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Updated 24 July 2014

10 things to do when you're down

Life is not always moonshine and roses. There are those days when you feel really down, despondent, ugly and unwanted. Here's how to make yourself feel better.

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Life is not always moonshine and roses. There are those days when you feel really down and despondent, when you feel your family is the worst one in the world, when you have no money and you've had a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Things that will make you feel better
Get some exercise. Get that heart rate up – you will also cause your serotonin (the feel-good hormone) to rise and then you will definitely feel better.

Phone a friend. You don't always have to suffer in silence – a kind voice on the other end of the telephone can sometimes make you feel a thousand times better.

Eat something. A sandwich, a cup of tea or a piece of fruit might make you feel better instantly, especially if your blood sugar levels are low.

Bury yourself in a book. There's nothing like a really interesting story to take your attention off your own troubles. Borrow from friends or look in the library – and don't judge a book by its cover.

Get out into nature. A walk on the mountain, a visit to the beach or to a nearby forest – even a pretty sand dune (depending on where you are) are all things guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Spend time with someone you like. There's nothing like a friend who likes you and is kind to you to make you feel better. Talk about what's bothering you, but then move on to other things after a while.

Buy yourself something. This does not have to cost a fortune. A magazine, or a chocolate will do the trick. Spoil yourself – but not to the point of weight gain or bankruptcy, or both.

Make an appointment to see a counsellor. Just making the appointment will make you feel better already. Talk to the school counsellor or phone Lifeline where there are trained counselors on duty 24 hrs a day.

Take a nap. Often you just need a little sleep to perk you up a bit. Chances are, if there have been problems in your life, that you haven't had enough sleep recently. Bond with that duvet.

Have a good cry. There's nothing like a good cry to get painful things out of your system. Don't bottle it up – it will only make you feel worse.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, March 2006)

(Picture: teens exercising from Shutterstock)

 
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