Grumpy? Here's a Checklist of Simple Things That Can Boost Your Mood
Finding yourself in a slump is no fun at all.
Whether you know precisely the reason you're feeling grumpy and not yourself, or the emotion has come on without warning, there are a lot of reasons you might be experiencing your mood. Some of them might have to do with your direct circumstances, or that you haven't been taking care of yourself properly, and other times these feelings might be the result of more complex issues with mental health.
If the latter is the case, then certain practices won't entirely snap you back to happiness right away, but they can help to put you on the right path. If you're feeling a little down, here are some things that might be able to boost your mood.
Sometimes, when we're feeling moody, it's the direct result of our bodies telling us that they need to be taken care of properly. If you've ever been accused of being hangry, then you know the irritability that can sometimes accompany hunger—even when you don't realize you're hungry. A snack can help. Dehydration can also lead to headaches and tiredness, so try drinking at least a cup of water (or herbal tea, if that's more your thing) when you haven't been quenching your thirst. If you take any vitamins and minerals throughout the day to stay on top of your daily nutrition, don't forget to have those, either! And last but not least, if you're feeling too tired to function, try optimizing a nap with these tips.
Check In With Your Feelings
Whether you're going through a breakup or loss, or you have no idea where this whirlwind of emotions suddenly came from, checking in with your feelings can help you to understand them and better process them. Maybe the best way for you to do that is to journal about your experience, or to talk to someone you trust (and who is also open to hearing you vent) to work through it. Maybe you deal with things better through deep breathing and meditation. Regardless, don't forget to acknowledge and accept your feelings. When you're ready, you'll let them go, and from there, you'll be able to focus on the positive.
Get Some Sun
Exposure to natural sunlight can do everything from improving moods and sleep to fighting fatigue and depression. Whenever possible, you should aim to get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure every day—wearing adequate sun protection, of course. If the sun isn't out due to weather, just going outside and sitting somewhere dry and keeping warm for that amount of time can give you beneficial exposure to nature. And if you can go out for a walk somewhere the air is fresh and you can move your body, you'll reap all the advantages of getting out.
Practice Good Hygiene
When we're down, maintaining good hygiene can become an extra challenge. Some people might take it for granted that you shower or bathe every day, and brush your teeth every morning and night, but this can be difficult when you're not feeling like yourself. If you can, force yourself out of bed to get clean—and if you can step it up a notch with nice-smelling gels or bath bombs, treat it as a self-care experience. No matter how much you're not feeling it, try to brush your teeth twice a day, and tie it to a skincare routine to leave your face glowing and blemish-free, building up more of a positive self-image. Even changing into an outfit that's not your pajamas can do wonders to get you out of a slump, if you're capable of putting that energy in.
Even if you're used to an organized jumble, the mess on your desk or next to your bed can really be messing with your head when the rest of your life is looking a little disordered, too. Take a minute to throw away trash, put extra cups in the sink and tidy what does belong there into neater, more logical piles. Make your bed whenever you can, and try to get stuff into the hamper instead of throwing it on the floor or piling it up on "the chair." Whatever your tidying up looks like, remember that the simple action of getting rid of clutter can also help you to declutter the mind.
Engage in Happy Media
Sometimes, getting a little boost of joy can be as simple as returning to the media that always makes you happy. Maybe there's a character in a movie you can't get enough of, or a nostalgic TV show that always brings you back and brings a smile to your face. Perhaps you have an upbeat playlist full of your favorite cheerful, mood-boosting music that makes you dance with delight, or a soothing video game you can keep coming back to when you need an escape. Know your go-tos, and don't forget about them when you need a pick-me-up.
Make Yourself Laugh
Have you ever heard of fake it 'til you make it? Research shows that smiling, even when you don't feel like it, can boost your mood–and laughing is even better for you. So turn to the things that make you laugh, whether that's a classic comedy, a reliable joke or your favorite meme page. Or, maybe you have a friend who never fails to make you laugh. Turn to them in times of need and see the difference that can make.
Practice a Hobby
When you're overcome with negative emotions, you won't always have the energy to turn to your hobbies, but if you can dedicate even 10 minutes to them, you might experience some powerful effects. Everything from painting to drawing to writing, cooking, gardening or playing an instrument (and that's just the tip of the iceberg) can put you in a completely different mindset. And if it's something you love, chances are that it's going to be a positive one.
Move Your Body
Exercise and the act of moving your body can help you deal with anxiety and tension, whether that means running, yoga, fitness exercises or dance. But even when you can't get up for a proper workout, simply getting up and stretching your body, making sure not to ignore movement in any critical areas, can also do wonders. And when you're in a bad mood, something as simple as adjusting your posture—so that you're sitting up straight and not slouching, and your shoulders are back—can immediately make you feel more confident and positive.
If you appreciated these tips, click HERE to read our review of the Star Wars self-care guide The Jedi Mind.