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10 Things To Do When You Feel Down

10 Things To Do When You Feel Down

Any time you’re feeling down, you have two options: 1) keep doing what you’re doing, or 2) do something to try and pick yourself back up. Sometimes number 2 isn’t so easy, though. That’s why we came up with 10 things you can do when you’re not feeling your best to get that smile back on your face.

1. Stop being so hard on yourself.

We put a lot pressure on ourselves. While it’s beneficial to aspire to greatness, sometimes you need to sit back, reflect, and recognize all the good things you have going on right now. So when you’re feeling down, try this: think about the things in life you’re grateful for. Focus on what you have … not what you don’t. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Be content with who you are right now at this moment. And remember, happiness is a choice.

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2. Get up and move.

One of the best ways to pick yourself up when you’re having a tough day is to get off your butt and do some exercise. For example, go outside and take a walk. Ride your bike around the block. Go to the gym. Don’t just stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself. Get up, get moving, and get over it.

3. Surround yourself with people you love.

Family and friends can be the best medicine when you have the blues. Even if you can’t see them in person, pick up the phone and call someone you love. Sometimes all you need is a friend to listen to you and help you get some stuff off your chest.

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4. Find a way to laugh.

We take life a little too seriously sometimes. But let’s put this in perspective: how you’re feeling right now is one tiny moment out of the thousands you will experience in your life. Know that sadness is temporary. And pick yourself up by watching your favorite funny show, movie, or video online.

5. Eat something healthy.

Guess what most people eat when they feel down? That’s right, junk food. Do the opposite and your body will thank you. Eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Grabbing a healthy snack can help you feel better and fill your body with proper nutrients. That’s a win-win.

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6. Take deep breaths.

Focusing on your breathing may not sound like much, but it can make a world of difference if you’re feeling down. So spend a few minutes focusing on nothing except your breath. Take long, slow breaths and get rid of all negative thoughts on each exhale.

7. Spend time with animals.

Pets are therapeutic. And they’re smart. They can sense when you’re sad. Even if you don’t have a dog, cat, or other pet, you likely have a friend who does. So try spending some time around animals and watch your stress melt away.

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8. Do something spontaneous and exciting.

You may not feel like doing much when you’re down in the dumps. But one of the best ways to free your mind of those pesky negative thoughts is to go out and do something totally spontaneous. Take an impromptu road trip to go visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Visit your favorite store and treat yourself to a new outfit. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Create some excitement in your life.

9. Read something inspirational.

Words have the power to heal and pick you back up when you’re down. Go online and search for inspirational quotes. Watch a speech from a famous and inspiring leader you admire. Or read a thoughtful or inspiring book.

10. Get some work done.

Here’s an easy way to take your mind off negative thoughts when you’re having a bad day: do some work. Whether it’s your job, doing chores, or working on a project you’re passionate about, getting work done will help you feel productive and free up your mind.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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