At this point in my life stress is at an all time high. From job responsibilities, social expectations and everything in between, there are way too many things to stress out about. In my case in particular, jobs (or lack thereof), missing my friends, and wanting to move out of my house all have a particular way of causing anxiety on a weekly if not daily basis. Because of this, I created what I like to call “The Happy List.” Ten little things that I can do or turn to if I feel myself drifting in an anxious or saddened mood.
- Listen to Music
Music has always been a really important fixture in my life. My favorite band, Green Day, has gotten me through A LOT. Listening to their music reminds me of what is important, reminds me I am strong, and reminds me that I can get through just about anything. Plus it puts me in a good mood when I can sing or dance along.
- Have a Cup of Coffee or Tea
Coffee is another one of life’s simple pleasures for me. I love love love a good cup of coffee and it is something that can completely change my mood and put me at ease. In some cases I enjoy the process of brewing my own, picking a cute cup and having the process and smells associated with it calm me down. Other times I prefer to go to Starbucks and have someone make it for me. Either way, taking a moment to enjoy a coffee can calm me and ease some anxiety.
- Light a Candle
This may sound like the absolute simplest thing, but trust me, it can do wonders. I have an insane amount of candles that I enjoy burning. The scents on so many of them can compliment my feelings; some calm me down, some energize me, some comfort me. Either way, its another simple way to feel somewhat put together and
to help change my mood.
- Watch Youtube
Lately I have been loving youtube videos! Because they’re short and cover a variety of topics I find them easy and enjoyable to watch. It also helps when my anxiety hits at an inopportune time or when I do not have a long time to deal with it. I can watch short video and take a timeout from what I was doing otherwise.
- Watch a Movie or TV Show
Sometimes my mood calls for longer spans of taking time out. If that is the case, I like to watch some of my favorite shows. Being comfortable with the characters and enjoying the show is important for me. I’ve always loved the show Bones and it is one that I can watch for ages without getting bored. Movies are the same; sometimes I’ll find an old favorite and other times I will find something new to watch.
- Read a Book
Reading has always been a favorite pass time of mine especially when I need to get out of my head for a bit. When I am feeling particularly anxious or down, taking the time to read a good book will help me escape my mind and allow me to enjoy myself. I have always been a fan of mysteries and those are usually the ones I turn to in these cases. I enjoy jumping into a book and being able to focus on the plot, mystery and characters.
- Write Something
Writing is another way for me to get my thoughts out of my head and focus my anxiety on other things. In some cases I like to write about the things going on in my life, like this blog. In other cases I enjoy writing fiction. It depends on my mood; sometimes I would rather directly address what I am thinking, sometimes I would like to talk about things I enjoy in life to brighten my mood, and other times I really like to “escape” from what I am thinking or feeling and write fiction stories.
This can mean a lot of different things. Pampering can be simple like painting your nails, doing a face mask, fixing your makeup etc. It can also be more thought out like taking a bath, a long hot shower, using a new product etc. Taking the timeout to make yourself feel better in other ways can help you feel better mentally as well.
- Go to the Gym
For me, going to the gym can sometimes be something that I dread doing if I am in a bad mood. But, after I gave gone I always feel really great about myself. Exercise can release endorphins which can make you feel great as well as adrenaline which can also boost your mood.
- Take a Walk or Bike Ride
This kind of also goes along with exercise. Walking or biking and being outside really help to clear my head, allow me to breath, and either think about what is bothering me or not think about it if I need a break. Getting some fresh air really helps me calm down and again the activity, no matter how small, helps as well.
Bonus: Just Breathe
Finally, no matter when, where, how, anxiety or a mood swing hits, taking a step back and breathing is going to help. Reminding yourself that you will move past it and get through whatever is going on is simple, but effective in many situations.
So these are the things that made my “Happy List.” If you like my suggestions or have others please let me know and share! Until next time! (: