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Self-Help: 10 ways to cheer yourself up when you feel down

Let's face it, no one is happy 100% of the time and that's okay because it's part of the human experience. Sometimes you can find yourself feeling... well, a little blue. That's all well and good when the clouds pass over by themselves but occasionally we need a little help to shake out of the funk.

Photographs and words by Rosa Fairfield

So you're feeling blue. What should you do? Your feelings resemble a zoo.

Accept how you feel
People always seem to be talking about positive thinking on social media. Honestly though, I think the worst thing you can do - when you're feeling down - is try and force yourself to be happy. The concept behind meditation is to let your thoughts pass over without clinging onto them. This can apply to emotions too. We tend to dig ourselves into a hole when we either cling to the feeling and refuse to let it go or when we refuse to acknowledge it and instead try to cover and change it. 

Taking time for yourself vs talking to someone?
I've read way too many websites that always recommend reaching out and talking to someone else. Honestly though, it's really not that simple. People have their own minds and you don't always get the reaction you'd hope for. In fact, sometimes it can just make you feel downright worse. 

I'm not telling you to bottle up your feelings, I think talking out vs alone time is very dependent on the person and you know what's best for you. It's something that should be thought through. If you know your mood will pass over after taking a few days to yourself, then great. If you know you need to express your feelings, then seek someone to share them with.

Do something that's task orientated
This always seems to work for me. It doesn't have to be something I enjoy... just as long as my mind is focused on something logical, that I'm completely emotionally removed from. I find computer coding is really good for this. It's not something that's related to opinion or emotion, it's just a task with a clear solution.

Get active
Okay, so this is always a bit of a hit and miss with me. Yeah, I'll get active and whilst that is happening I feel great but afterwards, I'll just go back to exactly how I was feeling before. It's a good adrenaline rush though, even if it's just something like dancing around your room. 

Get into a routine
Apparently, routines are my answer to everything. They might not be guaranteed to lift your mood but they do allow you to get stuff done and carry on with life, even when you're feeling down. This can stop more problems from occurring. 

Create art 
If there's no one you can reach out to... or if you don't know how to put your feelings into words, I find creation is a great alternative. Try and write a song... or draw a picture. Anything really, that way you're communicating your feelings to the world... just in a less direct/intrustive way.

Allow yourself to be as bitter and honest as possible
Everyone always seems to be talking about gratitude and kindness, like we all need to be walking around pretending to be saintly angels. Let's be completely blunt about this though, we're not always grateful for what we have... we're not always kind.

Far too many people refuse to acknowledge their 'darker' side. Be honest with yourself and your feelings. It doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human. I'm not telling you to be mean to people or hurt them. There's: sitting in your room, silently hating someone for their actions, letting it pass and moving on to see the situation in a new light. Then there's: going around to that person's house, smashing their windows and trying to make their life a living hell. I always find revenge is a terrible idea, you can never fully understand a situation if you're only living it from one side. Plus, violence never solved violence.

Just leave yourself be and don't judge
If all else fails... do what you need to do. You need to spend today lying in bed... okay, go ahead. Give yourself permission.

I hope you're feeling a little less blue now. I know I am, I washed this blue make-up off.