10 ways to deal with the bad days

Some days it seems like nothing can go right. We all have those days where it just seems like there is too much drama. Too much pressure. Too many expectations. Too many things to do, not enough time. Then there’s all the unnecessary nastiness. Some days it’s just all too much!

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It’s days like these that self-care is super important. Sometimes I struggle with this. It’s something I have been trying to focus on lately. So here are a few of the things that make me feel better on those days.

1: Be kind to yourself

This is probably the most important thing. Some days you just need to cut yourself some slack. Would you have the same expectations on someone else that you have on yourself? Why shouldn’t you be as kind to yourself as you would a stranger? There’s only so much you can do and sometimes you just need to be okay with letting things go. It’s alright not to be perfect (see why here).

2: A good old pamper session

By far my favourite thing is to run myself a nice, hot bath, with bath salts, a beautiful candle and a good read. Sadly my unit doesn’t have a bath though. Instead I’ll do a face and hair mask, give myself a mani-pedi or some other make-me-feel-pretty thing. This usually involves some gorgeous scented candles burning in the background.

3: Play some feel good music

What I consider feel good music seems to vary with my mood. Sometimes I want something up beat and pop-y, other times calm and relaxing. Listen to your mood and pick some tunes that suit you. I have a few Spotify playlists that are my go-tos for times like these – let me know if you want me to share.

4: Treat yourself

Come on, who doesn’t love a little (lot?) retail therapy? I usually use it as an excuse to buy myself something little. This is usually something that smells amazing – a scented candle, some new body wash or body butter. I always find this is an instant pick me up.

5: Do some yoga

Yoga is such a good release for me. There’s something about focusing on body positioning, movement, breathing and stillness of the mind that just makes everything else melt away. On days like these, I tend to opt for the chilled out, slow and relaxed Hatha yoga as opposed to Power or Vinyasa sequences. On the really bad ones, this could literally just be an extended period in child’s pose. Really it doesn’t matter all that much what you do, as long as it works for you.

6: Life admin

I always feel better when things are sorted. All those little things you have been putting off, like calling to make appointments, seem like such a big deal on bad days. Sometimes making little steps to move ahead can make it so much less overwhelming. Attending to one or two of those little things can make all the difference. It can make you feel on top of things and is definitely worth the effort.

7: Stick to your routine (as much as possible)

It’s important to maintain some form of normality. If you normally go to the gym every Monday, don’t stop on account of a bad day. Those kind of things can actually help to get you out of that funk. Keeping busy can take your mind off things and give you something positive to focus on instead. Also, you will probably regret it the next day if you don’t.

8: Affirmations

Create a journal or notebook with all the good things. The things you like about yourself. The things you have achieved. The things you are proud of. The things that inspire you. The things you aspire to be. Do this over time when you think of it. Then you can bring it out on a bad day and be reminded of all those positive things. An instant pick me up.

9: Reach out

Make social connections. Invite friends over. Arrange to go out and do something. Even if you can’t organise something right away, knowing you have plans in the future gives you something to look forward to. Otherwise, just have a good chat with old friends can brighten any mood.

10: Chill out

Some tea and a good book. Or maybe Netflix and chocolate is more your speed? Either way, just taking some time out and escaping reality for another world makes a world of difference. You can check out some of my top picks here. Opting for a comedy is a great way to lighten the mood and bring some smiles to that face.

What are your go-tos for a bad day pick me up?

My secrets to peaceful slumber

When you think about it, sleep shouldn’t be THAT difficult. You’ve been doing it since you were born. Why then do I spend countless nights laying in bed admiring my ceiling? I set out on a mission to boot the insomnia once and for all. Here I share the secrets (?) I learnt and used to finally get those much needed z’s.

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1: Create and stick to a sleep routine

Now when I first came across this I thought it was absurd. I thought, “Doing the same thing before bed every night won’t make a difference, pfft”. Then I tried it. It is probably the best thing I have found to help me sleep.

The premise is that if you do the same things before bed each night, it gets your brain into the mindset of sleeping. It’s like it subconsciously prepares you for a peaceful night’s sleep.

My routine involves having a teaspoon of honey (seriously all the good things like anti-bacterial, throat-soothing and makes the body release serotonin which promotes sleep) in herbal tea. I slowly sip this while unwinding, removing makeup and all the rest of it. A sleep playlist, of chilled songs that calm me are also a must have. I have been working on getting to bed around the same time each night – that still needs a bit of work.

2: Limit caffeine after lunch

Coffee is my guilty pleasure. The smell. The sensation of that first sip. A good cup of coffee can dust away all my worries and help me take on the day. I know that coffee has a pretty big affect on me though – probably more than most. The other day, I bought the most delicious chocolate covered coffee beans (from the Noosa Chocolate Factory). I had been so good but it was about 6 pm and I had some serious chocolate cravings – may have delved into the chocolate coffee bean supply. I DID NOT SLEEP FOR HOURS AND HOURS.

I have been working on not consuming any caffeine after midday. Some days this is more challenging than others for me. So worth it though when I have those blissful uninterrupted hours of sleep.

3: Before bed yoga

Sometimes I find this whole “wind-down” thing a bit out of reach. I would try and then end up getting frustrated with myself that my mind was running a thousand miles with all the things it wanted to think about. Yoga is a great way to calm your body and get ready for sleep.

Don’t be intimidated – I ain’t no pretzel. My idea of pre-bed yoga are some pretty chilled poses like child’s pose, cat pose and supine twist. Really just some super gentle stretching but makes such a difference! But if you are up for the more intense stuff before bed, go right ahead.

4: Escape technology

We spend so much of our time now days behind a screen. I probably borderline on a little too much. The white-blue light of a screen actually tricks your brain into thinking it’s day time. It can reset your body clock and make it almost impossible to fall asleep.

Many devices now have the option to change the colour of the display lighting to make it more warm – which is much better sleep-wise. On an Iphone, it’s under Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

While this is great, turning off the computer/tablet/phone/other devices is even better. I have heard that some people will not bring any devices into the bedroom. I don’t know if I could even cope with this! For now I will settle for not using them 30 minutes before bed. At least that’s something, right?

5: Dim the lights

Kind of keeping with the technology theme, but this has made such a huge difference to me. When I moved into my unit, all of the fixed lighting had bright, stark white light bulbs. While this is great for offices, studios and photography, it is pretty poor for sleep.

One of the best things I did was replace most of the fixed bulbs and all of my lamps with warm light globes. When I’m starting to wind down at night, I switch from the few white lights to the warm ones and instantly notice the difference.

What helps you sleep better?