Here’s What I Do When I Feel Bad About Myself To Feel Better

Like many people, I struggle a lot with mental health. We’re constantly bombarded with horrible news and the possibility of what could go wrong in life, and our self-esteem takes a hit every time we open up Instagram and see someone doing “better” than we are. After all, even if it’s all fake, we’re still convinced that other people have it better, aren’t we? When I start feeling a spiral of dread and self-pity, finding ways to get my head back in a good place. Here are some ways I make myself feel better when I feel bad about myself.

  1. I make a list of things I’m grateful for. It’s way too easy to focus on the negatives in life. We’re wired to do so because of our own “negativity bias,” or the brain focusing on negative things because something bad weighs more on our minds than the good. Intentionally making a list of good things forces your mind to focus on what’s going right.
  2. I take a walk and clear my head. Whenever I feel bad about myself, this helps immensely. Don’t underestimate how much power a simple walk can hold. Any kind of cardio, even something as light as walking, can help improve your mood and lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, you can do it almost anywhere and it helps to clear your head.
  3. I exercise and get my blood flowing. The key to not hating exercise is to find something that works for you. For me, I really like looking on TikTok for treadmill workouts and yoga to improve my mobility. It lifts your spirits and keeps your body healthy. Try to get an hour of any kind of exercise in per day like jogging or swimming (or whatever it is that you like).
  4. I write or draw in a journal. Even for people who aren’t normally into writing, journaling can be therapeutic, and it definitely is for me when I feel bad about myself (or just bad in general). Journaling your feelings and things that are happening can give you a sense of control and a place to vent. Write down your current struggles and thoughts. Challenge them. Ask if they’re true, if anything that has happened has lasted forever, and other questions to confront the fact that someday, you will get through this. You can even look back at old journals to see your progress or recognize old patterns of behavior. Try to dedicate at least five minutes a day to journaling. That’s all it takes for it to start working. If you don’t feel like writing, drawing can also do the trick.
  5. I do a craft project. If you’re artsy like me, doing a craft project you found on Pinterest or any other social media can be a fun activity and give you something to focus on other than the fact that you feel bad. Bonus points if you’re able to do it with friends!
  6. I catch up with family and friends. Sometimes, I tend to hide away from family and friends when I feel bad about myself due to anxiety and other negative feelings. But ultimately, being around them makes me feel better and maintains important connections. Keep in mind that “found” families count for this as well! Obviously, if there are people in your life that make you feel worse about yourself, stay away from them. Toxicity will only make you feel worse. Yes, that includes texting your toxic exes.
  7. I eat healthy snacks. I have to admit that I don’t always follow this rule. Things that are savory and sweet tend to grab my attention more, but eating healthy foods helps in the long run. I make myself eat yummy fruits or vegetables, even if I have to have some sort of dip to go with it. If you have trouble like I do with snacking, replace unhealthier options with ones that are at least a bit better for you. You can have fun and try new healthy recipes to encourage better habits.
  8. I remember that everyone struggles with feeling bad at times. When I feel bad about myself, I often feel alone. I somehow convince myself that no one else could have ever felt like I did at that moment. But that’s seriously untrue. It’s part of being human to have bad days. Life will always have ups and downs, but remembering that it’s a cycle can instill more optimism in you when you feel like crap.
  1. I spread kindness to others. Giving someone else a genuine compliment or donating money, stuff, or time to a good cause can uplift your spirits. Because I’m a twenty-something with limited cash, I tend to donate any time or spare things I have to animal or homeless shelters. Helping someone else have a better day can help spread joy and bring it back to you again. Plus, it makes you a selfless person.
  2. I hang out with my pets. If you have a furry friend, give them some love! They can cheer you up by just being around. It’s also nice knowing that you are loved by them no matter what.
  3. I go for a drive. You don’t have to have a big budget or go on a “soul-searching” journey for this to work. (Though it would probably be a lot more fun to cry in Rome or London.) Sometimes I end up somewhere new and exciting like a new shop I never noticed or an art museum. Other times I end up just driving around and seeing pretty landscapes. It’s really up to you and what you’re looking for to decide on your destination.
  4. I pamper myself. Bubble baths, manicures, and general beauty maintenance help me divert negative thoughts because I’m too busy having fun and feeling good to feel bad, if you get me. Find a mode of self-care that you can commit to every week and schedule it on a day you know you have free to always have something to look forward to.
  5. I make plans. Even if none of my friends are available to hang, I make a date with myself. I go shopping where I want, travel wherever I want, or just stay home and do exactly what I want there, too.
  6. I look through old photos. For me, looking back on all of the good times I’ve had helps solidify that there are many opportunities to make more in the future if I allow it. It’s hard to feel bad about myself when I realize how lucky I’ve been in life and how privileged I am as a whole. Take the time to remember how you made those memories to begin with. How did you make the friends you had those memories with? If you’re still in touch, reach out to them and reminisce about old times.
  7. I meditate. Meditating is for anyone, not just the spiritually inclined. If you are spiritual or religious, you can certainly tie it in, but it isn’t necessary. Sit and close your eyes while focusing on your breathing, what you’re touching, what you hear, and your other senses. Hum to yourself and focus on the sensations you feel. If your mind wanders, bring it back to focus on absolutely nothing.
Sassy with a little bit of sweet, if you're lucky. Obsessed with MUA channels and astrology TikTok.