The purpose of getting better acquainted with your wellbeing is to be able to understand you, be kinder to you, and treat YOU better. Knowing your own relationship with your wellbeing enables you to find treatments that work when you aren’t quite where you’d like to be.
On those days were you just can’t face getting out of bed, any small number of tasks can be overwhelming. You can feel lost and a million miles away from yourself. On top of that, you have zero motivation to try to find your way back. It won’t last forever, but these activities may help to remedy the feelings that it will.
Have a Bath: Particularly in the colder, gloomier months, there is nothing quite like a hot bath to soothe your body and soul. Water is therapeutic, and never fails to feel highly indulgent. Practically speaking, it ticks off the productivity box too. You’re clean and you’ve successfully accomplished doing something that feels good.
Read your Favourite Book: Not just any book, it has to be your favourite. The reason is because books are like old friends (yep, I’m a book lover). They are familiar, you know what to expect. Slip into a world of peaceful nostalgia and comfort. I don’t really recommend this if you favourite book is, say, a violet horror. I’m thinking more along the lines of a feel-good, guilty pleasure. If books aren’t for you, a fav movie or song can help. Remind yourself of something that makes you smile. That’s the trick!
This is a polite way of saying you’re feeling lazy AF. When you are in need of an energizing boost and exercising is the last thing on your mind – or maybe it is on your mind but your body is telling you “nope”. Think of these like your warm up; there’s no nought-to-sixty here, just gentle mind exercises before you start throwing your body into all sorts of shapes.
Write a Wish List: Not to be confused with a To-Do list. To-Dos are boring. That’s the last thing you need when you are already feeling like you could nod off. Wish lists are full of opportunity, possibility and hope. Write a list of 5 books you want to read and haven’t yet. Put down 3 places you want to travel to, and what you want to see. Search Pinterest for a week’s worth of new recipe ideas. Feed your brain with adventure and nice day dreams.
Get someone else to motivate you: If your toilet leaks, you call a plumber. Some things are just best left to professionals. Not that you can’t do an awesome job of motivating yourself, just sometimes there are people who are better at doing it than you are. Grab your headphones, and search “motivational speakers” on YouTube. Or look for motivational content on wellbetter. There’s no shortage of topics and influential people to listen and watch. This is a real winner, because it’s minimal effort and maximum reward. You’ll be pounding that treadmill in no time!
We all worry, it’s perfectly normal. I usually worry that I’ve left the hob on (and sometimes, I have). So, worrying can be a good thing! But, left unchecked, or allowed to fester, worries can turn into anxieties. Anxiety is often counter-productive, because even if you know you are worrying over nothing, it can be difficult to tear yourself away from those thoughts. It’s the thinking trap – ignore it, and it niggles away at you, entertain it and it grows into something bigger. The trick is – and I call it a trick because you’re basically saying to your brain “oooh look, something shiny” – to find an activity that takes your focus away from your thoughts and channel into the activity itself.
Try a new recipe: You need to eat, and cooking will distract your brain from racing thoughts. There is a science to baking (everybody who has watched Bake Off will know this!) and cooking is an art form. Whether you are a scientist, a creative, or both, it’s the process itself that is so therapeutic. That, and eating cake. So it’s basically win-win. Take some time out from your anxiety and thoughts, and reward yourself with a huge bowl of deliciousness at the end.
DIY project: Fed up with that broken kitchen cupboard door? Or is your dresser in disrepair? Maybe it’s time to give your home the makeover it deserves. I’m not talking extreme makeover, more minor improvement so that things actually work. DIY gives you a sense of purpose, and achievement. It focuses your mind on the task in hand, and as a result, you get a great little upgrade to your home.
The purpose of wellbeing is to connect with how you are feeling, not to necessarily try to “improve” your mood or make you feel happier. Wellbeing is about checking in with how you are doing, acknowledging what’s going on in your world at the time. Sometimes, that feeling is sadness. Giving yourself time to feel sad is really beneficial for your wellbeing – by listening to it, it can help you identify pain areas in your life, you are unhappy in your relationship, or you need more time to focus on things you love.
Have a cry: channel your inner Kim K and let yourself have a big old ugly cry. Just boo it out. Crying is self-soothing, so bottling up the tears only suppresses our need to settle and comfort ourselves. In addition to that, crying also release oxytocin – so that huge feeling of relief you feel after a cry is a healthy dose of hormones which can help ease emotional and physical pain. Crying can be quite a private and personal experience – and one that feels embarrassing if we do it in front of people or in public, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Get some company: you know what they say, misery loves company! No, no, the point here isn’t to spread your sadness like a bad STI. You’re not trying to make everyone else around you feel gloomy and bleak. Instead, it’s an attempt to surround yourself with company, comfort and support. A good friend or relative can even cheer you up, and it can help to laugh in spite of sadness. If you’re not quite there yet, just having a big cuddle and a cup of tea can help to settle the sadness.
You may think that there’s no need to focus on your wellbeing when you’re happy, mission complete and all that. But checking in with your wellness when you are feeling good can help to reinforce the healthy wellbeing practices you are putting in place, making it easier to recreate happiness at a later time.
Happiness is often a fleeting and sometimes underwhelming feeling – feeling content and comfortable doesn’t always flag up because it doesn’t feel as powerful as anger for example. These little practices will help you to identify happiness, peacefulness and contentedness, even when you don’t realise you are feeling it.
Peace, love n calm jam. WB x