You can do all the right things, eat all the healthiest foods, hit the gym several times a week, and still feel defeated sometimes. You can put on your biggest smile, try to surround yourself with things that will bring you up, and even go to therapy—and there will still be times where you feel lost, broken, or just plain sad.
I’m not here to tell you that there’s a foolproof ‘answer’ or way to simply ‘get happy.’ But I am here to tell you that you’re not alone in your feelings.
Sometimes we get sad. And sometimes there’s a reason, and sometimes there’s not. But regardless of what’s bringing you down, I want you to understand that your feelings are real, valid, and okay. And if you’re hoping for a release, here are five ways to reset your mental energy.
1. Go for a walk.
It sounds super simple, but sometimes the act of moving your body can help to elevate your mood. When we get in our heads (or even face feelings of anxiety or depression) simple exercise can help to get our minds off of the tension and onto our physical body movements.
I’m not saying that exercise is a cure by any means, but when you’re walking, running, or working out in some form, you are forced to focus on other things—your breath, muscles, rhythm, physical strain, etc. And this switch in focus can help you to feel a little more peaceful.
2. Write down what’s bothering you.
Have you ever had an amazing vent session with someone you care about? And walked away feeling less heavy because you finally let everything off your chest? That’s how writing works. If you’re feeling down about something, give yourself permission to just write it.
Let out your emotions, be raw, and depending on the situation, write a letter (that you’ll never send) to the person who hurt you. Sometimes the release of your emotions helps to reset your mental energy and remind you that everything will be okay.
3. Change your physical environment.
We get ‘stuck’ in our physical environments, stressing ourselves over things that are physically around us rather than removing ourselves and getting a clear head and perspective. Have you found yourself wandering from room to room feeling overwhelmed about the mess? The to-do list items you haven’t finished? The chores that aren’t done?
If you’re starting to get down, reset your mental energy by changing your environment. Go outside, sit at a local coffee shop, head to a friend’s house, etc.—these are simple solutions to get your mind away from your stressors and into a place that’s more positive.
4. Absorb some good content.
If you’re feeling down, try listening to uplifting music or an inspirational podcast. Turn off the soap operas or drama-filled reality TV and read a good book instead. What you listen to and absorb will play a huge role in what you feel. Good energy and vibes in, good energy and vibes out.
5. Don’t fight alone.
Your family and friends are your support system. If you’re headed down a dark road, don’t be afraid to reach out to people who care about you. Their job is to be there! And trust me, they want to be there.
You don’t have to feel shame about asking for help, especially if you’re feeling depressed or have more serious emotions. Know that you’re not ‘too much’ or ‘weak’ for reaching out to others. In fact, learning when you need help is a measure of your strength.
Above all else, though—keep going.
Your hard days don’t define you.