21 ways to fight the blue days

September 30, 2016
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I’m all about walking through life wearing rose-coloured glasses. I tend to view my glass of wine as being half-full and I try to be happy with everything I do have, rather than looking over the fence to see if the grass is greener at Bob’s House.

In saying that, every now and then an ominous-looking cloud come towards me. The world morphs into shades of grey, and at times, I feel like my shoes are filled with wet sand and my sparkle has diminished. These blue days are unwelcome, but are just a part of the human condition.

Getting to the end of your uni degree is an overwhelmingly daunting time. The pressure of exams, assessments, jobs, the future, on top of friends, relationships and family stresses are enough for anyone to have the occasional blue day. We know that one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and that behind closed doors, everyone has challenges.

It's important that we not only talk to our family and friends in times when we are feeling down, but also to recognise that the bad times are sure to pass. Here are 21 ways to fight the blue days, to bring out the warrior in all of us.

Get your sweat on!

Endorphins are a natural way to make you feel better. Exercise is not just important for keeping your body strong and healthy, it’s also of paramount importance for our mental health.

Write five good things about your day

I have been writing a gratitude journal for seven years now. It allows me to reflect on what I am grateful for and the things I was able to achieve in a day.

Have a balanced life

Too much of any one thing is never a good thing, and while uni tends to take up a lot of our time, it’s important to ensure you make time for yourself, friends, work, and fun.

Meditate

Meditation has come a long way from the stereotypical, long-bearded, old men of the 70s. It does take commitment at the beginning, but if you can stop for even five minutes a day, it can help you stress less, sleep better and help your overall productivity and happiness.

Get out in the sunshine

Vitamin D baby! It’s so good for the soul. Just make sure you’re wearing 50+ to protect yourself from melanoma so you don’t end up looking like a shriveled-up prune.

Eat some vegetables

We only get one body so it’s vital to look after it now so it can be around for all the activities and adventures to come! We shouldn’t underestimate the impact food has on not just our physical health, but also our mind and mood.

Pick some flowers for your room

Instant pick-me-up! Except don’t be like me that one time I got caught cutting someone’s Bird of paradise flowers. Actually on second thoughts, it’s probably best to go buy some. Treat yo self!

Book a holiday

Spontaneous decisions almost always end up being the most enjoyable. Life is meant to be lived, and it’s great to have something to look forward to. So even if it’s just a camping trip, or Europe, get those savings ready.

Have sex

Turn up the speakers to Barry White’s, ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Baby’, and let the good times roll. Sex releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the reward center of the brain. It releases stress, helps your sleep better, and feels good.

Go dancing

Preferably wearing sparkly red high heels.

Get enough sleep

To function optimally humans need on average eight hours sleep. Lack of sleep will have a negative impact on all aspects of your life.

Get off social media

When you’re feeling down, insecurities and jealousy can come to the fore on social media platforms. It’s easier to compare the lows of our life with the perfectly sculpted and edited highs of someone else’s in the digital sphere. But we have the power to switch off, turn off, and walk away. Real life happens outside, and not in the virtual realm, and we need to remember that.

Read books

It doesn’t matter if you read romance novels, autobiographies or children’s books! Reading allows you to give full attention to one thing, slow down, and to temporarily escape into someone’s story.

Do a good deed and don’t tell anyone about it

Humans have a natural tendency to seek recognition, reassurance and praise. But doing something kind for someone out of the sheer act and not because you’ll get a pat on the back gives you a deeper feeling of satisfaction and happiness. But I don’t really know that, do I?

Give someone a genuine compliment

Whether it’s to a friend, your mum or that random at work. Just make sure it’s something you actually feel and have wanted to say. Life’s too short to not tell the people we love how awesome they are.

Play with a dog

Sorry to all the cat people out there but dogs rule.

Look through old photo albums

Reminisce on the good times, reflect on the love and fun and memories, and know there’s plenty more to come. Plus, baby photos!

Learn to say “no”

While being helpful and generous with your time is a positive thing, at times your energy can be drained without you even realising. Give yourself the time to relax and recharge.

Call your grandparents

Trust me, you’ll make their day. And sometimes that’s enough to turn your perspective from grey to a full-scaled rainbow.

Write inspirational quotes everywhere

And I mean, EVEYWHERE. Cheesy, inspiration life quotes? I’m all about it.

When all else fails, get drunk on tequila with your best friends

Enough said.

If your blue days are transcending into weeks, it may be time to reach out for some professional help. If you or anyone you know may be really struggling call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Avril Treasure

Avril studies Journalism at Notre Dame in Sydney. In her spare time she enjoys playing cards with her grandfather, drinking one too many margaritas and pondering hypothetical questions.

Image: Ellen Munro, Flickr Creative Commons license

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