Believe it or not, we all have gloomy days. But we don’t have to sit and suffer through them. Get easy ideas on how to cheer up on down days.
Emotional ups and downs are a natural part of life. But, no one enjoys feeling sad, even for just a day or two. I don’t like it at all. I always feel like shouting, “Would someone please tell me how to cheer up?” (This prompted me to make a cheat sheet, which is now a free download located below for you!)
And, somewhere along the way, I’ve been conditioned to believe that feeling these negative emotions is a sign of weakness, or that I’m doing something wrong if I feel down or sad. I feel like I have to fix something to be able to feel better.
But, that’s not usually the case; feeling down is a part of the human experience. We all encounter feeling sad or blue once in a while. And sometimes, for no identifiable reason.
Thankfully, there are some things we can do when we have a melancholy day to soothe and uplift our emotions. I’ve listed some strategies I used the last time I felt this way (which wasn’t too long ago). I hope you find something that shows you how to cheer up!
1 How to Cheer on Down Days – Make a Plan
As I said, most of us would agree we don’t want to stay in a down and sad mood. We want to feel happier – and the sooner the better!
My first suggestion: make a plan, or prepare a little cheat sheet when you are having a good day.
Write down a few ideas that you think would work the best for you, so you can use them when you feel sad and need to remember how to cheer up on down days.
It’s much easier to pull out your cheat sheet on a down day than to be creative and think of things that would make you feel better. Trust me, we’re not going to come up with good ideas when you feel that way (at least I never do!).
But, it’s important to consider positive ways to soothe our emotions. Otherwise, not only do we not fix the problem, we can create new problems.
So, eating junk food, drinking sugary drinks, binge drinking alcoholic beverages, or even shopping therapy probably shouldn’t be on our list if it’s a slippery slope for us. It may sound like a good solution at the time, but these activities do not fix the problem. In fact, most of the time, they don’t make us feel better either.
So plan ahead and create a list to find comfort on down days before you need it. Most importantly, make it about how to cheer up YOU!
2 We All Experience Stressful Seasons – Schedule Respite Breaks
We all have seasons that are more stressful, busy, or emotional than others. The holiday season, graduation time, and back to school are mine. I can expect an increase in my stress around those times – it’s predictable – if I was the betting kind, I’d be rich.
If I don’t pay attention to that and over schedule myself, I practically invite a down day.
Don’t set yourself up for a down day! Look ahead in your schedule and make a couple of respite appointments. Your respite can be a fancy trip to the spa or just a time to rest and read a book or magazine you enjoy.
The point is to plan some breaks and respite into your busy seasons. Even 5 minutes can help!
3 How to Cheer Up on Down Days – Self-care
Can I share something with you? I am the worst at self-care.
And when I am stressed, my self-care is a tragedy. I’m sure I sound over-dramatic, but it’s true, my self-care is dismal. So, I say this not as an expert, but as someone who needs to hear it just like you do.
You MUST make taking care of yourself a priority on down days.
I have an “after I take care of the 56,986 things on my to-do list, I will sit down for five minutes” mentality. I always feel like I don’t have time to for myself.
How about you?
That is a bad mentality. We should be taking care of ourselves continuously. (Oh great, now I’m shoulding on us.)
Can we just make a pact and start making self-care a priority?
We’ll start with committing to doing so when we need to figure out how to cheer up on down days. We’ll pull out the little cheat sheet we made in bullet #1 and start working our way down the list.
No, it won’t be the same things for everyone. For me, I like to call my friend who always makes me laugh. I cry and laugh on the same call (I’m productive that way-very cleansing!).
And, you don’t have to do a certain number of steps to find comfort and feel better. Just do what you know helps you.
Schedule time to enjoy being with your family, instead of just taking care of your family.
You know what – my family LOVES it if I sit down and binge-watch a Netflix series or a movie with them.
I feel so lazy at first. But, then, I feel better! And my family is happy too. And, nobody cares that I didn’t fold the towels or vacuum the hallway that day.
Sometimes, saying no to things we think we should do (because it’s on our to-do list, or we saw it on our favorite social media platforms or because that’s what so & so is doing) is how to cheer up on down days.
I challenge you to look at your situation and find something to say no too. It’s shocking (and FREEING) to find things we’re doing that aren’t important to our family members and can be dropped and NOBODY NOTICES OR CARES!
4 Down Days Can Signal the Need to Sleep, Move, and Eat
Sometimes, a good night sleep or a hot meal – the meal we’d probably call ‘comfort food’ – can be the best medicine on a down day.
For me, a look in my ‘rear-view mirror’ reveals several poor nights of sleep, empty calories or several inadequate meals, and a lot of my mind racing around in circles but my feet firmly glued to the ground.
So, I start with one of my favorite meals.
I usually make the Roasted Salmon with Artichoke Hearts plus the Lemon-Dill Yogurt Sauce on page 14 of Joy’s Simple Food Remedies Cookbook. This recipe is embarrassingly simple, but I’m serious, this meal is literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I’m sure it’s pretty healthy, but I don’t even know or care because it tastes so good.
The other thing I do and encourage everyone who is having a down day to do, get outside and go for a walk. I read somewhere recently that walking just 10 minutes outside in nature has shown to significantly improve our mood. I’m not sure if being barefoot in cool water helps, but I love it!
And finally, I make a conscious effort to cut back on sugar and caffeine (although I really want it when I feel down, so I make myself eat healthy) so I get a better nights sleep.
Sleep fixes lots of things!
5 Scripture Helps Us Cope While Feeling Sad and Down
Finally, immersing myself in Scripture, even for just a few minutes, is my strongest and most reliable way to feel happier on down days. Why?
Well, for me, it’s remembering that the Lord is bigger than anything I’m dealing with and that He loves me, is with me, and sees me struggling.
I can even cry out to Him (read Psalms to see examples) when I am having a bad day. My cries are heard.
But, more importantly, I find hope.
I remember I’m not going to feel like this forever. Here are some verses you may find helpful and comforting when you are down.
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV).
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (NIV).
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV).
Summary of How to Cheer Up on Down Days
Before I close, I want to add that the most optimistic thing we can do is remind ourselves that the way we feel on down days is not a permanent state.
Let’s treat our down days with the same mentality that we use when we have a cold or virus; it’s a minor inconvenience. Therefore, let’s take special care of ourselves during the short time we have to deal with it.
Which of these five strategies do you think will help you find comfort on down days the most? The five ways we can take care of ourselves include:
- Make (& then follow) a plan
- Schedule respite breaks
- Implement appropriate self-care
- Get sleep, food and go out in nature
- Read Scripture
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Lisa Kimrey is a 30-year veteran registered nurse, speaker, and author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At Mylifenurse, Lisa writes about simple ways to care for yourself to stay happy, healthy, and rejuvenated while you serve and care for others. Combining her years of nursing expertise with Scripture-based encouragement, Lisa shows readers easy ways to begin and maintain their self-care journey – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care Starter Guide!