11 Uplifting Ways to Nurture Yourself When You’re Down and Out

Lauren Williams


A hooded person drinks a warm cup of tea while looking outside when raining.

Life is a beautiful, complex, and sometimes challenging journey.

We all experience moments of joy and fulfillment, as well as periods of stress and uncertainty.

When we’re struggling, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions, to feel overwhelmed and alone, and to forget the power we have within us to uplift and care for ourselves.

These strategies are designed to help you prioritize self-care, connect with your inner strength, and cultivate a more loving and compassionate relationship with yourself.

So if you’re ready to learn how to uplift and nurture yourself through life’s challenges, keep reading.

Your journey to greater self-love and self-care starts now.

1. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool for shifting your perspective and uplifting your spirits during challenging times. When you focus on the things you’re thankful for, you cultivate a sense of appreciation and positivity that can help you navigate difficult emotions and situations.

To incorporate gratitude into your daily life, consider starting a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three to five things you’re grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. You can also express gratitude through prayer, meditation, or by sharing your appreciation with others.

By consistently practicing gratitude, you train your brain to look for the positive aspects of life, even amidst hardship. This can lead to increased resilience, improved relationships, and a greater sense of overall well-being.

2. Engage in Physical Activity

Physical activity is a natural mood booster and stress reliever. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals that promote feelings of happiness and well-being. Additionally, engaging in physical activity can help you release pent-up emotions, reduce tension, and improve your overall sense of self-confidence.

Find physical activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle. This could include walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, or practicing yoga. Aim to incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your daily routine, even if it’s broken up into smaller increments throughout the day.

Remember, the goal is to move your body in a way that feels good to you, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve a certain level of fitness or intensity. Focus on the mental and emotional benefits of physical activity, and allow yourself to enjoy the process.

3. Connect with Loved Ones

Social support is crucial when you’re feeling down and out. Reaching out to loved ones, whether it’s family, friends, or a trusted support group, can help you feel less alone and more supported during difficult times.

Make an effort to connect with others regularly, even if it’s just a quick phone call or text message. Share your feelings and experiences with those you trust, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it.

You can also strengthen your connections by engaging in activities together, such as going for a walk, having a virtual coffee date, or joining a club or group that aligns with your interests. By nurturing your relationships, you create a network of support that can help you weather life’s challenges and celebrate its joys.

4. Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is about taking intentional steps to nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When you’re feeling down and out, it’s easy to neglect your own needs and put self-care on the backburner. However, prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining resilience and promoting healing.

Self-care activities can vary depending on your individual needs and preferences. Some examples include:

  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Reading a book or listening to music
  • Practicing deep breathing or meditation
  • Nourishing your body with healthy foods
  • Getting enough sleep and rest
  • Engaging in a hobby or creative activity

5. Explore Creative Outlets

Engaging in creative activities can be a powerful way to nurture yourself when you’re feeling down. Creative expression allows you to tap into your emotions, process your experiences, and express yourself in a healthy and constructive way.

There are countless creative outlets to explore, depending on your interests and abilities. Some ideas include:

  • Writing in a journal or creating poetry
  • Painting, drawing, or sculpting
  • Playing a musical instrument or singing
  • Dancing or engaging in other forms of movement
  • Crafting or DIY projects
  • Cooking or baking

The key is to focus on the process of creating, rather than the end result. Allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes, and let go of perfectionism. By immersing yourself in a creative activity, you can find a sense of flow and presence that can help you transcend your current challenges and tap into a deeper sense of self-expression and fulfillment.

6. Practice Mindfulness

Mindful living is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment, without judgment or distraction. When you’re feeling down and out, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions, or to dwell on past regrets or future worries. Mindfulness can help you break free from these patterns and cultivate a sense of inner peace and clarity.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including:

  • Meditation or deep breathing exercises
  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Mindful walking or eating
  • Body scans or progressive muscle relaxation

Start by setting aside just a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or lie down without distraction. Focus on your breath, bodily sensations, or a specific object or sound. When your mind wanders (which it inevitably will), gently redirect your attention back to your point of focus.

With regular practice, mindfulness can help you develop greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

7. Seek Out Inspiration

When you’re feeling down, seeking out sources of inspiration can help uplift your spirits and provide a fresh perspective on your situation. Inspiration can come in many forms, depending on your interests and preferences. Some ideas include:

  • Reading inspirational books, quotes, or affirmations
  • Listening to uplifting podcasts or TED talks
  • Watching motivational videos or documentaries
  • Connecting with a role model or mentor
  • Attending a workshop, seminar, or retreat
  • Exploring spirituality or religion

The key is to find sources of inspiration that resonate with you and that help you tap into a sense of hope, possibility, and purpose. By regularly exposing yourself to uplifting ideas and perspectives, you can cultivate a more positive and resilient mindset that can help you navigate challenges with greater ease and grace.

