When it's hard to stay positive

15 ways to lift yourself out of a bad mood, and get inspired to make your own "spirit booster checklist."

I would be lying to you if I said that I am always positive. I have days where I just don't feel like showing up or even getting up. There are times when my negative thoughts challenge me and I have to make an effort to "lift" myself up.

During the past 10 years, I have made a conscious effort in my own personal development to improve my outlook on life. And sure there have been moments of weakness, times where I didn’t get it right, but I have gotten better. It is an attitude that I work towards strengthening, so that I can have a positive outlook on life when things are going well, but also on the days when things aren’t going so great.

So for this post, I wanted to share with you my "spirit booster checklist." I use it to help lift my spirits whenever I am feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. I hope that you will also find it helpful, or that it will inspire you to come up with your own list, so you can use it whenever you need it.

  1. Freshen up: Welcome the day by brushing your teeth, brushing your hair and washing your face. Start your day fresh!

  2. Shower: Use an uplifting scented body wash, my favourites are peppermint and grapefruit. Blast some uplifting music or songs you like to sing to. "Season's of love" and "We are the world" are two very uplifting/ sing along songs.

  3. Dance: Get your body moving! It helps boost blood-flow and release feel-good endorphins.

  4. Get some exercise: Whenever I have a hard day, I run. It helps me breathe and gain clarity. Swimming, weight training and Yoga are also great options. Find something you enjoy and get your heart rate up!

  5. Draw something: It doesn't have to be perfect, it can be doodles even. Just let your mind wander and hone in on something creative. If you can't think of anything, try going through the alphabet and drawing something that begins with the letter A, the letter B..and so on.

  6. Have a good cry: Now some of you might not be fans of this, but I believe in "tear cleansing" it is like an emotional detox. Crying is natural human response and a great way to acknowledge what you are feeling. I am talking about a solid cry, go ahead have a wheep-a-thon.

  7. YouTube puppies and kittens: Smiles 100% guaranteed.

  8. Try and pinpoint what emotion you are feeling and YouTube a Ted talk on it. Feeling anxious, jealous, sad, scared, nervous...find out what it means. If you get a better understanding of the emotion, you can separate rationale from your "feelings."

  9. Write it down: Putting down all of your thoughts on paper, even if no-one will ever read it, helps you vent. I keep a journal next to my bed in which I write in every night, I also write notes to myself at the end like "you're doing great!" because YOU should be your biggest cheerleader.

  10. Check out relaxing ASMR: Bob Ross is the original ASMR artist and watching someone do something peacefully can be so soothing and lower stress levels. I also recommend Peaceful Cuisine.

  11. Clean something: Cleaning is a physical activity, which means it can release endorphins, making you feel happier. Try organising your closet, wiping your kitchen counters, organising your drawers. The final result will leave you feeling satisfied and accomplished.

  12. Not feeling productive, not even enough to get yourself out of bed? Watch a stand-up comedy: Laughing is great medicine and it can actually trick your brain into thinking it is happy, even when it's not.

  13. Have a cup of tea and look out your window: Notice the details you haven't noticed before and take some time to reflect on all the good about the world.

  14. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for: Gratitude is an excellent way to gain perspective on our lives....remember that It could always be worse.

  15. Have a potato day, and be okay with it: Not everyday is going to be perfect and productive, and learning to accept this can be just as helpful. Go ahead, just Netflix and chill. Tomorrow is a new day.

Let me know in the comments, what you do to stay positive!✨

PSA: There are two main types of coping skills: problem-based coping and emotion-based coping. This list is focused on emotional-based coping, meaning that these strategies are best suited for problems that are out of our control. Physical-based coping is something that is helpful when you need to change your situation, perhaps by removing a stressful factor from your life, establishing boundaries or seeking professional support. For example, like ending an unhealthy relationship. You can learn more about these coping strategies from professionals and decide which is best suited for you here.