Sometimes we need some Emotional First Aid and we need it fast. Here are 5 surprising ways to feel better fast that work quickly and effectively. No mediation required! I use these all the time myself and they really help.
It can be frustrating to feel depressed over life’s small disappointments. Even though we know that “this too shall pass,” we want to feel better quickly. This is my go-to list of approaches that allow you to feel, yet move through painful emotions.
A while back, I was in that situation. It was a rough weekend on the emotional front.
- Friday I found out that a job that I wanted didn’t want me.
- Saturday morning a date cancelled on me.
- Saturday afternoon I didn’t place in a cooking contest that I had entered and had high hopes for.
- Then on Sunday, my date that did show up turned out to be at least 10 years older than his stated age.
None of the above was a major deal. But being rejected is never fun. However being rejected several times in a short period of time left me feeling a little low and I didn’t bounce back right away.
I needed some emotional first aid by Sunday evening!
I am committed to healthy remedies. The following are some of my tried, true, and positive ways to process a bad emotional day (or weekend).
Sometimes all you need is what I call a “breather.” You need a little break from the bad thoughts. That crack in your negative thinking often allows better thoughts to get in. The following activities can all provide the necessary break you need!
Walk with Music
Taking a long walk while listening to a special playlist can be really helpful. I create unique playlists to help me process things. I let the music move me from feeling down to feeling better. As the playlist moves along, my music will move from sadder music to uplifting music. I plot a healing story through my music and by the end of my walk I always feel much better.
Plan a Surprise for Someone
Years ago, I was feeling down. On the way to work, I decided to stop in at a specialty store and buy a few treats to send to my daughter who was away at college. I spent a good half hour picking out a selection of chocolates for her. By the time I had just the right goodies to send her, I felt so much better. In fact, after leaving the store I realized that I wasn’t feeling down at all.
Thinking about and then doing something for someone else is a very effective way to get back on track. You can visit the dollar store and get a few goodies for a special child in your life. I love picking out a book or two for my granddaughter. Maybe some home-cooked food for someone you know could use a boost.
This is a surprisingly power action and I don’t do it nearly enough. But there’s something about the act of planning something nice for someone you love that makes you feel really good.
Send a Card or a Thank You
Buy a card for someone, write a thoughtful note, and put it in the mail. There are still beautiful cards to buy or you might have some on hand. Find that perfect card for someone you care about. Write that person…with a pen. Address the envelope in your very best handwriting. Then get it in the mail.
I spent one year once, sending a hand-written note every single day. You don’t have to be that committed, but it’s still nice to do once in a while. As a bonus, you let another person feel good too. Let’s face it, none of us are getting too many hand-written notes or cards these days.
Clean Something Out
This is one of my favorite therapies! Even though I live alone and am fairly neat, I still get areas that gather clutter. Pick one of yours. Don’t pick an entire room! Pick a drawer, a table top, a shelf in a closet, or a kitchen cabinet. Pull ALL the contents out. Go through each thing and do one of four things with it: put it where it really belongs, throw it away, put in bag for donations, or put it back. Even a 15-minute clean up session can do wonders for your mood.
If you are looking for a bigger project, tackle your closet. I think our closets are one of the most important areas of our house to have clean and organized and I wrote about it here.
Finish a Project
Brainstorm a few things you need to get done or finish up. Pick one and do it. The act of doing takes the mind off of your trouble and the sense of completion at the end will lift your spirits. The combination of a dynamic activity plus a constructive outcome equals feeling better.
I probably use this the most these days. Having unfinished business out there can be a brain drain. I address this in another post. Doing this is very helpful for cleaning your mind and it actually does feel good to complete something that you’ve been needing to get done. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. Seriously, you don’t have to tile your bathroom or anything.
5 Surprising Ways to Feel Better Fast
These are quick pick-me-ups for minor boo-boos that either cost nothing or cost very little. Sometimes I have to do more than one or do them over a few days. Sometimes wallowing a little can feel good. But when you are ready for some relief, pick a positive activity or two and give it a try.
Keep showing up my friends!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.