The sun is finally out and I don’t know about you, but the change in weather has had an enormous impact on my mood. If you’re anything like me and you’re determined to capitalize on that improvement, here are six practical ways to build on that momentum and riiiiiiide that boost!
Exercise: Any tiny change is something so no need for any gigantic goal or commitment! Try just going for an evening walk with a friend or family member. The exercise, the fresh air and the companionship, even just for 20 minutes a day, will go a long way! If you already have a routine when it comes to physical activity, try mixing it up once in awhile by doing a fun or relaxing physical activity to reward your body and mind! Like a random dance party in your living room…it’s a great stress reliever! :)
Mindful Five: Start a short mindfulness practice in the mornings to start your day off on a positive note. Open your blinds and feel the sunshine pour down on your face. Bring your attention to your breath and kindly acknowledge any thought or emotion that may cross your mind. Even the most pesky of thoughts can wait 5 minutes. Allow yourself 5 minutes of calm before the hustle bustle of the day begins!
Eat for Joy: There are several foods that help to boost our mood, and there are several foods that serve to keep us down in the dumps. Try adding a few mood boosters into your diet this week: fish, nuts, oats, blueberries, spinach, and (HEY!) dark chocolate. While you’re at it, why not choose 2-3 inflammatory foods to either eliminate from your diet or strive to consume in lesser quantities: sugary drinks, processed meats, cookies and candy, alcohol, caffeine, fried foods and refined carbs, such as white bread.
Drink Water: I’m sure this goes without saying but the majority of us do not consume enough water. Whether you want to increase your water intake for skin reasons, gut reasons or mood reasons, drinking 1-2L of water per day will increase energy, mood and concentration, promote healthy weight management, flush out toxins, maintain complexion and boost your immune system (among other bonuses!)
Gratitude: Write down 2 things you are grateful for each night before bedtime. It could be gratitude for having had enough energy to get out of bed in the morning. It could be gratitude for the sunshine streaming into your bedroom. It could be gratitude for the people around you. Whatever you are grateful for, notice it and thank it for adding to your quality of life that day!
De-Clutter: The KonMari method is all the rage right now. I always say that the state of my apartment is a perfect snapshot of my current mental and emotional state. If there are dishes piling up in the sink and laundry overflowing from my laundry basket, you can probably make a safe bet that I am feeling overwhelmed, overworked or overextended. Taking 10 minutes to busy your body with de-cluttering each day on top of the usual maintenance will help you to wake up to a clean home and start your day with a clear mind.
Be Kind to Yourself: Adopt one self-compassion practice from our previous blog. Instead of responding with criticism or judgment, try being compassionate and curious with yourself. Approach situations from a place of genuine interest and kindness.
And on the topic of self-compassion, I (Kristen) am attending Kristin Neff and Chris Germer’s 2-Day Mindful Self Compassion Workshop next weekend so be prepared for more self-compassion discussion and practices to be coming your way in the near future!
What do you do to boost your mood? What works for you as a quick shake-up if you’re having a case of the grumpies? We’d love to hear fun, practical and creative ideas that help YOU to boost your mood! :)