Six ways to lift your spirits

Image: Supplied

Six ways to lift your spirits and pay it forward this Mandela Day

From dreaming of your next holiday to helping others, here’s how you can lift your spirits and pay it forward this Mandela Day.

Six ways to lift your spirits

Image: Supplied

It’s been a week that’s left South Africans reeling. Even those not directly affected by the protests around the country have stood on the sidelines watching in dismay. This, after months of dealing with the fallout of the pandemic, has left many of us feeling emotionally bruised and battered. 

This weekend, take a few moments to regroup and focus on things that make you happy. Allow yourself to escape for an hour or two, be inspired to dream about travel, or feel motivated to help others with these suggestions below:

Relax with a yoga app

Yogas many benefits include helping you to relax, sleep better, manage stress and brighten your mood. Enjoy a yoga session from the comfort of your sitting room with Down Dog, a top-rated yoga app that allows you to tailor your experience to such an extent that it feels like having your very own yoga instructor on your phone. You get to choose a particular voice to guide you through the poses and pick a genre of music you like as background music. You also select the style of yoga you’d like to practice: Vinyasa, Hatha, and Restorative, and set the length of sessions. If you really liked a particular class, you can save it to replay it later, and download it offline as well. 

Be inspired by artistic creativity

Cosy up on the couch and watch an inspirational four-part online streaming series in which local artists, musicians, and designers share what moves them to create music, art and fashion. Called “Festival of Inspiration”, it features exclusive performances from well-known and burgeoning artists in music, fashion, travel, and art, and interviews in which they talk about their journeys to success, the hardships and, most importantly, what fuels their inspiration. With hours of incredible content to explore and enjoy, it’s free to stream on any device at A limited event, it’s only available till the end of July.

Dance in Mexico, from your home

If you’re burning to get your passport out and travel again, indulge your wanderlust with Airbnb’s Online Experiences, which allows you to digitally explore the world and transport yourself somewhere else entirely without having to leave home. With Online Experiences, would-be virtual travellers can book activities such as a cooking class in Italy, a dance class in Mexico, meditation sessions in India, learning about magic in the UK, and so much more. This virtual way of meeting new people from other parts of the world also provides a clever way for people to use their skills and hobbies to earn an additional source of income.

Shop, to help others

You’ve heard of a runner’s high – now tap into what’s termed helper’s high, a heightened sense of wellbeing that stems from doing charitable deeds. Research suggests that when you help others, it can promote changes in the brain linked with happiness, so brighten your world by doing a good deed. If lockdown has you cautious about leaving home, help a worthy cause this Mandela Day by shopping online! Simply sign up to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet at, and every time you shop at one of their retail partners, online or in-store, the retail partner will give back to a cause close to your heart, at no cost to you. There are hundreds of beneficiaries to choose from, and you can add up to three causes. Each time you swipe your card at one of their retail partners (Woolworths, Engen,, Builders, and others) your chosen causes will benefit. This year alone they’ve already donated R39 million to worthy beneficiaries around the country.

Banish house niggles

You may not feel like replacing the faulty toilet lever or replacing a cracked window, but having a list of things to fix in your home that never actually gets done is akin to having unfulfilled goals, and can make you feel demotivated. A study from Wake Forest University in North Carolina showed that, while tasks we haven’t done distract us, just making a plan to get them done can free us from this anxiety. This weekend, take a walk around the house and make a list of minor repairs, then decide which you can DIY or whether you need professional help. For a list of trusted professionals, SweepSouth’s Connect app lists reliable and rated professionals in your area, like handymen, plumbers and electricians. The app also has a useful image recognition feature that lets you take a photo of a household area or broken item so that it can identify which service professional is best suited to help fix the problem.

Dream of your next holiday

Start dreaming about when you’ll finally be able to travel internationally again when lockdown restrictions lift! Sometimes the most exciting part of the trip (except when you actually get there!) is the planning of it all. You can tailor your next getaway exactly to your interests while sticking to your budget. Logging on to a global flight search and travel deals website like Cheapflights gives you the power to be your own travel agent. You can find cheap flights, cars, stays and things to do without having to leave your couch. You’re also able to create your own profile and check back into your dashboard to pick up on the recent searches you’ve done, ensuring that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you log back in. Travellers can also start searching for travel deals on their mobile, save it and then return to the same search on the desktop. 

Staying calm in stressful times helps you think with clarity, making you feel more in control of your emotions and your life, and instantly giving you an upper hand, regardless of your circumstances.