It doesn’t require a dark night of the soul to have a bit of a rough day — we all have seasonal lows. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, I want to underscore here immediately that rough days have much to teach us. That’s why we have our practices to help us maintenance presence so we can understand and integrate those learnings.
That doesn’t mean those times are enjoyable. Hence, today’s article. I’d like to suggest some pick-me-up ideas to help give your body, mind, and spirit that boost to help keep you going. Take these ideas, customize them, and make them your own!
1. Get a favorite essential oil roller. I love essential oils — they are so invigorating, and science is showing that they’re also fantastic for your health. I find the rollers are a wonderful, portable pick me up: basically a lipstick-sized tube with the oil + coconut oil that you can roll and apply directly to your skin (think temples, wrists, back of neck). I like Young Living’s Tranquil oil roller, and DoTerra has something similar called Past Tense.
2. Take a meditation break. You don’t need a lot of time; we have free 3 minute meditations that are the perfect refresher if you need them. If you have more time, take more time. But make sure that you can find a space where you can be undisturbed and can stay focused on your internal reset.
3. Commit an act of kindness. We’ve talked before about great ideas for acts of kindness (there are some more in this podcast episode about joy as well). But sometimes, the best way to give yourself a pick-me-up is to give someone else a pick-me-up. This could be as simple as buying a drink for the person behind you in line at the cafe, or perhaps writing a nice note and slipping it under someone’s windshield.
4. Watch something funny. Whether it’s your favorite Netflix drama series, a quick pick of youtube funnies, or pulling up your favorite funny Facebook page, having a good laugh can stimulate endorphines and make you feel better, quite literally. Bonus points if you get a good belly laugh in — it burns calories, too.
5. Write in your journal for 5-7 minutes. In our podcast episode about journaling, guest expert Andrea Leda mentioned that the most powerful journaling experiences only need a few minutes — 5 to 7 is enough. Set your timer and pour yourself onto the page. Here are a couple of quick prompts you might use to help get you out of a funk, depending on the direction you want to go: What is the root of my discomfort? or Things that bring me joy…
6. Brew a cup of your favorite tea blend. The thing about tea is that it is an experience in itself: smelling the teas in your cupboard, choosing a blend, measuring it out while looking at the colorful ingredients, relaxing while the water boils and the tea steeps. Having your favorite comfort blend on hand is a must! I like the Relaxing Spa Blend (lavender/lemon) or the Self Care Blend (elderberry/apricot) myself.
7. Take a dance break. As the saying goes, dance like nobody’s watching! Music is a great mood enhancer, but getting your booty up and shaking can help shift your perspective — you can literally shake off any negative emotions or feelings you have.
8. Go buy yourself some flowers. Flowers have both a visual impact as well as that lovely scent, and treating yourself to an act of kindness is a wonderful pick-me-up. Head to the farmer’s market or your favorite local shop and enjoy the moment exploring — if anyone asks, tell them you’re looking for a pick-me-up flower for someone special — but let your intuition be your guide.
9. Look at some pretty photos. Here are some to start: lovely pumpkin patches, a quirky flower festival, benches with a view, or how about some waterfalls? Transport yourself to a delightful new view with just one click. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there. Or, here’s an idea: head to your nearest art museum and see what’s on exhibit. Art can be very inspiring.
10. Do a kitchen project. Personally, I find baking to be quite soothing and mindful — the tinkering with the ingredients, the patience waiting while enjoying the aromas, and then enjoying the final product. But if you don’t like baking, consider something else: getting a good soup on, whipping together a no bake dessert, or cutting up a wonderful fruit and cheese board. Our recipe index has lots of ideas for you!
11. Do some volunteering. Helping others can help you reflect back on your own experience, and volunteering can be fun! How about volunteering to walk dogs at your local shelter? Or being a crossing guard for a local charity race? There are endless options for volunteer commitments that will fill you up.
12. Create an “emergency emotional boost” packet. This is something you want to start now, before you need a pick-me-up! Create a file folder — either digital, or in real life — filled with praise and notes of gratitude that you’ve received. Maybe even certificates of achievements or awards. But emails of thanks, notes from your boss or customers, can go in there. When you need it, you can review this file and be filled with the reminders of how great you are.
13. Take a nap. In Sarah’s HALT guide, we were reminded that our emotional state may be negatively affected if we are tired. If you’re running on fumes, it might be time to take a nap — or just go to bed early and give it a fresh start tomorrow.
14. Pour yourself a cold one. No, not alcohol — that’s not always helpful. Hydrating can be a good refresher, whether that’s a nice spritzer or an infused water. Consider it in addition to your tea or other beverage; it can’t hurt to over-hydrate.
15. Phone a friend. You’re not in this alone. Reach out if you need a hand: phone a friend, schedule an impromptu tea for two with one of your besties, or if your BFF is afar, send a Facebook message and connect. Let them know how you’re feeling — or, just ask for a boost. People are happy to help if asked!