After the holiday season when the lights and trees are taken down and the world is covered by a thick layer of literal and figurative ice, it can be tough for a lot of people. Without the holiday cheer, winter can be slightly dreadful, especially for those without a significant other dreading the quickly approaching Valentine’s Day. And life can generally difficult to handle at times. We have all fallen into hard times and found it challenging to be cheery or think positively.
Throughout my life I have discovered a few things that can usually make me feel at least a little better when I am feeling down and help me to live a happier life.
1. Sing while walking outside.
I have found that regardless of how gray or cold it is, singing while walking or running errands makes me feel incredible and completely lightens my mood. And not just humming – singing out loud definitely works the best, even if you’re just softly crooning to your favorite tune. You might get some strange looks (especially if you do this while walking around in a city, which I do often), but it might lift the spirits of others as well!
(Right now, I’ve taken to singing my favorite McFly songs on my strolls around Boston)
2. Make lists!
And not just to-do lists (although I love those too). Making a list of all the things that make you happy or all the things you like about yourself definitely raises your confidence and could give you some ideas for what you can do inside on a snowy day.
You can include the smallest, seemingly unimportant details in these lists. Anything is fair game!
3. Simply talk to someone you love.
Whether it’s your best friend, parent, or significant other, we all have a person who makes us feel better just by talking to them. For me, talking to my mother when I’m having a difficult time socially or scholastically can brighten my day significantly.
4. Do something nice for someone.
Whether it’s someone you are close to or a random person on the street, doing random acts of kindness always makes me feel better. You can get a rush of happiness from simply holding the door for a stranger or buying someone’s coffee. My favorite act of kindness is writing love letters for my friends and for strangers.
Visit www.moreloveletters.squarespace.com (created by one of my favorite people ever, Hannah Brencher!) for more information on how you can help others by writing a simple love letter.
5. Lastly, appreciate the beauty the world has to offer.
This may seem a bit cheesy, but reminding yourself how wonderful the world is and acknowledging the amazing people who dwell here can honestly make your day. Check out some uplifting news stories, take a stroll in the most beautiful area you know, look at some art, re-read you favorite book, or look up some astounding non-profits who use their time to help others. There is beauty in so many places. You just need to open your eyes and see it.
When you’re feeling down, remember these simple tips and remember that we can all do so much more than we think we can. Whether it’s hitting that one pesky note in choir, running for a position in your school or institution, taking a difficult class, or trying anything new, a simple action that makes you happier or more confident can make the difference between giving up and continuing to work to achieve your goals.