In daily life, it is important to keep up with doing things that make you happy, and essentially pick you up. These “things” are often called “pick-me-ups”. In my busy life with school and work, I often find it hard to do things for myself. However, making the effort to do things, even small everyday tasks in between or after work and school, help with my mental health. These past few weeks have been especially tough for me, and our never-ending pandemic doesn’t help matters with isolation and Covid-19 restrictions in place. Therefore, this past week I made the effort to do things that made me happy and brightened up my day. We must take care of ourselves and do good things for our own well-being! While everyone’s pick me ups will be different, here are a few things that I like to do:
1. Painting and Colouring
At the start of the pandemic, I got into watercolour painting. I picked up a watercolour set from Michael’s and ever since then, I have been using painting as a way to decompress. Painting, although I don’t think I am the best at it, helps me relax and clear my mind. My personal preference is to do watercolour paintings, but there are lots of other options like acrylic painting, which I have done, too! Also, I have recently been painting some old furniture in the house with my dad, which has been quite therapeutic. Painting is something that really works for me and I encourage others to try it out too!
One of my favourite watercolour paintings that I have created – Lavender.
When I’m not painting, I also like to colour. I have a few adult colouring books that I like to work on. There are many adult colouring books to choose from and you can order them from Indigo or Amazon. Colouring is another therapeutic way to de-stress and is fairly inexpensive. Overall, doing various art activities work really well for me, help me to relax, improve my mental health, and are just a great pick me up to any day!
Baking, while sometimes a bit more time consuming, is another great de-stressor that I use. I thoroughly enjoy baking different sweets (I am quite the chocolate lover!). Not only is the process of baking fun and relaxing, it is also great to taste and enjoy what you have created at the end! Some of my favourite things to bake include Ponderosa Cake, which is a delicious cake take on banana bread, lots of different kinds of cookies, including chocolate chip cookies and ginger molasses cookies, as well as brownies. (All of the recipes I use are linked!).
Some ginger molasses cookies that I baked a few weeks ago!
This past weekend, I also baked a cookie cake for some family friends, since I haven’t been able to see them in a while. Not only is baking a good pick-me-up activity, it is a great Covid-safe activity that you can do to keep busy at home. You can bake something for your friends or family members and drop it off at their door, just like I did! Not only will this brighten your day, it will brighten their day, too. (Cooking something will also work!)
I must admit, a guilty pleasure of mine is shopping. I truly enjoy shopping in any form, whether it be online for clothes or in person for groceries. Shopping is a good way to get things off of your mind, and is something I find quite therapeutic (they don’t call it shopping therapy for nothing!). Even simply browsing online at my favourite stores, like Sephora and Aritzia, eases my mind. Sometimes it can be dangerous however, as I tend to give into my shopping desires from time to time and spend some of my money… Nevertheless, it is always nice to treat yourself once in a while, especially if it’s something that you need!
4. Going for Walks and Exercising
I absolutely love going for walks. I try to go for at least a short walk every single day, and I usually take my dog and my mom with me. Walks have been great for me, as I am able to get some fresh air and get out of the house after being cooped up inside all day! Exercise in general is super important and can certainly be a pick-me-up, as well as a way to improve mental health. Although I don’t exercise as often as I would like, going for walks gives me a daily opportunity to move my body. I usually go for a walk around my neighbourhood for convenience sake. However, there are also many parks and trails that I have been to, as well as paths to take beautiful and scenic walks. The Deer Lake trail is a nearby and beautiful trail that I frequent, and the Stanley Park Seawall is another scenic, peaceful, and favourite route of mine. No matter where I walk, simply being in nature improves my mood drastically and gets my mind back on track.
Here is a photo I took when walking at Deer Lake one evening.
5. Staying Connected with Friends and Family
Seeing people in person seems to be a challenge nowadays. However, I try to see a friend every once in a while, (socially distanced) by going on a walk, or by communicating with them over the phone. Whether it be on facetime, on a phone call, or just over text, connecting with friends and family is something that boosts my mood. In times like these, I think it is extremely important to stay connected with people in your life. I encourage people to reach out to their friends and family members, because even a short conversation can pick you right up.
Pick-me-ups are a super important part of life! For those of you who are wanting to spice up your life and boost your mental health, I encourage you to try implementing some things you enjoy into your day. If you don’t know where to start, try doing any of the things that I have mentioned above. You may think you don’t have time, but I promise it will be worth it!
Until next time,
Cover photo created with Canva