Feeling Blue? Twenty Five Self-Care Tips that Oprah Didn’t Tell You

The media apprach and trends to lifestyle changes seems to always be a quick-fix strategy for a recurring problem. The South Beach Diet will cure all of your food concerns. The new anti-depressant medication will take care of your worries with just the right dosage. The latest sleep medication Lunesta will make sure you get a good night’s rest. The quick-fix for weight loss might be surgery or another new diet fad. Or why not get plastic surgery go simply remove your body hang-ups? Whatever your past approaches in bringing yourself out of a rut have been, try these simple and effective self-care tips that may even outdo all past failures! We often forget that simple may in fact, be better.

We all have our ups and downs through life, times when we feel like everything is against us and we’re carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just play up the lighter side of life, and make note of some ways to chase away the blues! Here are twenty-five self care tips that can help you nurture the most important person in your life: YOU!

1. Take a walk
Nothing beats a dismal day than a refreshing walk. Even 5-10 minutes of brisk walking outdoors can enliven your spirits and help you recharge. Take deep breathes to release the tension, and you’ll notice an instant change in your well-being.

2. Connect with nature
Bring a live plant to your home or office and take pride in maintaining and preserving it. You can connect with nature in other ways, by simply affirming the beauty around you, and mindfully taking in the stars, sun, or even a cloudy day!

3. Pet your dog or cat
It is vital for human beings to connect with life; petting your dog or cat will help you nurture something else, and create a sense of companionship and love naturally.

4. Sit in the sun for 15-20 minutes
Not only is the sun a natural Vitamin D source, it helps to revitalize your energy levels. Do apply sunblock and sunscreen!

5. Journal about your thoughts
This can help clear your head, and really reflect on what is on your mind. Carry an attractive journal with you and you’ll soon find yourself turning to it more often than not! Putting thoughts to paper also helps you organize your ideas, so it can bring perspective on persistent problems, thoughts, or even provide clues to your future.

6. Smile at a stranger
An exchanged smile is a beautiful gift! Share kindness with a stranger, and you’ll instantly better someone else’s day, if not your own.

7. Practice Yoga postures
Yoga can encourage deep breathing which leads to a more centered and peaceful feeling of well-being. Practice early in the morning, or just before bed to strengthen and focus on your day.

8. Make a to do list
Putting your ideas and thoughts on paper greatly increases your chances of getting them done. Oftentimes the ‘blues’ is simply a feeling of overwhelm. Discourage this pattern by writing a to do list, and checking off each item after completion. This will improve your idea about the project or task immediately!

9. Read a book or magazine article
Even a short story, joke, or interesting magazine article can get you off the negative-thought train and into a new perspective for even a few minutes. Encourage your mind to drift onto a new subject once in a while, and you are less likely to feel so bogged down. Some exciting discoveries can be found in National Geographic, the New York Times, Business Week for recent business trends, Conde Nast Traveler for a daydream escape, or any magazine of your choice that can get your mind away from your problems for a while.

10. Exercise at the gym
For the full benefits of a great workout, work towards sustaining a cardio session for 30-45 minutes. If you can break a sweat, you’re on your way to releasing tension and stress!

11. Get a massage
A great nurturing activity is to enjoy the benefits of massage. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran, you can always ‘disengage’ from your environment through this process of natural relaxation.

12. Sit or stand in the pose you are feeling
Ever feel like curling up into a ball? Do it! You may feel much better after affirming and experiencing the thoughts you are truly feeling.

13. Call a long-distance friend or family member
Just hearing the sound of a familiar friend or relative can help you think about someone else, and even reconnect

14. Sit in a park or garden
Connecting with natural settings helps the mind and body by increasing your awareness of the world around you. At minimum, try and do this at least once per week.

15. Listen to tapes
When your own thoughts seem scrambled or you just feel ‘out of sorts,’ sometimes it helps to just listen to another soothing voice or story. Invest in some meditative, story, or relaxation tapes and you’ll feel a boost when you just don’t have the energy to muster it on your own!

16. Turn off the televison!
Although television can be a great way to unwind, it can also do a number on your mental health! Disengage for just a week, and you’ll find yourself much more interested in your own life, and the world around you.

17. Learn to forgive
We often get caught up, or hung up, on the trivialities of relationships because we haven’t truly forgiven another person. Learn the process, and joy, of forgiveness, and you’ll realize that forgiving yourself is often the first step.

18. Make a list of your own life-improvements
Just for fun, make a list of areas of your life that you would like, or want to improve. This will give you a measure of what you can look forward to, even if you do not have it now.

19. Volunteer
The joys of volunteering are countless, but it can take some time to discover where your talents will be best suited. Learn to appreciate your strengths and apply them towards a cause you strongly believe in. The return on investment is very high!

20. Sing
Even if you’re not a singer, sometimes you’ve just got to belt out your favorite song! Sing along to something you already know if you can’t sing on your own, but clear your head with some uplifting music!

21. Soak in a hot bath
Relax and unwind in the tub, and light some candles to soothe your senses. You’ll feel calm instantly, and much more refreshed the next day.

22. Change your diet
Good nutrition is key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle, but can also help when you are feeling down. Invest some time in seeking out what works best for you and your body, and work towards eliminating junk food and excess sugar that can lead to extreme highs and lows in your day or week. Try a variation of the South Beach, Atkins, or Low-Carb diets if you must, but keep in mind that any crash dieting or abrupt changes will only cause more anxiety for you. The essential elements of all fad diets is balance; try and follow a balanced approach to your current food choices, and you will make slow but steady changes for a lifetime.

23. Cut back on alcohol
When you’re feeling down, drinking may relieve your worry temporarily, but it will not help you solve any problems. Drink only out of necessity when you’ve got troubles on your mind, and you’ll feel much stronger and resolute as a result!

24. Write a poem
Even the least creative person can scribble down random thoughts, ideas, or something that rhymes. Tap into your creativity and pick up some styles that suit your personality. Take up a creative writing class at your local college, or search online free poetry workshops to brush up on skills and techniques.

25. Take a nap
Sometimes you might just need a mental break. Take a short 15-20 minute nap, and you’ll feel fresher and energized.

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