What kind of mood are you in right now…a good one or a bad one? Or maybe somewhere in between? It might also include being stressed, anxious, fearful, relaxed and calm, or maybe tense and agitated. Your mood is not just good or bad, but can include being stressed, anxious, fearful, relaxed and calm, tense and agitated. If you feel like you’re frequently on one extreme or another, it’s time to take a look at your habits, daily routines and how you spend your time. These behaviors can have a big impact on your overall mood and how you feel. Read on for helpful mood boosters to boost your mental health.
First, let’s think about what might cause shifts in your mood.
Stress. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to mood swings. Worry and fear can lead to major shifts in your mood. Some of the signs of stress may include depression or anxiety, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, insomnia and racing thoughts.
Mental health Most mental health disorders can lead to changes in your mood, including anxiety and depression. If you struggle with your mental health, you might already be aware of how quickly your mood can shift.
Sleep habits I’m sure you already know that quality of sleep will impact your mood. If you’ve had a crappy night, you are going to be irritable, short tempered and dragging the next day.
Diet, What you eat matters. Too much junk and processed food may greatly impact how you feel. Pursue a whole foods diet and see what difference it makes in your overall mood.
Medical causes. There are a number of medical conditions that might affect your mood such as hormone fluctuations, thyroid disorders, chronic illness and chronic pain.
10 Instant Mood Boosters to Boost Your Mental Health
1. Morning Journaling Routine
Do you have a consistent morning routine? Whether you realize it or not, you already have one. What does it look like? You probably have certain tasks you like to get done shortly after waking up, such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, walking your dogs, making your family breakfast, or possibly stumbling out of bed and dashing out the door to get to work.
You probably don’t need a complete morning routine makeover, but you might want to try adding a few activities to your morning that will improve your day and your mood. One of the best activities you can do during your morning routine is to write in a journal. There are many ways this can help you, but one of my personal favorites is a brain dump.
What is a brain dump? This simply means you write whatever is on your mind, and keep writing until you feel like you have gotten through all those nagging thoughts (like what you have to get done that day!) Your mood fluctuations could be from stress or just feeling overwhelmed. By doing this type of brain dump in the morning, you get those thoughts out on paper to help release some of the tension, and you’ll also gain a little more clarity.
2. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
The next most important thing you can do each day when you want to boost your mood naturally is to get better sleep. And we aren’t just talking about how many hours you sleep, though that is definitely important. You want to focus on proper sleep hygiene, which is simply the nighttime routine you have before you go to sleep.
Here are some things you can add to your sleep routine that will help you get more restful sleep, and balance your mood at the same time:
Start getting ready for bed 1-2 hours before you intend to fall asleep. Don’t use any electronics or keep the TV on when you are getting ready for sleep. Try to avoid stimulants like caffeine or alcohol shortly before sleep. Set up your bedroom to provide a restful night’s sleep, including a cool and quiet environment. Get blackout curtains to keep it as dark as possible in your bedroom. Participate in quiet and calm activities before bed, such as reading or writing in your journal. With these few changes, you will notice that you tend to fall asleep a little easier, and you don’t wake up exhausted and cranky.
3. Pay Attention to What You Eat
This might not be what you want to hear, but what you eat does make a difference in how you feel, including mentally. Some foods, like high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates, give you energy and make you feel better in the short-term, but cause an energy crash, after which you might notice a worse mood. Stress eating is the worst thing you can do right now. There are a number of trendy diet options, but if you choose a lower carb, whole foods plan you can’t go wrong.
4. Move Your Body Every Day
In addition to eating right, try to also get some daily movement. It can be as simple as a walk outside. This will help you to become mentally healthier and improve your mood. Plus, your physical health will benefit as well!
Some simple exercises you might want to try include:
*Walking or going on a hike
*Taking a local fitness class (taking heed of covid restrictions!)
*Yoga or Pilates (look for online yoga on Youtube!)
*Family workouts with your kids
5. Practice Gratitude
When you appreciate the blessings in your life, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, your mood will change practically overnight. No matter how difficult or challenging things might feel right now, there are always things to be grateful for. It might be friends and family in your life who are always loving and supportive, a decent job, a roof over your head, your pets or family, or even your daily cup of coffee or tea every morning when you have that sacred time of peace and quiet!
To improve your mood every day, start writing 5-10 things you are grateful for in your journal. Turn this into a daily ritual that you do every morning or evening, and you will notice the changes very quickly. If you want a dedicated journal for this purpose, check out my morning journal on Amazon!
6. Make Self-Care a Priority
Self-care is so much more than people realize, and often misunderstood. To put it simply, your self-care routine should be something you do for yourself and only you. At least once a day, you choose some type of activity that you enjoy, relaxes you, and makes you happy.
While it can be absolutely anything, here are a few ideas if you’re not sure where to start:
*Get a manicure and pedicure
*Do a face mask
*Watch your favorite show
*Read a book
*Work on an art project
*Take an afternoon nap
*Soak in a bubble bath
*Meet a friend for coffee
It can be something you do alone or with friends. There are no rules about self-care, as long as it makes you feel better and is something you truly enjoy.
7. Declutter Your World
Yes, working on your space and getting it organized helps with mood stabilization! Have you ever woken up in a clean and orderly room, and just felt better? Just having a decluttered and clean home makes all the difference. You feel happier, healthier, and more productive.
Spend just a few minutes a day picking up your home and tidying it as much as you can, even if you have a busy schedule.
8. Detach and Unplug at Least Once a Day
Give yourself at least one time of the day when you are completely unplugged. This means no computer or laptop, no tablet, and no cell phone. It is up to you if you choose to include television in unplugging, but at the very least turn your phone off. You need some time to relax without social media, phone updates, and text messages. This allows you to sit in the quiet and just enjoy your home and family, without all that extra noise.
9. Create Healthy Margin
This is an easy way to create an instant mood boost. Sometimes, you have so many expectations of yourself and so many people needing things from you, that you may not realize that you’re bogged down from all of it. Remember, it’s okay to say no. It is okay to turn down an invitation. It is okay to not always be the one person people can count on for whatever they need. Set some healthy boundaries and let people know when and if you are available to them. If they love you, they will understand your need for boundaries, just like you respect their boundaries.
10. Get Outside for Fresh Air
Finally try to spend more time outside if you can. Fresh air and vitamin D will both greatly benefit your mood and energy levels. Walking outside is one of the most grounding things you can do for your mental health. It’s also a great way to get more Vitamin D, which is essential to giving your immune system a boost.
Do you have any favorite mood boosters? I’d love to hear them!
One of my favorite instant mood boosters is to have mini spa-moments at home. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, even slathering on some yummy body lotion can provide an instant lift! Learn more at ChronicallyLemongrass.com
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