We all suffer from down days; those days when we wake up in a funk and nothing we do seems to shake it. It might last a few hours, the entire day of even the whole week. Although it can be tempting to climb back into bed and wallow in your misery it’s important to find the sunshine wherever you can, even on those darkest days. It may not seem obvious at first and it might take some work but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
When you’re feeling like nothing is going right and you need to boost your mood try these ten tips to make your day shine a little brighter.
10 ways to boost your mood
Count Your Blessings
It can be hard to see the good in anything when you’re feeling blue but rest assured the good is always there, even if it takes some hunting to find it.
One of the best things to do to improve your mood is to recognise and appreciate all the wonderful things you already have. This is easily done using our first tip!
1. Gratitude Journal
Create a gratitude journal and finish each day by writing down three things in your life that you’re grateful for. This is a great exercise to do before bed when you’re reflecting on your day and all that has happened. Going to bed with a grateful heart will help reduce anxiety and insomnia meaning you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to start your day. There are so many things to be grateful for; the people in your life, your health, the opportunities and chances available to you just to name a few. Write these down, no matter how big or small, and you’ll soon realise there is more to be grateful for than you thought. This is a top mood booster!
2. Forward Thinking
When you wake, think of 3 things you’re looking forward to that day to help boost your mood. Having something to get excited about helps to get you up out of bed and start your day. Learn to find joy and become excited over the little things; drinking a cup of tea in bed, going for a long walk, or finding a new book to get lost in. Happiness can be found when we stop and appreciate what is around us; make time to celebrate and elevate even the smallest things that bring us joy.
3. Commit A Random Act Of Kindness
There is no better feeling than making someone feel good and there are so many ways you can do it. Find the time to commit a random act of kindness; whether that be paying for the next person’s coffee when you buy yours in the morning, paying someone a compliment, or leaving someone an inspirational note in that library book you just finished, the possibilities are endless. Being the reason someone has smiled today or knowing you’ve helped lighten someone’s load is guaranteed to make you feel brighter.
4. Buy Yourself Some Flowers
Sometimes our surroundings might be the very thing that’s getting us down; grey days or renting properties that are falling down around our ears can easily make you feel miserable but one of the easiest ways to brighten your surroundings is with flowers. A cheap bunch of bright, colourful blooms can bring life to even the drabbest of places. If you’re strapped for cash check supermarkets at the end of each day to bag a bargain bunch or find a local florist who will be able to get you the most for your money. Better yet, grow your own, in a window box or a flower bed, so you have something pretty to look at all year round.
5. Get A Massage to boost your mood
There are so many benefits to getting a massage. From helping break down toxins in the body to releasing stress and tension a massage can help increase your brain’s production of endorphins, those feel good hormones that boost your mood. Put yourself first and treat yourself to uninterrupted luxury; it’s impossible not to feel good when you do. If you can’t make it to the salon find a mobile therapist who can come and visit you in the comfort of your own home.
6. Enjoy Nature
Spending time in nature can help reduce feelings of stress and anger, making you feel relaxed and at peace. Leave your phone at home, pull on your trainers and head to the nearest park, field or forest. Appreciate nature in all its glory; from all the colours you can see to all the sounds you can hear nothing soothes the soul quite like nature; we don’t have to go far to find peace and beauty. Our physical wellbeing affects our mental wellbeing which is why walking in nature is a perfect mood booster. To make your walk even more special sign up to websites like Borrow My Doggy and find the perfect furry four legged friend to accompany you. Not only will you be helping someone by looking after their pooch, animals are also proven to reduce anxiety, stress and depression.
7. Read A Book to boost your mood
Curling up with a book is a wonderful way to momentarily forget your troubles and escape to another world. Evidence suggests that reading a book helps reduce your heart rate and releases muscle tension. read one of these five books about feminism or if you’re struggling to pay attention to a storyline, find yourself a coffee table book or a magazine filled with beautiful pictures; the act of sitting quietly, turning the pages and losing yourself in the imagery before you will create a sense of total relaxation. Add a glass of wine for an extra mood boost!
8. Learn Something New
Thanks to technology it’s never been easier to learn something new. From language apps to yoga videos there’s something to suit everyone. You don’t need to be any good at it, just find something you like and dive right in. By doing so you’ll focus your mind and give purpose to your day, not to mention there’s no greater feeling when you accomplish something you’ve put your mind to.
9. Catch Those Z’s
Lack of sleep can be one of the worst things for our mood and wellbeing so make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. This can be a bit of a catch 22 situation; when you’re feeling down and depressed it can be difficult to fall asleep so it’s important to make yourself a bedtime routine. Stay away from blue lights at least an hour before you go to bed; that means no phone, no television and no laptops. Instead try reading , doing some gentle exercise or meditating. Avoid caffeine in the afternoons and favour herbal teas instead. Essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help you feel relaxed; put a few drops on a tissue and place this inside your pillow case before you go to bed to help you feel soothed and relaxed.
10. Get Creative In The Kitchen to boost your mood
If you’re having a down day, head to the kitchen and get cooking. Not only will this help focus your mind but there’ll be a delicious treat at the end of it for you to enjoy. To make it really special, cook with endorphin rich foods like chocolate, strawberries and vanilla and share your creation with someone you love. Cooking can create such a feeling of achievement, something made even better when you share it with people close to you.
11. Write A Letter
When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? Or when was the last time you wrote one? Nothing beats the excitement of finding a letter amidst the usual junk mail, takeaway menus and bills that seem to find their way through our letterboxes. You can write a letter, long or short to anyone; a friend, a family member or even yourself! You can also sign up to Post Crossing; a website that connects you with people around the world where you can send and receive postcards. Visit https://www.postcrossing.com/ to find out more.
Reasons to smile
Each man is the architect of his own fate and while ups and downs are part of life the decision to be happy is in your hands. Learn to do things that bring you joy, finding the beauty in the mundane and appreciate all the wonderful things you have. Look after the people around you and do what you can to make your days a little easier and your world shine a little brighter.