Appreciating Me Time, and Tips for "Down Days"
PSA: this may be a bit of a rant-y, rambling post. So hang with me if you're able.
One goal I had for this website was to discuss all elements of "wellness": the good, the bad and the things that make us HUMAN. I hope that this wellness blog series can help you be your best, happiest, healthiest self. These posts may be personal, and can cover a wide range of topics. Here you have it, post one of my Wellness series: enjoy!
Can anyone else agree with me that there's something in the air recently putting people in grumpy and down moods? Is Mercury in retrograde again? Enough is ENOUGH!
Regardless of what tricks the Universe is playing on us, I think we can all agree on the fact that bad days happen. You know, the days when nothing seems to be going right, or when you simply can't find your stride...when you wish you could crawl back into bed and fast forward until tomorrow. I also know I am not the only one who sometimes needs to be completely alone in order to reset.
My "down days" tend to be cyclical, and can last for a few days on end. I often wonder if women suffer from these types of days more frequently than men (hormonal reasons), or if those factors are completely unrelated. While it can be easy to stay in bed until lunch, that is not always an option for those of us who have day jobs. Recently, I have been struggling with getting into a normal exercise routine. Up until a few weeks ago, I was taking regular barre classes at my local Pure Barre studio, in addition to my weekly walks. During this difficult time of "mental rest" (I guess we can call it that?) and more flexible scheduling, I have taken a break from barre, as a means of figuring out what exercise routine makes me the happiest. This is not to say that in a few weeks I won't be back to loving my barre classes again, but during this time I figured it was healthiest for me to take a break.
I think recognizing when a break is needed is HUGE in the realm of mental health and wellness. I've always been the type of person to keep things bottled up, until ultimately those feelings explode and result in a mini breakdown. I have developed a number of tricks that work for me when life becomes a little overwhelming, or for when I'm feeling like my best self. These have worked for me, and I urge you to try them. I would also love to hear what tricks work for you! Feel free to comment below some of your tips, or send me a direct message on Instagram.
Wellness Tricks for Down Days:
Take a walk: Within the last two years or so, I have incorporated walking into my daily exercise routine. Sometimes this is the only exercise I do, and some days it is a supplement to my daily exercise. Walking is a great way to "reset" my mind, even if I am only walking for 30 minutes or so, it can completely turn my mood around. Walking is a great exercise option if you are like me and don't enjoy running. I enjoy walking alone, listening to a podcast or music, or with one of my friends. I try to take a walk every single day. Some days my walks are 1-2 miles, other days they are 5-6 miles. Just depends. Maintain a brisk speed to get the most out of this as your workout.
Meditate: I try to meditate a few times a week before I go to bed. Having practiced diaphragmatic breathing since I was a child, meditation has always been my fallback wellness and mindfulness practice. I am a big fan of the Headspace app. I highly recommend everyone interested in meditation check it out!
Snuggle: Whether you're snuggling your significant other, a friend or your pet, being close to others can be a great way to relax at the end of a long day. I find that discussing whatever issues I am facing can be a great way to get a new perspective on the issue, as well as unload (to prevent said breakdown I mentioned earlier).
Yoga: I have definitely fallen off the yoga train, but have been trying to incorporate it back into my daily routine. Can't make it to a yoga studio for class? YouTube is your best friend! I love both of these accounts (here and here). More to come on my yoga practice.
Buy A Plant: Ok, this may sound strange, but when I am having a crummy day, I like to go out and buy a plant. I get joy out of searching for the perfect plant friend, and then finding how it can be worked into my space. Having always loved spending time in nature, it could be my way of bringing the outside in.
Go Outside: Speaking of bringing the outside in, try spending time outdoors. Something about fresh air has always calmed my anxiety (so much so that when I would have panic attacks as a kid, I would stick my head outside the window as my "cure". Fresh air heals!). Take some deep breaths outside, or see tip #1 and take a walk outdoors :)