When You Feel Down

The Year 2020! What a year it’s been so far. Who would have thought that most of us would have spent the better part – 10 weeks and counting – of the first 5 months of the year (feels longer right?) in lockdown, furloughed from work/working from home and home schooling the kids. It’s the start of June and thankfully the lockdown measures have been eased, some primary school pupils can go back to school and some businesses can re-open. But for some of us the lockdown probably wouldn’t end till the start of July at the earliest.

Despite the positive sides of being at home, the monotony of life in lockdown can sometimes get us down, overwhelmed and maybe even a little depressed. The feeling that one hasn’t been able to achieve the goals set at the start of the year can even make one feel bad. The reasons for feeling down are numerous and while we definitely aren’t qualified to discuss them all or recommend any clinical treatment, we can talk about some of the things that have worked for us.

Do some exercise: We might not always be in the mood for it, but just making that first move to do some form of exercise can work wonders. Take a walk, go for a run, do some no equipment home workouts – whatever it is, do some exercise — get up and just do it! You don’t need to do a real hard or long workout, but just the mere act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Give it a go, you’ll be glad you did.

Write it down: There are times when we feel down or a little depressed because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do but haven’t gotten around to doing. Truth is having to juggle working from home in a hastily assembled makeshift “office space”, home schooling the kids, sorting things out around the house and trying to stay safe can be somewhat daunting – especially when the things you need to do are all stored in your head. What works for us is to simply write down the tasks for the day; doesn’t matter if it’s work related or just things to do in the house – even if it’s the meals for the day – writing things down gives us a sense of having things under control. That way you can focus on getting them done.

Give yourself a mini makeover: Being we’re stuck indoors most of the day – because of the lockdown – one can easily be tempted to spend all day laying around in our underwear, smelling bad. The day can easily become a week or even more – which doesn’t do us any good. The simple act of taking a nice long soothing shower, brushing your teeth, combing/brushing your hair and feeling clean, can work wonders for your mood. Wear some nice clean clothes that aren’t pyjamas, shave, or do whatever it is that you need to do to make you look and feel clean and good about yourself. It’s guaranteed to boost your mood.

Play some music and dance: Plato famously said “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Whatever type of music you enjoy, be it Jazz, R&B, Pop, Rock, House or even Country it doesn’t really matter; just turn the volume up, let the rhythm take over and move your body to the beat – dance like no one is watching – you’ll be glad you did. “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley

Talk to someone: It is often said that a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes, when we’re feeling down, we’ve found that just talking to someone else helps a great deal. So if you’ve got a significant other, best friend, family member or even a co-worker you can talk to, try chatting with them – that’s what they’re there for. If you don’t want to speak with people you know, there are hotlines, or professionals, you can talk to. Online forums are also a great place to find someone to talk to. Whatever channel you choose to use, being able to speak with someone and get things off your chest makes a world of difference, and can be a huge lift. Another awesome thing about speaking with others, when you’re feeling down, is that you could end up working out the reasons why you’re feeling down.

Get outside and do something: The lockdown measures have been somewhat eased, businesses are re-opening and some primary school pupils are back in school. Sometimes, going out (after giving yourself a mini makeover), instead of staying home – will lift your mood. Staying indoors for days on end can really get you down, and you may not notice this until you go out and do something – maybe even something from the list you made earlier. Definitely a win-win situation.

So that’s our – by no means exhaustive – list of things to do to when you’re feeling down. We can’t guarantee that everything on this list will work for everyone, but there’s no harm in trying. The good news is that the pandemic seems to be abating and things are gradually getting back to normal. Who knows, you might soon be able to visit some of the places on our list for when the lockdown ends.

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