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Positive ways to cope with low mood - Carers UK Forum

Positive ways to cope with low mood

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Ways to cope with low mood
Not in any particular order

1. Don't be too hard on yourself if you aren't able to do as much as usual.
2. If possible, get out of the house for a while. Go for an outing.
3. Speak to other people, either on the forum or talk to a friend or family member (but try to find someone who makes you feel positive rather than someone who can drain your energy). If no one's available, try Samaritans or a similar group.
4. Meditate. Different meditations work for different people.
5. If possible, some form of exercise - walk the dog, yoga, swimming, gardening. Whatever works for you.
6. Make a list of things you're grateful for / happy for.
7. Get your favourite things together and just 'play' with them. Favourite music, books, clothes, letters from loved ones etc.
8. Compile a 'Happy Box'. Maybe treat yourself with something from the shops, a collection of items and put them all in a box. When you need it, open it up and take something / everything out.
9. Remember, you're not alone.
10. Check your 'to do's for the day. If it's not urgent, ask yourself if you could postpone it to give yourself more space.
11. Try to have a rough plan. Not more than you can handle, but just a rough guide of the day so you're not looking ahead to empty space (basic meal times etc.). If over a few days, try to get a basic routine (meals, bed etc.)
12. Be aware of the engrossing effects of things like television, computer procrastination etc. and try to avoid prolonged, unstructured sessions.
13. Take one thing at a time and just breathe.
14. Some say a change is as good as a break. Trying out an often unused furniture throw, bringing in some flowers from outside, maybe even wearing a nice jumper or hat around the house can put us in a different mindset.
15. Get enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation is a well known cause of depression and being tired does nothing for your mood:
-Be cautious of sleeping unnecessarily in the day as this could cause routine / sleeping problems which can perpetuate low mood. Also use the bed only for sleeping. This keeps good 'sleep hygiene' and gets your brain to associate bed with sleep.
-If possible, don't watch TV, use the computer, drink tea or coffee too long before bed as this can disrupt sleep. Try taking it as a time to settle down, maybe read a book or listen to some relaxing music.
-Consider melatonin supplements that have been known to give a good nights sleep without making you 'knocked out'
-If possible, sleep with no light at all. A lightless night benefits your pienal gland and supports melatonin production.
16. Organise your problems, if it's tomorrows problem then worry about it tomorow. For example if you know that you have to go shopping tomorrow and it is going to be an ordeal for one reason or another, don't spend the day before worrying about it or you'll miss out in enjoying the day that you're in.
17. Chocolate and curry have things in them that can help with mood. (Though avoid becoming dependent on certain foods to keep a good mood.)
18. A pamper session in the bath can help - bubbles/oils, good book/music and a beverage.
19. Singing along loudly and with abandon to a CD in the car.
20. If it feels like it's becoming a bad day, rather than fighting and resisting to make it a good day, sometimes it can help to write it off as a bad day, allow it just be and have a better day tomorrow.
21. Get the paints out and get creative. Maybe put some music on and engross yourself in a creative flow. If anything it will take your mind of other things. If paints are too much, close your eyes and paint in your head.
22. If your list of 'to do's is overwhelming, get a timer (kitchen timer or alarm on phone or watch) and give yourself a set time in which to do whatever you feel. 15mins to read or 30mins to do nothing. Make it your time. Some have found it more productive to do this than to do stressed-procrastination because the tasks are too daunting.
23. Remember that you are not Only a carer. There is Even More to you than that.
24. Don't forget to keep busy in times when you are down and try not to be alone for long. It tends to be harder to fight the urges to cope in negative ways when you are alone and doing nothing.
25. Never give up on life.
26. Everything you keep "safe" for posh days only, use today and every day instead and enjoy"
27. Sometimes relaxation techniques help - I like thinking about the fragrance of a grated lemon rind
28. Also if you get a chance get active - music and movement always help lift the mood so whether it is an aquafit class or just a bit of a dance etc do it
29. Throw ice cubes in the garden. They're supposed to have a similar satisfaction to smashing things up without actually smashing things up. They should shatter well.
30. Making cards or getting crafty can help too.
31. Write it down. Whether on paper or typing it up. It helps to write it all out.
32. Sit quietly and write a song about your feelings. It has helped carers on this forum.
33. Moodscope may help you track your mood and pinpoint triggers which you can then maybe address: http://www.moodscope.com/login
34. If you can't sleep, consider quietly getting up and doing something really constructive and boring. You will either get the job done or get to sleep.
35. Try projecting yourself (mentally) into the future and assess what we will be proud of. As we view ourselves and our action from a totally different perspective, it's like a new window, from the outside looking in.

Feel free to suggest things and I'll update the main list. Please see the individual posts for more information on some of these suggestions. (Some suggestions came from me and so have no related posts.) BB
Hi everyone,

This is such a great thread, I've copied it and posted it here so people can find it more easily. Click here to go to the full thread and join in the discussion! http://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-a ... mood-12505