Feeling a bit meh? Here are 10 simple ways you can instantly boost your mood…
Feeling a bit meh? I feel you. I’ve been there. However, one of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that the best way to shift a low mood is to do something. Anything. Anything to get out of your head. A change is as good as a rest all that, and when you’re feeling low a gear shift, a scene change, or a gentle prod back into the world and away from the shit your head is telling you can work wonders. Here, I’ve listed my favourite natural mood boosters for when you’re feeling a little lacklustre…
1) Blog or journal
I’m a huge advocate for writing things down and making sense of your feelings. Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto the page always makes me feel so much better; it’s crazy how much your negative thoughts lose their power when you can see them in front of you. I actually recorded myself on my phone the other week, too – I was having a meltdown about feeling I wasn’t speaking enough in virtual calls at work and watching the video back made me realise how ridiculous I was being. You might not be able to solve all your problems by doing this, but you’ll at least get some perspective.
2) Listen to a podcast
Whenever I’m feeling flat or like my career is going nowhere, or whatever existential crisis I happen to be going through on that particular day, I love sticking on a podcast. My personal favourite is How to Fail with Elizabeth Day because it’s so incredibly relatable. You realise that all these people who you perceive as being incredibly capable, competent and successful (Marian Keyes for example) are going through exactly the same shit as you are. It’s completely disarming and I can’t get enough of it.
3) Watch your favourite movie
I can literally be mid-meltdown and I put one of my all time favourite movies on and it just instantly releases me from the spell. There’s nothing like watching something super familiar to pull you out of a slump. For example, on Sunday afternoon I watched Teen Wolf (the 1985 version) which I’ve seen about a hundred times and it just made my week. It’s got so much heart, it’s the perfect pick-me up. I’m already planning what movie I can watch this Sunday… maybe another 1985 classic, the Goonies?
4) Go for a run
I can guarantee that you won’t come back feeling the same way you left. If you don’t want to run, a walk is just as good – anything that gets you into the fresh air for 20 minutes or so. I know that sounds like something your mum would tell you to do when you were a teenager and wanted to lie in bed all day, but I have a much higher appreciation for fresh air and the positive impact it can have now. If you need a little more motivation, take a look at my blog post on the positive effects of exercise here.
5) Stop scrolling, start reading
I’m not reading half as much as I should do at the moment, but every time I do I notice it really calms my mind. On the other hand, whenever I spend the last few minutes before bed scrolling on my phone I go to bed wired and don’t sleep well at all. I’ve just got into an awesome new book – Bonfire by actress Krysten Ritter – so I’m hoping that over the next few days I’ll get into more of a reading routine.
6) Spend time with your pet
Got a pet? Then enjoy spending time with them. We’re living a much slower pace of life at the moment and I’m enjoying being able to head out with the dog every lunchtime to chuck a ball around – normally I’m at work at day so it’s my boyfriend that has to do that. It makes him so deliriously happy (the dog I mean) that it makes me feel happier too. It’s all about the simple things, eh? Saying that, I’m slightly worried how the poor pup is going to cope when we eventually go back to work…
7) Play your favourite music
I’ve always been a big music fan, and I spent most of my twenties going to gigs with my friends every weekend. While I can’t do that any time soon I’ve been enjoying diving into my Spotify and making some new discoveries – Dermot Kennedy is a new one for me and I’m obsessed. One of my favourite things to do is just lose myself in YouTube watching music videos and interviews – love it!
8) Do something productive (however small)
Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, hanging those prints you bought six months ago, or doing some baking (have a look at my banana bread post here), there’s something to be said for doing something productive. I always think you feel the lowest when you feel like you haven’t done ANYTHING all day. As long as you do something, however small, you’re all good. You can even write a to-do list and cross tasks out as you go so that you have a record of what you’ve achieved at the end of the day.
9) Call your friends
For me, the best person to speak to when I want to have a moan is my twin sister because who understands you better than your sister, right? I’ve also really been enjoying doing a weekly quiz with all my friends on a Saturday night. I keep taking sneaky screenshots mid-call because seeing all their faces just fills me with so much joy. In some ways I feel closer to my friends throughout all of this than I have in a long time. Most of them live in a different city and often I wouldn’t be able to go to every night out. Now, as none of us can do anything in person, it actually levels the playing field a little.
10) Just relax and reset
I get stressed when I put too much pressure on myself and, certainly at the moment, I want to feel like I’m being productive and making the most of the extra time I have while I’m furloughed. I want to make sure I’m working on my blog, I’m exercising, I’m doing my freelance work… basically, all the things that I don’t always have time to do. However, it’s OK to take periods of time to just reset and recharge too. I’ve actually just spent the afternoon watching a movie and I feel so refreshed for it, so it’s good to remember that. These are crazy times and we have to give ourselves a break.