In a perfect world we’d feel happy and fresh all the time. However, in reality we can sometimes feel a little deflated, uninspired and generally a little sad. As someone who’s suffered from depression in the past, I definitely don’t want to slip down that slope again and have pinpointed a number of basic things that help lift my mood when I’m not quite feeling myself.
These steps aren’t purely for people with a diagnosed mood disorder, they’re for anyone everyone who can sometimes feel a little low.
Step One: Take Exercise
Taking exercise has been scientifically proven to improve your mood. When you exercise your body produces endorphins which, amongst other things, lifts your mood. The good news is, you don’t need to go out for a 5k run to reap the benefits of endorphins, going for a brisk half an hour walk will, more or less, have the same effect. Doing around half an hour of some type of exercise each day will keep your mind feeling sharp and a lot more positive (as well as the obvious physical benefits).
Step Two: Get Enough Sleep
A well rested brain, is a happy and effective one. If you’re sleep deprived you can become forgetful, spaced out, paranoid and stressed. Getting enough sleep throughout the week (not just sleeping loads at the weekend) helps stabilise your mood, making you less moody and generally a little brighter.
Step Three: Find a Hobby
Don’t spend your spare time moping about watching rubbish telly! Find something that you enjoy and do it regularly. This could be anything from a sport to joining a book club. Your hobby doesn’t necessarily have to involve socialising with others, so long as you get a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment from what you’re doing, you’re bound to feel a lot more productive and cheerier!
Step Four: Look After Your Space
This is something that I find lifts my mood massively. When my bedroom is cluttered and dusty, that’s the way my brain feels as well! When my bedroom is organised and tidy, I feel like I function as a human being ten times better. I’m not rushing about trying to find things or stepping over heaps of clothes and I enjoy my surroundings.
Not only cleaning and tidying, but adding little accents to your bedroom or home that make you smile and feel cosy can also make it feel a lot more comfortable. For example, framing photo’s that make you smile, adding fairy lights or lighting candles or adding a comfortable bed/sofa throw or rug.
Step Five: Socialise With People You Love
It can sometimes be hard to catch up with everyone you’d like to if you have conflicting and busy schedules but try and find time to spend time with the people that make you smile! Forget the friends that bring you down and cause unnecessary drama and focus more on organising nights out/in with the people who make you laugh and feel good about yourself. Hiding away in isolation with only yourself and your thoughts for company is enough to make anyone cry.
Step Six: Switch Off
Instant communication and social media has it’s place but can also be very addictive and unhealthy. In the words of Olive’s teacher in Easy A ‘I don’t know what this generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought, but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds’. No truer words have ever been spoken.
The world doesn’t need to know you just bought a Coke Zero and definitely doesn’t need a picture of it (or any of your days food or beverages for that matter). Keep everyone on their toes… be mysterious!
Seriously though, being glued to facebook and twitter is only going to turn you into a paranoid social media zombie who can’t function in the real world. Live your life for you, you don’t need likes and retweets to be a fulfilled person. Switch your 3G off and go for a walk, have a face-to-face conversation with your gran and read a newspaper! Spending some time disconnected from the internet really clears your head and can get the creativity flowing!
These are just some of the things you can do on a daily basis that do their bit to improve your mental health.
What do you do when you’re feeling a little down?
Hope you’re all feeling well today!