7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Start Feeling Better

Anxious? Depressed? Stressed? Overwhelmed by trauma memories? You will want to do things to help yourself feel better as quickly as possible, without doing anything that has negative consequences. It takes time to recover but there are simple things you can do right now.

  1. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has a profound impact on mood. Are you getting enough restful sleep? If not, consider these basic sleep hygiene guidelines
  2. Practice deep breathing, relaxation or guided imageryDeep breathing can be practiced anywhere and can immediately shift your mood,  help decrease anxiety.  I like Belleruth Naparstek’s guided imagery.  She even has a free audio spa treatment .  An Internet search can help you find other options that works for you.
  3. Smell something.  Our sense of smell can evoke emotions and connect us vividly to past experiences.  Choose  a scent that conjures up positive associations, happiness, well-being. Many find lavender to be calming, for example.
  4. Connect to nature. Being in nature can help people get out of themselves, connect with something larger or feel more grounded.  Exposure to natural light helps mood as well. Live in the city? You can still do it: watch birds,  feed squirrels,  plant a container garden, notice the sunset or sunrise.  Do you have a pet?  Can you spend time with a friend’s? Animals are a great source of unconditional love and companionship.
  5. Do something physical. Research shows that physical activity relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety while also helping with insomnia. You don’t have to think of it as “exercise”,  just move in a way you enjoy. Walking your dog, dancing, biking, gardening, yoga are all options. Join a team and also accomplish #6.
  6. Connect to others. We all need human connection.  Do you have supportive friends you can reach out to? If not, explore in-person or online support groups, classes, activities.
  7. Seek professional help. Sometimes the ideas above are not enough or there are reasons you cannot put them into practice.  Even taking the first step towards seeking help can be a relief. You do not have to struggle alone.  Contact me and I can help you with the next steps.

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

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10 Responses to 7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Start Feeling Better

  1. mile 191 says:

    Thanks for the submission. I plan to use this for the carnival. Hope to hear from you after Friday. Mile 191

  2. Just Be Real says:

    Thank you so much for sharing in the Carnival these tips. Much appreciated.


  3. I’m really struggling this week. You know that “peeling the onion” analogy you practitioners are so fond of? Well, I’m on a really stinky layer right now. I do all of these things, and they do really help. I have to remember to do my breathing and visualization, though. Thanks for the reminder!

    Thanks so much for allowing us to use this helpful post for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. Most of us survivors do need reminders for self-care. It’s so important to our healing.

    • M-

      I am sorry to hear its been a rough patch! Stinky layer is a great description!

      I think self care reminders are necessary, over and over if needed.

      Here’s hoping it gets even a bit better for you soon!

  4. Remembering to breathe my way through the emotions is one that I keep forgetting to do. Thanks for these tips. They do make a difference.

  5. Pingback: Mental Health Month: Live Your Life Well « Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago

  6. Pingback: #TBT: 7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Start Feeling Better | Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Tucson

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