Are you having a bad day? Or perhaps even just a horrendous hour? Here are my favorite ways to release the feelings of being uptight when life gets me down. Any of these ideas are a good way to practice self-care.
Name It. Just the simple act of naming your emotions can help ease fear and worry. Here’s a list of words to help describe what you’re feeling.
Breathe. When you are feeling your worst, stop and take two minutes to inhale and exhale deeply. I like to use Psalm 46:10, quietly stating, “Be still and know that I am God” as I breathe.
Cry. Go ahead, let the tears flow. Crying is cathartic. And research shows it can help relieve stress.
Kvetch. As in, “blow off a bit of steam” for a few minutes. Call a trusted friend and let them know your frustrations.
Exercise. A single session of exercise can boost positive feelings for a few hours afterward. It doesn’t have to be heart-pounding either, just a good brisk walk can often do the trick. Even better, invite a friend to walk and talk.
“Scream” it. No, it’s not especially helpful to just howl and vent out negative emotions, but if you can find a way to physically release your “I feel like screaming” energy (think yanking weeds, shoveling dirt or kneading dough), you will feel better.
Tackle a challenge. Sometimes a distraction helps. What do you have the energy to do right now that will take your mind off what’s bugging you?
Connect. Humans need that, well, “human” connection. Call a friend, do a video chat, invite a friend for tea or coffee. Or even sit on your front porch (or a window) and wave to passersby.
Express gratitude. Naming what you’re grateful for is another way to experience feelings of connection. It can be little things like admiring the blue sky, or bigger things, like feeling safe in one’s home.
Pray. Eat well. Sleep. All basics, but oh-so-important.
May you feel more rested and at ease when you use these self-care ideas. God Bless.