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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

6 simple things our readers do to help themselves feel better

Little things can make a big difference.

YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, just like your physical health, is something you need to look after, and something you can do a lot to take care of.

Doing little things that make you feel better regularly, particularly when things are tough, is one of the best ways to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Last week we asked our readers what they do to make themselves feel better when they’re down, and there are some great tips in there. Here are some of the best we got. What are yours?

1. Exercise – especially outdoors

Source: Fit Approach via Flickr/CC

Reader Justin Healy wrote:

Cycle/run/walk/hike… any exercise… you’ll feel better after it!

Exercise is great for your all-round health and doing it outdoors brings added benefits. It gets you out of the house, and being in nature can help lift depression, improve energy and boost your overall mood.

2. Sing a song

Source: Shutterstock/Adam Gregor

Reader Whistlestop told us:

Sing in the car, kitchen, shower…

Singing has been found to lessen the feelings of depression and loneliness and choral singing in particular can sustain psychological well-being. Of course, you don’t need to join a choir or group to reap the benefits – you can sing anywhere, and you don’t even have to be any good for it to make you feel better.

3. Do some reading

Reading Source: ZapTheDingbat via Flickr/CC

Reader Feargal De Cantuin suggested:
Read a good book or poem.

Getting away from screens, including phones, tablets and televisions, is good for your stress levels and immersing yourself in a book has multiple benefits. From improving your concentration rate to just being a cosy way to relax, grabbing a book is a nice way to take some time for yourself.

4. Think of a small act of kindness for someone else

Source: mhauri

Reader Whistlestop also said:

Do something good for another person no matter how small. Let someone out in traffic, compliment someone on their service, make someone a cup of tea/coffee…

Whether you do an act of kindness for a stranger or someone you know, it’s a great way to help yourself feel better. Helping someone out, having a chat and a cup of tea, or even just giving someone a compliment are all easy ways to show a little kindness.

5. Watch something funny or uplifting

Source: Taller Stories

Reader Davy Boy gave his suggestion:
Watching a five-minute film about Ireland’s oldest ice cream man.

He’s referring to an article on TheJournal.ie about John Taylor, who’s been an ice-cream man for 49 years. The article included a short film about him. You can watch it here. Laughter is known to release stress, so you could go to a comedy show or watch a funny film, too.

6. Be creative

Source: Shutterstock/ziashusha

Finally, a couple of readers suggested indulging your creative or artistic side – whether it’s painting, drawing, or simply listening to music rather than switching on the news.

Research backs up the benefits of creativity as part of helping with negative feelings. It doesn’t matter what form your creativity takes – dancing, knitting, gardening – they’ll all bring positive impact to your life.

Do you have any other tips for making yourself feel better when you’re feeling low? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re feeling a little low, there is support out there to help. YourMentalHealth.ie is where to go to learn about mental health and how to support yourself and the people you love. You can find support services and learn about how little things can make a big difference. 

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