8. Protect Your Space

When you’re feeling down and out, it’s important to protect your physical, emotional, and energetic space from negative influences. This can involve setting boundaries with others, clearing out clutter and distractions, and creating a supportive and nurturing environment for yourself.

One powerful way to protect your space is through spiritual protection and energy clearing practices. Some ideas include:

  • Smudging with sage or palo santo to clear negative energy
  • Using protective crystals or talismans
  • Visualizing a shield of white light around yourself
  • Reciting prayers or affirmations of protection
  • Practicing grounding and centering techniques

By taking steps to protect your space and clear out dense or negative energy, you create a more supportive and uplifting environment for yourself. This can help you feel more grounded, centered, and resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and can support your overall emotional and spiritual well-being.

9. Help Others

One of the most powerful ways to uplift yourself when you’re feeling down is to focus on helping others. When you extend kindness, compassion, and support to someone else, you shift your attention away from your own problems and tap into a sense of purpose and connection.

There are many ways to help others, depending on your abilities and resources. Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering at a local charity or non-profit organization
  • Offering to help a friend or neighbor with a task or project
  • Donating money, food, or supplies to a cause you care about
  • Sending a heartfelt message of encouragement or support to someone who is struggling
  • Performing random acts of kindness, such as buying coffee for the person behind you in line or leaving a kind note for a stranger

By focusing on helping others, you cultivate a sense of empathy, gratitude, and perspective that can help you reframe your own challenges and find greater meaning and purpose in your life.

10. Spend Time in Nature

Nature has a powerful ability to soothe, heal, and uplift the human spirit. When you’re feeling down and out, spending time in nature can help you reconnect with a sense of beauty, wonder, and peace.

There are many ways to incorporate nature into your self-care routine, such as:

  • Taking a walk in a park or natural setting
  • Gardening or tending to plants
  • Watching a sunset or sunrise
  • Sitting by a body of water, such as a lake, river, or ocean
  • Engaging in outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, or birdwatching

By immersing yourself in the natural world, you give your mind and body a chance to rest, recharge, and reconnect with a sense of wholeness and well-being.

11. Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is the practice of treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and support that you would offer to a good friend. When you’re feeling down and out, it’s easy to be hard on yourself, criticizing your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Self-compassion helps you break free from this negative self-talk and cultivate a more loving and supportive relationship with yourself.

One powerful way to practice self-compassion is to connect with your heart-space. Your heart-space is the center of your emotional and spiritual being, a place of unconditional love, wisdom, and compassion. When you tap into your heart-space, you access a deep well of inner strength and resilience that can help you navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and grace.

To connect with your heart-space, try the following:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit or lie down without distraction
  • Place one or both hands on your heart, feeling the warmth and gentle pressure of your touch
  • Take a few deep breaths, imagining that you’re breathing in and out through your heart center
  • Silently repeat a phrase of self-compassion, such as “I am here for you” or “I love and accept you just as you are”
  • Allow yourself to feel any emotions that arise, without judgment or resistance
  • Imagine your heart-space expanding with each breath, filling your entire being with love and light

By regularly connecting with your heart-space and practicing self-compassion, you develop a more loving and supportive relationship with yourself. You learn to treat yourself with the same care, respect, and understanding that you would offer to a beloved friend or family member.

Remember, self-compassion is about acknowledging your own suffering and responding with kindness and understanding. It’s about recognizing that everyone struggles and makes mistakes, and that you’re not alone in your imperfection.

Nurturing Yourself Through Difficult Times

Feeling down and out is a natural part of the human experience, but it doesn’t have to define you.

By incorporating these strategies into your self-care routine, you can nurture yourself through difficult times and cultivate greater resilience, purpose, and joy in your life.

Remember, self-care is not selfish – it’s a necessary foundation for your overall well-being and your ability to show up fully in the world. By prioritizing your own needs and taking steps to uplift yourself, you create a ripple effect of positivity that extends to everyone around you.

So the next time you find yourself feeling down, remember that you have the power within you to nurture yourself back to wholeness.

Take a deep breath, choose one or more of these strategies, and trust in your own innate resilience and strength.

You’ve got this.

Lauren sitting and smiling at the camera.

Lauren believes spirituality shouldn't be intimidating. She blends ancient practices with modern tools to help you unlock insight, improve your focus, and find deeper meaning within your everyday life.

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