1. Add a blast of cold to your shower
We're talking 30 to 90 seconds of water that's cold enough to make you gasp. Research suggests that even cold therapy from your bathroom can improve circulation and cardiac function, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. Oh, and it's sure to wake even the most exhausted mamas up too.
2. Find the green in every day
We could all do with a little less blue light and a little more green space. Going for a walk to a park, field, or even just to look at a tree can do wonders.
3. Start a memory jar
Find a jar, and every time you feel like you’re doing this parenting malarky right or your little one does something that makes your heart feel like it might explode, write it down and add it to the jar. When you’re having a bad day, head to your jar and have a look at all the wonderful stuff you’ve done.
4. Try square breathing
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a moment to reset with some intentional breathing can really help. The principle of square breathing is simple: inhale for four counts, hold the breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, pause and rest for four counts, and repeat as many times as you like.
5. Start a gratitude journal
We spend so much time focusing on what isn’t going well in our lives, that the simple act of sitting down and writing down what we’re grateful for can lead to a happier, more content life. In fact, you’ll probably find that you’re right in the middle of what you used to look forward to.
6. Get that thing out the way
We don’t know about you, but we tend to leave the worst thing on the to-do list until last. Which means that the whole day is tainted with a sense of dread. Fun. Switch it up this week by doing the least enjoyable task first, and see how it shifts your mood.
7. Curate a feel-good social media feed
Over the next few days, pause over each social media post you come across and ask yourself, ‘how does this make me feel?’ If the answer isn't inspired, calm, motivated, or happy, then unfollow.
8. Do some exercise
Even gentle exercise like walking releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. It can also help you sleep better and give you more energy.
9. Carve out some me time
There’s nothing wrong with asking your partner, friend, or relative to watch the baby for even half an hour so you can have a bath, go for a walk, or just lie on the sofa and watch telly in peace. It’s not selfish - you cannot look after your child unless you look after yourself.
10. Recognise when you need more support
While the tips above can be helpful if you’re having a bit of a down day, they’re not solutions for if you’ve been feeling consistently down for some time. If this is the case, you need to seek more support. This could be from a partner, family, friends, GP, or counsellor.
Remember that we all need support sometimes, and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of about asking for help.