There are so many coping mechanisms that you can use to make yourself happier even though times may be tough. These just happened to be the ones that resonated the most with me, and the coping mechanisms I use most often.
1) Talk to your friends and family.
Even if you haven’t talked to a certain friend in years, when you are going through a tough time, everyone will want to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and lean on them for support. Every time I reached out to someone I came out of the conversation with a smile on my face. Sure, there were tears throughout the call, but I always came away feeling loads better.
2) Accept help when it’s offered
I always used to turn down help for whatever reason. When I found myself in the midst of a break-up, I still said no to help. I thought I should deal with my problem alone. Then I realized that people wanted to help me and I should let them. It would make all of us feel better. My mom came to stay with me for 5 days and looked after my kids non-stop while I literally tore apart the house and binged and purged so many things. I guess it was nesting at it’s cocaine-induced height. My neighbour cleared my driveway of endless snowfalls. My Mother In Law looked after the kids while I cried my eyes out upstairs. Every little bit of help helps.
3) Invest in a juicer and make health a priority
There is nothing like liquid nutrition to make you feel on top of the world. I juiced every 3 days and drank 4-5 pints of green juice every single day. My mind got clearer, my energy soared, and my unborn baby got more nutrients than I had given him in the previous 7 months combined. I made no excuses. I juiced even though I had a 1 year old and 3 year old to look after. It took 15 minutes of prep, 45 minutes of juicing, and 15 minutes of cleanup once every 3 days.
My favourite green juice recipe:
- 5 heads of celery
- 2 bunches kale
- 1 bunch swiss chard
- 2 heads romaine
- 3 cucumbers
- 2 bunches parsley
- 5 lemons
- 5 apples
- 3lb bag of carrots
- large piece of ginger (about ½ the size of your palm)
This recipe makes about 16 pints of green juice. I would store them in mason jars and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
4) Say affirmations daily
I searched the web and made a list of affirmations to make myself happy. They went something along the lines of “I choose to be happy. I base my happiness on my own achievements and the blessings I have been given” or “I have love in every cell of my body” or “I deserve to be loved for the soul that I am”. Search the internet, and write down the affirmations that resonate with you. Say them when you wake up, before you go to bed, and whenever you remember throughout the day. Always be on the lookout for new affirmations. I picked up so many along my journey and added them to my notepad.
5) Practice gratitude and enjoy the present moment
Be grateful for everything you have. If you find yourself in a negative thought pattern, immediately change your focus to a more positive thought. Pick something to be grateful for right then and there. For me it was always my kids. They snapped me out of negativity more times than I can even count. Or it could be something as simple as being able to afford food to nourish your mind and body. Be grateful for what you already have in your life.
Along with gratitude comes being present. Find something in the present moment that makes you smile. Even when times feel that they can’t get any worse, I’ll bet you can still find something to smile about. Put down your smartphone and join the present moment wholeheartedly.
6) Don’t be afraid to cry
If something horrible has happened in your life, don’t hold the emotion in. When you feel it coming on just let it out. I cried in the grocery store, at the butcher, in the car, and on the kitchen floor among other places. I found if I tried to hold it in I felt even more horrible. The second I just let myself feel my emotions I had a huge release and always felt better after a good cry.
7) Do anything you can to make yourself happy right now
Visit friends, get your hair done, go for a massage, go for a walk, write down your feelings, play a sport, go to the gym, do anything that will make you happy. I know how hard it is to make yourself happy when you feel like you’re completely broken, dead, and utterly shattered. But the more you strive for happiness, the easier it becomes, and the happier you will get over the next days and weeks.
8) Meditation and visualization
I couldn’t sleep at all in the beginning of my personal crisis, so I turned to meditation just to pass the time. What started out as a haphazard practice turned into my most favourite time of day. I used the time to visualize exactly how I wanted my life to go, and saw myself happy every single day. I would plan the perfect day from the moment I awoke to the moment I went to sleep. Eventually I started learning to ground myself and let in light and healing energies. I would picture roots growing from my feet and see them traveling to the depths of the earth. I would ask Mother Earth to hold onto me, protect me, and to share her energy with me. I would visualize my heart chakra opening and glowing with pink light. Lastly I would envision violet light washing over me and my unborn baby to keep us grounded to the earth and keep us safe. I really don’t think there is a wrong way to meditate. Do whatever feels right to you in the moment whether it be visualization, calmness and serenity, or saying affirmations.