I’m writing this post from a place of humility. Certain aspects of this recent season have been really difficult for me, and there has not been much I can do to effect immediate change.

Sometimes, we can’t help feeling downtrodden, unmotivated, and even a little depressed. Perhaps there’s someone in our lives who is suffering. Or there’s a difficult situation outside of our control. Maybe there’s a stressful obligation coming up that won’t leave us alone. And sometimes there’s just no good reason.This post is not about solving those problems. These are temporary ways to focus our minds on something else when there’s nothing immediate that we can do. We’ve all been there– and often we need an encouraging nudge from a friend to shift focus for a while. That’s what this post is for!

  1. Write a card to someone you don’t see very often. Put pen to paper, fold, seal, and stamp. Send them uplifting words and share about your life. Mail it.
  2. Explore a new part of town. Do a little window-shopping in an area you’re not familiar with. If there’s a coffee shop, treat yourself to something sweet.
  3. Get together with someone. If it’s the weekend, call around to see if anyone is free and invite them to spend time together. If people are busy, plan something. You’ll have it to look forward to.
  4. Dig up that hobby and don’t wait for perfect circumstances. Many times I find myself refusing to pick up a hobby for an hour or two because the circumstances aren’t right. Maybe I want to take pictures but it’s too bright/hot/cold outside. Maybe I want to try a new hairstyle but I have nowhere to wear it. But the truth is, things won’t often be just right. So just do that thing that makes you happy (within reason), regardless of what’s ideal.
  5. Find your nearest animals. Whether it’s volunteering to walk your neighbor’s dog, stopping by a local pet store, going to the zoo or aquarium, or visiting the geese at the park, you’ll be surprised as to how entertaining animals can be.
  6. Donate something. I know this sounds trite, but it’s really good to be generous at a time like this. If you know you have something that you no longer need, give it away. Or, look into the nonprofits in your area and pick one with a mission you believe in. Drop by and meet someone, and give the organization a donation.
  7. Get creative. Most of us don’t fancy ourselves visual artists– but that’s what can make visual art so fun for us. This can be as simple as drawing with soft pastels or painting with watercolors. Need some inspiration? Look at Matisse, Kandinsky, or Alexander Calder. Shapes and colors are not just for kids!
  8. Call a far-away family member or friend. Have them fill you in and make it a point to encourage them in some way. Hearing about others’ lives always helps me see my own in perspective.
  9. Bake something delicious and share it. Bring the goodies to work or class the next day, or share them with your neighbors or room mates. Alternatively if baking is not your thing, buy a bouquet of flowers to give away or share with your house mates.
  10. Write about it. Whatever it is. Write until you have nothing left to say. Write until you see things differently. Write until you’ve come to a lesson worth learning. (And I know it’s tempting, but resist sharing this on social media. If you must, show it to a close friend instead.)

What other activities lift your spirits? I would love to hear them– and try them! Hugs from Simplicity Relished!