Practical suggestions for getting back to feeling good
December 13, 2016 2:13 PM   Subscribe

What are some nice things I can do for myself to get back to feeling good?

I'm not feeling terribly positive about my life right now (I followed the advice in my last askme and went no contact with me ex. I feel sad and lonely. I don't feel ready to date but I would like to feel like I am one day going to be someone that someone would be excited to date - and I would like to be feeling pretty good about myself regardless

*I feel blah appearance wise. I'm always in workout gear because of my job and I resent the amount of grooming that is expected of women and yet would like to feel like I look nice rather than as blah as I feel
*the business I run takes up most of my time. I absolutely love it but the hours make it hard to be seriously involved in hobbies etc. I feel boring! Plus my free time is usually during the day when my friends are at work, because I work mornings plus late afternoons and evenings. When I do have free time I'm not always sure what I even want to do with it.
*I feel kinda bummed out all the time at the moment so I don't feel like people are going to have a super good time hanging out with me
*I am taking a week off work over Christmas
posted by Chrysalis to Human Relations (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh forgot to add - I have a hip injury right now so I can't do any super cool exercise stuff
posted by Chrysalis at 2:14 PM on December 13, 2016

Best answer: Swimming always makes me feel's a low impact way to exercise, so it would work well for hip injuries. It gets my endorphins up and the water relaxes me.

Start keeping a gratitude journal. I write down three things each day that I'm grateful for. Gratitude can make your life feel so much more rich, simply because you're stopping to recognize the things in your life that are actually going pretty good. This song inspires me quite a lot.

Lastly, this might sound vain, but go to Victoria Secret and get fitted for a new bra. Seriously. Having new underwear that fits you like a glove can make a girl feel brand new.

All the best in your journey back to yourself.
posted by Cybria at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This might sound silly, but burning candles has worked for me this year. I light a candle every night, sometimes for someone else, and sometimes for me.

Recently, I went to Walmart and got some weird-looking fleece-lined leggings, just because. I also went to Goodwill and got some platform clogs for $5, just because. And a knockoff D&G leather purse, just because, for $8.

I love to watch ASMR videos on make-up, even tho' I don't wear a lot. I like WhispersRed and of course, Gentle Whispering.

Those are the things I can think of, given your physical limitations. Try and relax and get through it, remember, it's only one week out of the year.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Mani/pedi. I feel SO put together when I get them - even if I'm in sweatpants and a tshirt.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:11 PM on December 13, 2016

Best answer: Get some nicer workout clothes than the ones you usually wear. I work from home and wear a lot of sweat pants and I feel so much better about myself when I treat myself to some new comfy clothes. There are a lot of nice workout clothes that are super cute and comfy. I also like to do something in the morning that make me feel like I'm taking care of myself and my appearance. For me this is using some lotion to keep my skin looking fresh and putting on some of my favorite sparkly lip balm. Takes a couple of seconds but makes me feel like I'm participating in girly grooming efforts and weirdly did a lot for my self esteem.

And you're not boring! You run a business and you love it! That sounds amazing and not boring at all. Lots of people would like to hear what someone like you has to say even if you don't have time for hobbies.
posted by ilovewinter at 3:59 PM on December 13, 2016

Best answer: I'm in nearly the very same boat as you. Also going no contact with my soon-to-be ex-husband. I feel you and I feel this, hard.

Something I've been doing a lot of is making plans, reaching out to friends for girl dates at that new restaurant or day trips a few weeks in advance so there's always something to look forward to. I know the feeling of "ugh, I am not a fun person to be around right now so I should avoid socializing" but that sneaky isolation spiral is not helpful for me so instead I just tell friends upfront that I'm feeling unfun or having a hard day and the good ones are empathic and supportive. I booked a trip for February to meet a friend in a faraway place I've never been and that's a thing I'm kinda living for at the moment. I replaced a few clothing and furniture items that desperately needed upgrading and having new things feels nice.

Cheaper things! Sheet masks. From Sephora, the $6 ones. Driving to a park/the ocean/somewhere pretty and listening to a podcast or calling that friend you haven't talked to in months and have been meaning to catch up with. Netflix. Baths, if that's your thing. Preparing nice, healthy meals for the work week makes me feel like a Productive Adult.

FWIW, I simultaneously feel not ready to date AND so very lonely, and it is such a hard place to be in. But I'm recognizing that all the seemingly small things I'm doing to take semi-decent care of myself and not fall apart will help the time pass and get me to a place where I might be ready to meet new people. I hope! For me and for you.
posted by blackcatcuriouser at 4:13 PM on December 13, 2016 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Mend something. It can and should be something small: That shirt you love with a hole in the side, or the front door that needs an insulation strip to keep the weather from coming in. Fixing something in your home often feels like a win in your favor and it doesn't take a lot of effort.
posted by mochapickle at 4:51 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think you sound like a really cool person. Running your own business is brave, and it sounds like you enjoy it. That's great.

I think a lot of the answer really depends on what you used to find enjoyable before you got so busy, and how can you revisit some similar activities now? But here are some ideas.

* Appearance stuff - Nothing perks me up like a haircut. Like you, I resent the amount of grooming I am supposed to do. However through trial and error I've found out which haircuts work for me with minimal effort, and if my hair looks good everything else seems workable. Agree with the suggestions to buy some cute workout gear, too.
* It sounds like you have free time right around the middle of the day. Maybe you could try meeting your friends for lunch?
* Collection of short stories, if you find reading enjoyable. Easy to pick up and put down.
* Meditation. When I'm really sad or stressed and in my head, a few minutes of meditation can help me reset.
* Give yourself some time. Breakups suck ass. Be nice to yourself.

