Some days, no matter how much the sun shines (or not), things can feel overwhelming; often nothing can quite shake you from your fog.
Firstly - mind the cliché - it really is OK to not be OK.
Secondly - how do you put a smile back on your face?
We've rounded up ten simple ideas to turn that frown upside down, next time you feel a slump coming on, give one (or more) a go to boost your mood.
Get Out in Nature
How often do you feel soothed and calmed the second you step outside, or spend time in nature? Spending time outdoors is known to lower levels of Cortisol, our stress hormone, and is perfect for leaving you feeling more balanced and happy. If you’re unable to get outside, or if you live in a built-up area, try placing house plants around your home, or even create a calming, green corner - the colour green reminds us of nature and also represents new beginnings.
Hug Someone (or a Pet!)
Sometimes, all we need is a hug. Whether you cuddle a loved one, a friend, or even a pet, hugs are known to be a powerful mood lifter - not only do they lower levels of our stress hormone, but they also boost Oxytocin (AKA the love hormone), which is guaranteed to leave you feeling better.
Aside from being absolutely delicious, there’s a reason why we may crave chocolate when we’re struggling or feeling low. Eating chocolate can help to release Dopamine in the brain, a powerful neurotransmitter which is known to help us to feel good. Want more from your chocolate cravings? Why not try creating one of our favourite truffle recipes by clicking here.
If life is feeling stagnant or joyless, why not plan for the future and give yourself something to look forward to? This is particularly helpful if you’re suffering from post-holiday blues! You might like to book a holiday or staycation or, if that’s not possible, you could plan to go and visit a friend or family for the weekend.
Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness work in two ways - they put a smile on someone else’s face, and they put a smile on your face, too. After all, simply doing something for someone else can remind us that life is kind. So why not buy the person behind you their morning coffee? Or leave a note for someone to find, bake muffins for a neighbour, pop in to visit an elderly neighbour or compliment a stranger or friend.
Swap Night Out for Night In
If your bulging work and social diaries are filling you with dread, why not swap a night out for a night in - particularly if you’ve made plans you were only feeling 50/50 about. Light your favourite candles, pop on a diffuser (certain oils, such as citrus, can boost your mood) and put your feet up. Slather on a face pack, switch on your favourite film, paint your nails (have a full on pamper!) and dig in to your favourite snack - a tonic for the soul, if ever there was one.
Limit Screen Time
Between hectic diaries and ever-growing social commitments, life can often get overwhelming. Social media and 24/7 emails can only add to this overwhelm, we live in a hyper-productive society after all. So why not limit the amount of time you use your phone? Most phones now allow you to place a cap on screen time - and we guarantee that not only will you feel better and more relaxed, but you'll have plenty of extra brain time too.
If you’re able to, lace up your trainers and get moving. Exercise is one of the most powerful mood-boosters around (it releases feel-good hormones) and is likely to help with flagging energy, too. You don’t have to push yourself until you’re purple-faced, either - pick a workout that you’ll enjoy and look forward to. This could be lifting wights, going for a walk, calming yoga or even something new, such as belly dancing.
Affirmations, or mantras, are powerful statements which we can use to transform both our mind and mood. You can pick any affirmation you like, or make your own up - but try to let yourself feel as though what you’re saying is true as you repeat it. Some affirmations we like include: “I am loved”, “I am successful, confident and strong”, “All I need is within me”, “I am grateful for my body".
How often do you treat yourself, or allow yourself to indulge in the things you love? Sometimes, as we bounce from commitment to commitment, we tend to forget ourselves. It doesn’t have to be extravagant - you could buy or pick yourself some flowers, bake some brownies for yourself (just because!), run a bath and sip some wine, or buy or start a new book or magazine. If you love it, carve out some time to do it.
Spend Time by Water
Many of us find ourselves soothed by the sound of the sea - and there’s good reason for this. Water is known to have a powerful effect on the mind. Known as Blue Mind, the theory goes that spending time by the water can help to support our moods or create calm in times of chaos. If you don’t live near the sea, then don’t worry - satisfy the soul by listening to the sound of waves or by running yourself a hot bath.