generally able to cope with what life throws at you but feel the struggle currently, check some of these tips to see if there is anything you can bring into your life to keep your mind as happy as normal in a completely abnormal circumstance.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Look back to my blog post that refers to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Are you meeting your primary needs? Food, water, warmth, and rest are the four primary needs that Maslow described. February is notoriously the coldest month in the Northern hemisphere. It is dark, freezing, wet and windy, we need sunlight and fresh air to enhance our mental health, but we also need warmth. Are you warm in your own home?
Feel Happier with Warmth
I have the pleasure of a log burning stove. However last week, just in time for the cold snap I smashed the glass door whilst trying to manipulate a log into the small space. Apparently logs do not bend like plastic. Relying on the central heating has made me realise that it is not always easy to feel as comfortable as I do when I settle by a red-hot fire. Layer up, keep adding the jumpers until you feel cosy and warm. It will be difficult to feel happier when all you can think is how cold you are.
The requirement for food is not always as simple as just eat! For your body to run efficiently you need to fuel it with the foods that provide it with the nutrition it requires. I recently spoke with nutritional therapist Jacqui Mayes about this, she gives some good tips on fuelling your body optimally. If you are struggling with the motivation to nurture yourself with nutritious food, here are two techniques to help you,
- Choose a day of the week to plan your meals for the week ahead. Write the schedule out, you can buy notepads designed for this purpose or print out free sheets here 27 Printable Weekly Meal Planner Templates for 2021 (developgoodhabits.com). If you like to snack ensure that the snacks you buy are a benefit to your body, you cannot go wrong with raw nuts and vegetables. Take yourself to the supermarket, physically or online, and buy only the foods on your list. If you live alone, make a family size portion of each meal, and freeze in portions to give you easy dinners for the next few weeks.
- Prepare your food earlier in the day. If you reach the evening, feel your energy drop and the pull of the sofa is stronger than that of the kitchen, you will feel happier if you prepare your dinner in the morning so the only requirement is to heat it up. Or eat your main meal at lunch time and go for a supper style dinner.
Water – the advice is to drink around 2 litres of water a day. It is a lot of liquid; ensure you are drinking that much. If you quench your thirst with a liquid that is not water, consider what benefit it brings to your body.
Rest, ah lovely sleep. Lovely for those of us that find it easy to fall and stay asleep. Not so lovely for others. Yesterday I was in bed before 9pm and awake around 5.30am, I slept with ease. However, I woke with the feeling that I was awake all night. My eyes ached and I longed for a deep sleep. Whilst I had slept for around eight hours, it felt a noticeably light sleep. This is unusual for me, so I took some time to reflect on it. There was one thing I had done differently. I spent around half an hour looking at my phone screen before switching my phone off and putting my head down. This is something I rarely do because whenever I do the same thing happens. This article on screens gives some insight into why. It is helpful to switch your screens off at least an hour before you go to bed and to make sure you give yourself the time in bed to get enough sleep for your body.
Feel Happier with Exercise
It is amazing how much fresh air and exercise makes us feel happier. The grey skies and rainy days do not entice many people outside. Schedule some time outside each day by writing it in your diary. Focusing on your plan rather than waiting to feel like going outside will help you follow through on your intentions.
In this overly difficult circumstance we find ourselves in, it is key to plan and schedule to keep yourself from spending full days in bed because this often results in feelings of depression.
If you enjoyed this article you may enjoy the following article on Reducing Anxiety in a Changing Environment