10 Ways to Improve a Low Day

In Celeste Ng’s Little FIres Everywhere, one of the characters makes a toasted bread, butter, and caramelized sugar sandwich to ease “a low day.” We all have low days from time to time. Here are some of the things I do to turn a gloomy day around.

  1. Go for a drive. My botched eye surgery means I cannot drive on the highways, but, on the plus side, I’m always taking Sunday Drives in the Country and getting to enjoy the more sedate pace. Taking a drive through a scenic area can be soothing to the soul.
  2. Go for a walk. A good long walk can make everything seem better. If you can walk along water, even better. There’s something about seeing and hearing water that puts things in perspective.
  3. Make a good cup of tea. I drink gallons of tea all day using a teabag mashed into the Keurig. But if I want to relax, I have loose tea, in a proper tea bag, and use correctly boiled water and a timer to measure the steeping time. It’s not just that the tea is better (although Heavenly Cream has a lot over Red Rose!) but there is something meditative in the preparation process.
  4. Diffuse essential oils. I’m not an oil wizard like a lot of people I know, but diffusing oils has a lovely and calming effect. I like a mix of lavender, peppermint, and grapefruit, or Young Living’s Inner Child.
  5. Hug your pet (or someone else’s pet – just ask first!) From my work with my former pup who was a therapy dog, I witnessed first-hand the calming effects of a dog. Teddy is just starting to get out of his nippy puppy stage so he’s starting to be soothing.
  6. Put on lipstick. Put on a nice, bright lipstick. Red in fall and winter. Pink in summer and spring.
  7. Read a Devotional. I always have low days when I stray too far from the Word. I’m still loving Melanie Shankle’s Everyday Holy as a way to reconnect.
  8. Watch The Shack. The movie is kookier than the book, but the theology is incredibly comforting. Plus, Octavia Spencer always makes one believe that everything is going to be OK.
  9. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. It needs a language warning, but the drama is epic. No matter what kind of crazies are stirring up trouble in your life, they likely don’t hold a candle to these larger-than-life personalities.
  10. Play some good music. I know it’s as basic as liking Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Hunter boots, but Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten never fails to cheer me.

XO

Update: I was so sad to hear the news about Kate Spade. The world lost a creatively beautiful soul. If your low days won’t lift, or you have any thoughts of self-harm, please seek help. You are needed, wanted, and loved.

20 comments

  1. Hi Jen, kind of weird how that news came out today when you made this post. So sad, thinking of those left behind, especially her young daughter.

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    • I think it’s a tough time of year. I know a lot of people who are down and I’ve been struggling a bit so I thought it was a timely post. I was shocked when I heard the news later in the day. We really can’t know others’ struggles and it’s so important to be kind. XO

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  2. Thank you for these helpful ideas…..I usually click on my fav music on Pandora (Classic Country), turn it way up and, well, how can you remain “low down” when your hearing all that fun music…..eventually you cheer up & start tapping your foot…. very recently I was in a very low place and Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shocked me…..but I understand that desperate need to end the pain….too bad we can’t just kill the pain and remain alive….. We need to re-connect with real people…not so much texting or e-mailing!! We’re becoming a very lonely society, feeling no on cares……no one to talk to

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    • Thanks for commenting. I love music too. Brad Paisley’s Crushin It always works for me. It was such a tough week in the news. So much sadness. I’m glad you are feeling better. Reconnecting is key. Sometimes, I wish they’d invent an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind pill – perhaps in the next realm. XO

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  3. Anyone who posts words of encouragement and empathy to those in pain, suffering from depression, is an angel in my book. You are an angel. Your words at the end of your post advising anyone suffering to seek help are also of much value. Keep doing what you do and I hope the little devil on your own shoulder is kept at bay by some of the measures you are clearly taking to sooth your own soul. Much love and empathy to you from a fellow sufferer.

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  4. Thank you, thank you, thank God for you.Can’t drive any longer, can’t sew any longer, can’t walk any longer, BUT I can read, I can hear God’s word and beautiful music. I can see colors and sky and grass I can still feel my great grandchildren’s hugs and and see the love in their eyes.

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