Have you ever had one of those days where getting off the couch or out of bed seems equivalent to climbing Mount Everest? Me too. Sometimes depression, sadness, and just plain tiredness gets the best of us. We all want to crawl under our covers and binge watch Netflix. What if I told you that’s more likely to compound your bum mood?
Here are some tips to boost your mood and get you back on track to feeling better!
Medication & Vitamins/Supplements
I know, I know. We all know we need to take out medication (if we take any) religiously but I have to mention it. Taking your medication daily is imperative to maintaining a stable mood. Consistency is key here. For anyone who needs the reminder… TAKE YOUR MEDS!
Vitamins may also have an impact on your mood. Studies show taking Omega 3s daily helps multiple forms of depression due to their anti-inflammatory actions. If you have bipolar disorder, be sure to monitor yourself as Omega 3s could potentially bring on mania just as anti-depressants can. Vitamin D has also shown to effect your mood.
Get out of your house!
Yes, I said it. Get off the couch or out of your bed and get out of the house. Go for a walk or go buy some candy. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you get up and moving. You’ll be amazed how quickly that helps to clear some of the fog that’s weighing you down. Sometimes we need a reminder that there’s a whole world beyond the walls of our home.
Try to get in 30 minutes of movement a day. Exercise is proven to boost levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain and can sometimes be just as effective as antidepressants. Motivating yourself to exercise can be very difficult but the feeling of accomplishment afterward is always worth it. Exercise can be beneficial in multiple ways. It’s a reminder that you can treat your body well. It can help with feeling stuck and static in your life. It’s also a great way to show yourself you can set goals and achieve them.
Surround yourself with people who love you
Sometimes we need a reminder that we have someone in our corner. Try spending time with people you know you can confide in and trust. Sharing our feelings helps to process them and see new perspectives. You may also receive advice you didn’t know you needed.
Remind yourself progress takes time
In the hustle and bustle of today’s society, we want everything to have an immediate effect. We often forget that emotional and mental progress takes time and isn’t going to happen overnight. Make an active decision to fight for your happiness daily and you will see results. We all have bad days. Remind yourself of where you once were and how far you’ve come. We tend to get so bogged down and negative on our bad days that we forget we’ve made progress or that we have good days at all. It hasn’t always been this bad and the good news is that it won’t always be this way either. When it comes to mental health, progress is not linear.
Be mindful of your alcohol consumption
Not everyone drinks to get drunk but alcohol is a depressant and can contribute to a negative mood no matter how much you consume. Add in a hangover, and you have the perfect recipe for feeling sluggish the next day. Keep an eye on how much you consume and make a note of how you feel the following few days. If you take medication, do your research and see if alcohol has an impact on its effectiveness. You may not realize that your medication isn’t working to its full potential.
Relax and take a step back
If you’re anything like me then you are always on the go. Sometimes we need to force ourselves to take a break. It’s okay to take a mental health day from your job. It’s okay to take a night off from your busy life and do something that brings you joy. Don’t want to do anything this weekend? Fine! Cancel your plans and curl up on your couch. I know it’s hard to relax when you have a million things on your to-do list but you NEED to make time for yourself. We are so busy burning ourselves out that we unintentionally put ourselves in a bad head space. Reset, relax, and get back to it tomorrow.
Fuel your body with food and water
Eating well and drinking an appropriate amount of water can have a massive effect on your mood. Grabbing fast food and eating microwave meals may be convenient and easy to make but your body is craving the nutrients it needs. Eat your greens, drink more water, and fuel your body so you can be in the right head-space and have energy to chase your goals.
Instead of laying in bed and thinking of all the things you didn’t get done today, take a second to be proud of all you accomplished. The expectations we put on ourselves can be unrealistic, and often we end the day disappointed that we didn’t get everything checked off our list. You’re doing your best! Remember that and try to be kind to yourself.
Love on a pet
Did you know to pet a dog or stroke a cat releases oxytocin (the “love” hormone)? It also decreases the levels of stress hormones! Play with your pet or spend time with friends or family who have a pet. That way, you not only get in an oxytocin boost but also spend time with people you love and trust: two birds, one stone.
Watch a comedy
Laughter is a well known mood-booster. Studies have shown that people who have a more developed sense of humor tend to be less depressed and anxious than those who do not. When you laugh, your blood pressure and heart rate drop and you go into a relaxed state. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, put on a movie or watch a stand-up comic who always makes you laugh. You may be only a few laughs away from feeling better.
Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Please leave a comment, you never know who you may help.