As a wonderful follow up to our last post, Taking Care of Your Health in the Fall & Winter, today’s guest blogger, Allison Moody, is here to save the day! Keep reading for what she’s found to be the 3 best mood boosters.
Most of us experience depression or lousy mood swings on a regular basis. We know that bad feelings will eventually pass, but that doesn’t help speed up the process.
The good news is, unless you’re suffering from clinical depression (which demands the attention of an experienced doctor and probably medication), your blues can be beaten. As soon as you realize that this depends on you, you can start working on bettering your mood. Now, when you’re feeling blue, the best advice is to do something about it, but you can’t do anything, because you’re feeling blue. The circular nature of this problem is what creates the greatest obstacle.
So, before you start recognizing the ways you can make yourself feel better, it’s essential to recognize this fact: bad mood paralyzes you into inaction. You need to fight against it, and get into action. It’s easier said than done, but far from impossible.
My 3 Best Mood Boosters:
1. Physical movement
As I already said, it’s really difficult to get moving when you’re depressed. Usually in those periods you only manage to get yourself out of bed, go to work, and come back home. You might even call in sick and spend days in your bad, mechanically switching channels on TV, or just staring at the walls.
It takes a lot of strength – but you have it! – to just get up and do a few stretching exercises. Swing your legs left and right, make circles with your hips. That’s the first step, and it will immediately make you feel better. But not a whole lot better. You need to proceed with physical movement. Go out and take a walk. Fresh air might feel like an attack on your lungs, but soon the feeling will become pleasant.
Walk for a whole hour. If you like music, listen to some upbeat mp3’s. When you feel like you’ve come back to life a little, start running or doing some cardio exercises. Really sweat it up. Repeat this a few days in a row, and sure enough, you’ll be a happy human again. It wouldn’t hurt to continue doing some physical exercises every day, or at least take long walks.
2. Mind games
If physical activity is really not your game, there’s another kind that works well for uplifting your mood. There are all kinds of mind games, from “spot 7 differences”, to difficult math problems or intelligence tests online. Engaging your mind with logical problems will steer it away from your everyday problems, or shake you up from the numbness. Again, that first step is the most important: how to start.
3. Helping others
This is a great way to start feeling good about yourself AND be useful. Think of someone in your family or among your friends who has a problem. Maybe you’re not in the best shape to listen to someone’s romantic troubles, or to give advice to people how to handle their misbehaving children, but maybe that would take your mind off of your troubles.
Also, a good way to activate yourself is to find out where you could donate clothes, cans of food, unused and unnecessary toys, and pack all that stuff into a nice present for someone who lacks these things.
Let me repeat that chasing the blues away with action is all there is to it, but that’s the hardest thing. Once you adopt this wisdom, you’ll start “solving” your depression like a relatively easy math problem. The three ways I suggested are only to get you started. There are many more things you could do to make you feel better. Hopefully you won’t need to explore them too much.
About the Author
This article was written by Allison Moody, a writer, avid reader, amateur dancer, food lover and many other things. She is currently working on promoting her new FREE online app Labeley that lets users design their own beverage labels.
Sometimes I put on some feel-good tunes or call a good friend. What do YOU do to beat the blues?