When was the last time you were in a good mood? Our mood fluctuates with the ups and downs of life, but if you’re finding yourself in a slump more often than not, there are natural ways to help get that pep back in your step.
1. Create a morning routine
Try creating a routine that’s different from the one you have at the moment. Scientific studies show that checking your phone the moment you wake up puts your brain into high alert and stress because there are notifications, emails and Instagram feeds to scroll through. Instead, opt for something as simple as sitting up for 2 minutes in silence while your brain wakes up, stretching, making the bed or heading to the bathroom as soon as you’re up.
Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, often called the “feel good” chemicals in the brain which can improve your mood and help you sleep better. Whether you prefer exercising alone or making it a social event, research suggests factoring in at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week, to keep you mentally stimulated and happy.
3. Reduce alcohol and coffee intake
If there’s one thing I remember from personal health class in high school, it’s that alcohol is a depressant and coffee is a stimulant. Having these two on the regular can put immense stress on your body and mind - high caffeine intake is linked to increased anxiety, while alcohol changes the chemical makeup in your brain, and consuming both regularly can negatively impact your mood. If you’re trying to reduce your intake, let your close friends, family or coworkers know and they can help keep you accountable.
4. Schedule time off social media
Whether you see a Facebook post that triggers you, an Instagram post that makes you wish for something you don’t have, or the group chat is constantly blowing up, scheduling time away from social media can do wonders for your mood. You may feel that you’re missing out on a lot at first, but if you just let your friends and family know to contact you in alternative ways, your break from social media might mean you have more time for hobbies, socialising or you-time.
5. Make time for yourself
We’re all used to checking our schedules to see if we can squeeze in a catch up with a friend, but try allocating some time to yourself every week. You can set yourself a night once a week to indulge in your hobby, go for a quiet stroll or just chill out with yourself. Or, if you’re goal-orientated, match your alone time with some life admin you’ve been putting off - organising your wardrobe, cleaning your car or washing your makeup brushes!
6. Check your vitamins
Sometimes our bad mood isn’t from life, it could be your body’s way of letting you know something’s not right - like vitamin B, D or C deficiencies which are impacting your mood and mental health. Get regular checkups with your doctor to make sure you’re vitamin levels are where they should be. Your doctor can help prescribe changing your diet, multivitamins or other methods to improve your mood and general wellbeing.
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