Bad days, we’ve all had them. We will all, inevitably, have more of them. But, my 40yearflip friends, it’s how we deal with these bad days that separates the old us from the new us. When you have a bad day, you might find yourself popping a bottle of Cabernet, and ordering a pizza to numb yourself out on alcohol and carbs. I’ve been totally guilty of that a hundred times (ok, maybe more like a thousand.) But, over time, I’ve flipped the carb-stuff and booze-binge for a better option—self care activities.
Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a good glass of wine or a good slice of pizza every now and then. In fact, I indulge in both regularly. It’s only bad if you are using these things to numb-out. When you indulge in the things you like to eat and drink, it should be done for the simple pleasure of it.
Self Care Activity 1: Read a Good Book
My number-one, go-to, most-favorite way to banish the blahs of a bad day is to dive into a good book. Books are magical; they transport you out of your everyday life and plop you into someone else’s. When you immerse yourself in a story, the thoughts that give you stress, kind of lay low for a while.
In fact, if the negative thoughts that were bringing you down, were actually not as bad as you let yourself believe, there’s a good chance that by the time you stop reading, those negative thoughts will have faded away.
Self Care Activity 2: Netflix and Giggle
Comedy is a powerful tool for mood lifting, and I’m not joking. Don’t underestimate the power of laughing! If you are having a terrible day, tune in to a funny movie or TV show. Re-watching an old favorite comedy can make you and laugh and bring back good memories as well.
You know the old saying, “laughter is the best medicine?” That’s because laughter releases endorphins, your body’s happy chemicals, making you feel instantly happier. This, in turn, decreases stress and boosts immunity! So laugh yourself silly, happy, and healthy.
Self Care Activity 3: Get Out of the House
If you feel like the walls are coming in on you, or if you feel like you are beginning to cocoon yourself into your house, it’s time to get out and see some different scenery and some actual humans. If this is you, then getting out to socialize and meet up with friends might be your best bet.
When you find yourself doing nothing but working and going home, you may simply need another outlet. Try meeting co-workers for drinks after work or calling up a friend to have a girls’ night out. I suggest downloading the meetup app, and finding a group-based activity to partake in. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone and it can be very good for you.
Self Care Activity 4: Spend More Time with Friends and Family
I know I tend to cocoon myself into my own little world when I’m not feeling 100% emotionally. I tend to cut myself off a bit. But that’s no bueno! Whenever you notice this happening to you, you’ve got to flip that behavior and reach out to the people who make you happy. This was a hard flip for me to make in my life, and even though it sounds simple, like all things, sometimes it’s not.
Spending more time with your loved ones can be great for self care. Many people think being alone is the only way to take care of themselves and relieve stress, but sometimes the best thing for you is being around others. Think about your daily lifestyle and what tends to stress you out. You might find that you feel worse when you are constantly alone, but your mood seems to lift on happy hour night or when visiting your best friend. This is a good sign that what you really need is to get out and spend more time with others.
Self Care Activity 5: Get Social Online
We are more connected now, by more devices and apps than we have ever been. There is literally no reason to ever feel alone and disconnected. Get active on social media with like-minded people. Hit me and other 40yearflip friends up on Facebook or Instagram.
Find other Facebook pages and Instagrams to interact with based on your interests. There are pages for everything from specific TV show fandoms to reading clubs to gardening, you name it, there’s a Facebook page for it. And don’t be afraid to jump in and post and participate. Social media is SOCIAL, that’s the damn point. And these pages thrive on activity and couldn’t exist without interaction.
Ok, ladies, tuck these self-care activity ideas into the folds of your brain and pull them out next time you are feeling down in the doldrums. Comment below on what self-care activities work for you, and/or, just for fun, what you like on your pizza when you AREN’T eating it to numb-out.