We don't like to talk about our struggles, choosing instead to put on a brave face. So, when things start to get you down how can you pick yourself back up?

 

There's a saying - "if you and everyone else threw your problems onto the pile, you'd take yours back immediately once you saw everyone else's". Essentially, this says that as hard as your problems might seem it's important to remember that others, like you, are probably dealing with their own. 

 

Try out a new hobby

Hobbies don't just fill time, they also help to give you a sense of purpose and something to be proud of. Try out a new sport, learn to knit or perhaps join a choir. Many hobbies also provide opportunities for social interaction - talking and making friends will do wonders for your mood.

 

Reach out

If you're struggling or feeling down, always remember that you don't need to be on your own. Friends will be happy to help and provide support. If you don't feel able to talk to friends or family, you'll find support groups and helplines that can provide you with ideas or at least listen whilst you talk and gather your thoughts. You'll also find that online forums and social media sites can provide opportunities to connect and ask for help.

 

Try to appreciate the little things

Those that have bounced back from a serious illness often state that they've been given a new lease of life and that they wake each morning grateful just to be waking up. A new perspective, focusing on life's little things, can help you to feel more positive. Marvel over the beauty of a flower, a favourite piece of music or a simple sunny day. Go out for dinner and make efforts to truly appreciate the flavour of your meal or lie back on your bed, surrounded by total silence, and simply focus on how it feels to breathe and to relax. Clearing the mind is beneficial, and if you can't focus on the silence you can instead choose background noise such as a CD of ocean sounds or the sound of pouring rain.

 

Do things for others

Few things build self-esteem quite like helping others. You'll find that doing things for others will be beneficial for you, as well. You'll feel more positive knowing that you're contributing to a better world, whether helping just one person or a larger group. Try doing a few random acts of kindness to brighten up your day - leave coins stuck to a vending machine so that someone can buy a free chocolate bar, pay for someone's dinner at a restaurant or send a nice letter to someone that you know or someone that's made a difference to your life.

 

Lose your inhibitions

Try not to worry about what people think of you. If you don't usually do it and perhaps wouldn't usually have the confidence to, try whistling as you walk down the street or wear a novelty item of clothing whilst you do your shopping. Have a little fun, and wait for the good mood to follow.

 

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