10 Ways to Boost Your Mood

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Over Labor Day weekend, I was mentally under the weather.  Sometimes, I hit these moods where everything seems useless, a waste of time, and unnecessary.  Getting off the couch takes physical exertion I don't have.  My mind goes foggy.  My boyfriend dragged me to the supermarket because I was so unmotivated to cook that I was up for eating the couch cushions.

I can't control these moods.  They come and go at the most frustrating times. I think of them like colds; when you have a cold you have to boost your immune system.  When I'm in a funk, the only way for me to fight back is to boost my mood.  Here are 10 ways that have worked to break me out of the cycle.

1. Exercise
It seems so simple, but honestly moving from the couch, changing into workout clothes, walking to gym (there are TWO in my building) is more energy than I'm willing to dole out.  So, I don't go far.  I play a yoga Youtube video to start.  Later in the day, heading to the gym is just a little bit easier.  But I make it necessary to go even though there are lots of bad thoughts battling inside my head.  Even if my workout sessions last 20 minutes, I've started to loosen up my mood and making me far more receptive to lifting my thoughts.

2. Reading
When I'm in a bad mood, I'm so into my own head and what's going on in my life that I desperately need a break.  So how do you get outside of your head?  TV and movies might seem like a quick fix, but I tend to surf my phone and not actually pay attention to the movie I'm supposed to be watching.  Plus, the director already created a scene for me.  My job is to sit staring at the story in front of me; I'm not engaged.  With reading, the set manager, costume designer, and director roles all fall to me.  I'm transported to another world that completely knocks out a lot of the icky feelings I'm going through.

3. Listening to Music/Dancing
As a wannabe writer and reseller, creativity calls to me.  Listening to music (not emo music even though it's my fave) that is upbeat and fun forces me to my feet.  Sometimes, I'm so inspired by the creative work of the artist that it actually gets my juices flowing. Other times, when I just can't get into it I start dancing.  In front of the sink, on the rug, in the hallway - just dance.

4. Bubble Bath
Okay, I know that seems more like a self-care option but let me tell you why this is a great way to boost your mood. Sitting in a tub of hot water allows you to calm down.  There are tons of health benefits, but steaming in the bathroom really refreshes your body and mind.  You can listen to music or even read to double up on some options. By the time you towel  off, you'll have an entirely new perspective. 

5. Having a List of Things That Make You Laugh
...which I happen to have right here. When I'm down, these 4 always make laugh - and laughing is the first step to getting out of a bad mood. Scroll the Humor section on Pinterest or have your own list ready so you can beat your down day.

6. Get Dressed
It is soooo tempting to stay in your PJ's - BUT GET UP PUT ON SOME CLOTHES AND DO YOUR HAIR, FRIEND. A little harsh with the caps lock on, but getting yourself prepared for the day, even if your day is starting at 6PM and you are going nowhere.  Putting clothes on will not only lift your mood, but is a tiny accomplishment to push you forward.

7. Call a grandparent (or friend).
Talking with my Grandpa always perks me up.  I lived with him for three years and hearing from him really puts my bad mood into perspective.  Plus, I know he's lonely so hearing from me puts him in a good mood too.  If you aren't close with your grandparent, this is an opportunity to try to become close.  If you're grandparents are no longer living, then try calling someone who would really appreciate hearing from you.  If someone is excited to talk to you, that energy is transferable.  And hey, Debbie Downer - there is always someone excited to talk to you.  Fact - don't let your brain fool you on this one.

8. Smile at Yourself in the Mirror
Ridiculous, right? Try it. You'll feel silly, goofy, and downright stupid for the first 30 seconds but push through for five full minutes.  Even fake laugh!  Fake it 'til you make it.

9. Play a musical instrument.
For me, it's the piano.  I'm self-taught so I am not skilled.  Pick up a new instrument and self-teach yourself. I play the same song over and over (Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith) but each time I play it transports me from my worries and stress and all I can do is focus in on the notes.

10. Look at Pictures of Baby Animals
To be honest, this is my "when all else fails" option. Usually, I start looking at picture of really cute baby animals and eventually find myself looking at pictures of my cat Charlie when she was a kitten.  It brings back good memories and reminds me of that time in my life when I really, really needed her.  Looking at pictures of babies reminds you that there's always a fresh start on the horizon.

Let me know if you try out any of these options, and stay well my friend.


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