With the jam-packed nature of our lives giving us little chance to breathe let alone speak on some days, it’s not unusual for people to become disheartened and feel low once in a while. The stresses and pressures of modern life can become too much to bear. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working long hours while trying to maintain your reputation as an outstanding mom or whether you are simply struggling with family issues, many life situations can lead to us feeling down. There may be days when you feel like doing very little other than keeping the curtains closed, curling up on the sofa and having some much needed time to yourself. However, with your little darlings relying on you, mouths to feed and a job to be done, you need to soldier on.
However, continuing without recognizing that you are buckling a little under pressure can lead to more severe damage to your personal well being and mental health. You need to take a metaphorical step back and consider what small things you can do to rebalance your life and make yourself feel better. Although these may seem like insignificant gestures, you’ll be surprised at just how much these five simple mood boosters can lift you and make you feel a little more ready to take on the pace of modern life once again.
Even if it is just for half a day, there’s no greater way to escape from the monotony and stress of work, the kids and home life than taking yourself away to a spa or salon. Grab yourself a reiki head massage, take a dip in the heated swimming pool and enjoy a steaming hot Bikram yoga session. While in unfamiliar yet luxurious surroundings you can allow your mind to wander onto different things other than your boss, that presentation that you need to get sorted and the meetings that you need to arrange. Wrap yourself up in your spa towel and robe and enjoy the scents of the massage oils and the tastes of the nutritious, healthy food you get to sample.
If a spa day is a little out of reach, turn it down a notch and head to your local salon. By getting a new hairstyle and revolutionizing your look, you can boost your mood no end. There’s no greater feeling than having confidence boosting positive compliments after you show off your new tresses. Rather than opting for the same mid-length bob with bangs and layers, why not consider the many short hairstyles for older women such as the pixie crop or the spiky cut.
You may even want to go a step further and change your hair color. By adding highlights, changing the hue of your locks or simply covering up those elusive greys, you can have a more youthful appearance. Looking in the mirror and feeling good about yourself will boost your mood and leave you more confident to tackle the challenges that life brings.
Play It Loud
Sometimes, there’s no better excuse to play your favorite track loud than if you need a mood boost. Hearing your favorite tune can evoke positive and happy memories. It may be the song that you and your other half first danced to, or it could be the track that your little cherub sang along to in the car when they first started to talk or it might be the first band you ever saw live. It doesn’t matter why you love the music, just put in on your stereo, get out of your seat and dance. Any sort of physical activity and movement can make us feel free not just physically but also mentally. Like watching a good movie, you can escape to a whole different place, allowing your blood pressure to reduce and your stress levels to alleviate. As you bop along to the beat, happy hormones and endorphins are released promoting positive vibes and boosting your mood.
Even if you aren’t the most outdoorsy of people and the thought of heading out for a hike up a mountain or a trek down by the river sends you into a cold sweat, consider spending a short time in natural light every day. You don’t have to venture down to the park, play a game of soccer or head out on the lake fishing. You don’t have to be physically active outdoors at all if you don’t want to. However, immersing yourself in natural light by sitting in your garden, taking some time out for yourself and reading a good book, you are giving your body a chance to find it’s natural rhythm.
A part of your brain called the hypothalamus is a natural observer of light and dark. While you might think spending all day indoors means you might need a Vitamin D supplement, you are also missing out on that all-important mood enhancing natural light. By spending just ten minutes outside every day, you will sleep better with unbroken sleep, and you will feel physically more relaxed. This can lead to greater alertness and productivity at work.
Eat Your Favorite Food
While it’s not a great idea to gorge on takeaways every night or to eat mammoth amounts of refined sugar and convenience foods, a little of a good thing can be excellent for your mood. Imagine being at work all week with nothing to look forward to at the weekend. You need mini incentives to get you through your days. Why not use food as the proverbial carrot on the end of your stick.
If you love rich dark chocolate, why not promise yourself your favorite cocoa laden dessert from your favorite restaurant at the weekend. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids which lower your blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. While milk chocolate is delicious, if you get a taste for the darker stuff, you can reap the health benefits. You don’t want to be eating bars of the treat every day, but you can taste the delicious morsel once in a while.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth, maybe there’s a dish that your other half hasn’t cooked in a while that you absolutely adore. They could make it for you after a particularly manic day at work, leaving you to reminisce about the first time you tasted the hearty feast. This will block out the negative thoughts from the day, leaving you with powerful memories and more positive mood-boosting thoughts.
Ban The Social Media For A While
There’s nothing worse than feeling low and then scrolling through your Facebook feed to see the amazing lives that your ‘friends’ are having behind their Holga filters and photoshopped bodies. Instead, ban the world of social media for a little while and get back to the good old twentieth-century ways of biding your time. While it may be tricky at first and you might feel disconnected from the modern world, you’ll slowly come to realize just how mood sapping Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat can be. By focusing on those closest to you and paying more attention to your immediate surroundings, your mood will lift. You don’t need to know about the gourmet meals your pals are eating, the incredible neverending holiday they are enjoying or the astronomical amount of fun they look to be having. Focus on you and your loved ones to find fulfilment in your life.
While it’s common to feel low on occasions, this doesn’t have to become your normality. Break away from the monotony of life, switch it up a little and try some of these mood-boosting activities to feel more positive and ready to face challenges head on.