A few minutes every morning is all you need.
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Feeling down in the dumps? Or, maybe you just need a little oomph in your day. For any case of the daily blues, we have some ideas for simple ways that you can boost your mood.
Whether it’s at the start of a busy day or you are needing to unwind in the evening, these tips will help alleviate your daily stress and put you in a better frame of mind.
Manage your atmosphere
Research has shown that our surroundings can greatly affect our mood, so managing your atmosphere can have a positive effect with minimal effort. If you are the organized type, try moving some furniture around or rearranging your space so that you can invoke that inner sense of mise-en-place. Decorate your home or office with items that bring you happiness or pictures of places you hope to visit one day. Or, just rearrange your space for a new, fresh outlook.
Don’t forget about the rewards of creating ambiance, whether it’s with a scented candle, relaxing music or dimmed lights, to promote a general sense of well-being.
Take care of your health
Neglecting our nutrition and not staying hydrated can be two of the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to self-care. But taking care of these essential functions is so critical to our overall well-being. The term “hangry” exists for a reason. Make sure you are not skipping meals during the day and also that you are focusing on healthy choices.
For super-busy people who are always on the go, keeping healthy, protein-loaded snacks like almonds or sunflower seeds handy with a piece of fruit can prevent a mid-day hunger crash – and the irritability that comes with it. If you have a chance to treat yourself to a nice meal at the end of the day, take the time to set the table and create a little ambiance so that you can focus on enjoying dinner without feeling rushed or distracted.
Reward yourself with a bite of dark chocolate or a cup of green tea, both of which have been shown in studies to have positive effects on your mood.
Engage your mind
If it’s the drudge of day-to-day banality that’s got you down or just a general feeling of ennui, look for inspiration in something new and interesting. Your brain is a big, beautiful muscle just itching for a new workout. Find a subject you’ve not delved into and watch some tutorials or documentaries about it; pick up a book to learn a new skill; read about something that fascinates you or tune into a compelling podcast.
It’s far too easy to fall into repetitive routines that aren’t particularly rewarding to our brains. If you’re the social type, plan a game night with friends or assemble a group to try something new, like a murder-mystery dinner or an escape-room challenge.
Nothing can be more nourishing for the soul than helping others. There are a variety of ways you can spread happiness in the world, whether it’s simply by complimenting a co-worker (or even a stranger!) or by volunteering your time for a good cause. Even small gestures of kindness have big rewards, both for your sense of well-being and for others. Simple things like holding the door for someone, lending a helping hand to a neighbor or giving a kind comment to someone you just met can spread positivity and boost your self-esteem and general outlook.
If you want to get more involved, look for community organizations that could use volunteers, sign up for a fundraiser or charitable 5K (extra points for the runner’s high!) or check out a website like volunteermatch.org that can match you to nonprofits that need a range of volunteer services fulfilled.
Whatever you decide to do, just think of your mind as a garden. Tend to it, plant seeds from which you will sow rewards and keep it healthy and watered. Our moods are intrinsically linked to our brain’s ability to function, so self-care is an absolute priority that will pay off for years to come.