I think a week off is a great idea. If you don't start feeling better in time, and it starts to look like your work schedule is a barrier to happiness, maybe consider making some adjustments that would allow you a little more freedom and more of a personal/social life.

Good luck.
posted by bunderful at 7:15 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have light coloured hair, try getting your brows and lashes tinted.
Maybe get a brow shaping as well- but make sure they wax only BELOW the brow, don't let them wax above the brow as that will make you look tired.
it gives your eyes a little kapow that will make you feel attractive and look more awake and friendly, and once it's been done, it lasts a couple weeks maintenance-free.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:30 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Take a walk in nature.. Go to an art gallery by yourself. Pick up a musical instrument and teach yourself to play. Write. Get a cat. Listen to Bach.
posted by Jandoe at 9:36 PM on December 13, 2016

Best answer: I'm not sure if you're in an area that has things like this (and if you have the financial situation to support it), but if so, have you considered taking hobby-style classes that don't involve sports or working out? Do you like crafting at all? I've been taking a jewelry making class lately and I love it--I get to make pretty/interesting things out of metal and use tools at the same time. Often craft stores have knitting or sewing or other crafting classes, and often these things are offered during the day and in the evenings, so you could take advantage of your mid-day free time. If crafting isn't your thing, how about foreign language lessons or music? If there's a community college near you, they often have non-credit courses for cheap.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 12:31 AM on December 14, 2016

Best answer: Go dancing!! Can you? With your hip?? I swear to god you'll feel like a new person. Or if you don't want to be around people, go to a small event in the community, something that involves mixing with other people but not directly (yoga, a lecture, whatever). Get some new stuff going! Or rescue a pet!
posted by benadryl at 1:40 AM on December 14, 2016

Best answer: Join Toastmasters - there are meetings during the day, and you and the other members should click well and it will give you a boost while your hip heals.

Maybe private lessons for a craft you love or a talent you want to develop to get around the 9-5 thing? Or something off-beat like a Midnight Mud pottery class. Keep looking and many music & art colleges have student professionals that can work with your schedule.

Enjoy rebelling in your self 🙂 I meant to type revelling, but maybe autocorrect is on to something 😉
posted by childofTethys at 9:08 AM on December 14, 2016

Best answer: You could watch TV - not in a "whatever's on" mindless way, but make a list of 5 tv shows or movies that you want to catch up on and work through them. Maybe you like sci-fi movies but you've never watched any Star Trek or seen any of the classics, you could find a list of "10 classic episodes of Star Trek". Or you could try and watch old movies featuring classic actors like Audrey Hepburn, or perhaps you haven't seen the new stuff people talk about these days like Stranger Things, Westworld or Game of Thrones. The best thing about TV is that it works around any schedule if you're using Netflix or a similar service, and it opens up a bunch of common ground conversations for when you think you have nothing to talk about. If TV isn't your thing, you can try the same thing with reading novels, or any form of media, like subscribe to a new newspaper/magazine.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:34 PM on December 14, 2016

Best answer: Treat yourself to some new workout clothes that you like- there is a lot of cute stuff out there. Get a haircut and a manicure (or something similar to pamper yourself). Do you like animals? It always cheers me up when I pat a dog. One of the best ways to feel good about yourself if to do something nice for other people- maybe bake cookies for your friends and give them out as little holiday gifts. Or send cards out to friends and relatives. Look into volunteering if that interests you and you have time. Or just do the thoughtful, simple every day things for strangers- hold the door for someone, help a parent lift their stroller onto the bus, help an old person at the supermarket carry their groceries, etc.
posted by emd3737 at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Always wash your face and brush your teeth when you wake up. If you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, brush your teeth again right away.

Drink green tea instead of coffee.

Keep a spray bottle (I love rosewater and glycerin) to spritz on your face.

Don't wear contacts in the house-- use your glasses and keep your eyes moisturized and relaxed.

You can wear yoga pants and a t-shirt, but you will feel more sophisticated with an accessory-- a funky necklace or scarf.

Set a timer to get up from your computer and stretch-- every 45 minutes is a good interval.

Find a fairly active forum or IRC channel where you can interact with other people. Or keep a live chat window with a friend.

Use a silly app to track your water consumption. Get a virtual pet widget.

Use a music streaming service to play low volume music in the background. Perhaps the music from your high school and college years-- you will feel happy when you hear a favorite artist.

Check Online for activities during your free time. Here in LA, the Cathedral has free organ music at noon on Wednesdays. Some museums may have "brown bag" lecture series during lunch time. Volunteer to read with children at the public library. Volunteer at the animal shelter. Find walking clubs.
posted by ohshenandoah at 2:15 PM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Get a massage! I recently had my first massage and it was literally the best I've felt in years. This was a Swedish massage, so fairly gentle (rather than like a deep tissue massage for working out an injury).

Physical contact is super important to human well-being, and getting an hour of intense physical attention from someone who knows what they're doing can work wonders.
posted by JDHarper at 2:36 PM on December 14, 2016

Response by poster: Oh metafilterians, you are the best! Your lovely answers were all so helpful <3
posted by Chrysalis at 2:34 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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