Building yourself up when you're feeling down

In May 2017, several Stockport carers took part in Signpost Wellbeing Workshops run by Emotional Health Consultant Juliette Yardley. All fed back that they left the sessions feeling a little better about themselves and with some excellent strategies for feeling more confident and positive in the face of all that life has to throw at them. Here, Juliette shares some of her top tips...

1. Do something each day that makes you feel happy. Even if it’s just for five minutes.

2. Write down a list of some simple things that you would like to do that will make you feel brighter. This could be listening to a song, drawing, going for a walk, gardening. Anything that you can think of that doesn’t need to take up much time and is easy for you to access.

3. Smile more- When we smile and even if we fake a smile we release our happy hormones from our brain into our body, this will help lift your mood and increase your levels of motivation.

4. Try something new, something that takes you out of your routine. It could be trying out a new recipe, going for a walk somewhere different, knitting. Notice how good it feels to give something a bash!

5. Positive thinking- If we are feeling low we tend to use words in our head and out loud to reinforce this feeling. If you take time to do the opposite, thinking and saying positive, uplifting words you will start to notice a difference in your mood.

6. Confident body language- By standing/ sitting ‘tall’, smiling, giving eye contact and using ‘open’ body language your inner confidence will shine through.

Signpost staff and carers having a go at the 'Wonder Woman' power pose.

7. Reflect – Notice each day three things that went well. Keep a ‘what went well’ diary to help you focus on the positives.

8. Be mindful- Try and live more in the moment, not worrying about the past or the future. Notice what is great about the here and now and find something to appreciate. The small stuff really does matter, so noticing a pretty flower, hearing a great song, eating a fantastic cake help you become more mindful. Tune in to your senses and look for the things to have gratitude in

9. Practice deep and slow breathing. Doing this will calm you down very quickly if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Deeply breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth will calm down your heart rate and help you feel at ease.

10. Spend some time with friends. Try to find weekly time to be with people that make you feel comfortable, encouraged and positive. Having a good laugh makes us feel great and gives us the boost in confidence we sometimes really need!

A huge thank you to Juliette for writing this post for us.

You can read more about Juliette and her work on her website.