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The past few months have been hard for everyone, so it’s completely understandable that we’ve all had some bad days, or just felt a bit low in general. With that in mind, I want to share with you some of the things that I do when I’m feeling down – some are self-care, some are to boost my mood, and then some have just become a habit.

1) Rest
Whether it’s going to bed early or sleeping in late, try your best to get some sleep. It’s so important for your mind to have a break, especially right now when it has become very easy to overthink or be stuck with your own thoughts for a while. (I really need to take my own advice now and then, instead of scrolling through TikTok at 3 am…)

2) Get ready
Sometimes I feel like the hardest thing to do is actually get out of bed, especially when I think that I have no reason to or if I don’t have any plans. But getting up, having a shower, putting on an outfit that makes you feel good, and sometimes even doing your hair and makeup can make you feel great. If getting up and dressed is the biggest thing you’ve accomplished today, be proud of yourself, because it’s not easy!

3) Get some air
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a change of scenery (ie not the 4 walls of my bedroom) and some fresh air. Now, I’m the last person who’d tell you to go for a run or something, but if you can, great! If not, try and take one part of your everyday routine outdoors. You could sit out to eat a meal, read a book in the garden instead of inside, listen to music on the green instead of in your room, anything! It’s a great way to start getting outdoors again if going for a walk, run or cycle feels like a big hurdle.

4) Reach out
Is there a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Or even one you might talk to every day but you want to meet up? Give them a call or text. It’s important to check in with your friends, or make some plans with them (just make sure to wear a mask and keep 2 meters apart!).

5) Dance like no-one’s watching
I know I’m not the only person with a sad songs playlist, but what about your happy songs? If you already have a playlist, blare it and dance around your room because you are the main character. If you haven’t made one yet, put together all the songs that bring back good memories, make you want to dance, or just put a smile on your face.

6) Acknowledge your achievements
Nobody is expecting you to change the world all day every day. Did you brush your hair this morning? Change your bedsheets? Did you go for a walk when you didn’t think you would? Maybe you did a workout? Whatever it was, be proud of it!

7) Set a goal
Before you go to sleep tonight, think of one thing you want to achieve tomorrow, or in the coming week. It doesn’t have to be world peace – make it manageable but something that you might have to step a little bit out of your comfort zone to do. Having a goal like this can make it a bit easier to find some motivation, and it’s a great accomplishment afterward!

8) Speak to a professional
We can’t always handle everything on our own and that’s ok. You can speak to your GP (doctor), a therapist/councilor, or contact any of the free services below.
Samaritans (free emotional support) – call 116 123
ChildLine (free support for under 18’s) – call 1800 66 66 66, text 50101 or live message on www.childline.ie
Pieta House (support for those engaging in self-harm or affected by suicidal thoughts) – call 1800 247 247 or text 51444

It’s hard to remember, but it’s OK to be struggling. Your feelings and thoughts are always valid, not just when they’re positive, so don’t try to hide them. Sometimes you might just need a good night’s sleep to clear your head, and sometimes you might need some more support, but both are equally important. Take care.

Emma xx