We all experience those days where we just feel down and upset- sometimes we don’t even know what caused a change in our mood! When our mood changes, this impacts our thoughts as well as our behaviours (i.e. we often feel unmotivated and spend time in bed or on the couch). Research demonstrates that when we change our behaviours (activity), this positively impacts our mood. See below for some helpful tips to assist you or your children in making positive changes to your mood.
1.Get outside! Fresh air and hopefully a sunny day can change one’s mood. Go for a walk, have a picnic or purposely go outside to run an errand.
2.Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. I know this sounds ‘cheesy’, but research shows that when we think of positive things, it can boost our mood. Sometimes in our busy lives we forget about the small things that we are fortunate enough to experience such as the support of a good friend, delicious food or a meal, or even the sun shining! So start writing!
3.Do something kind for someone else or contribute to something meaningful. This could be as simple as helping a friend out; reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while; cleaning your house; or volunteering for a special cause.
4.Listen to music. Create a playlist of songs you enjoy and blast the playlist while your in your car driving, when you’re going for a walk or even when you’re relaxing in your bedroom. Try listening to music that is the opposite of how you’re feeling. For example, if you are feeling sad, listen to happy and upbeat music.
5.Take a shower or splash your face with cold water.
6.Think about what you CAN control in a situation, rather than what you CAN’T control. Once you identify the things you can control, think of ways to work towards a solution. LET GO of the things you can’t control- it’s a waste of time and energy.
7.Call a friend and ask for their support. If you have a support network, use them.
8.Watch a funny or inspiring video. You-tube TED Talks or comedians of interest to you and sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
9.Get active! Tons of research demonstrates that activity increases the levels of serotonin in our brain. Serotonin contributes to well-being and happiness -so get moving already! If you have a hard time motivating yourself to engage in physical activity, set a date and time with a friend so this increases your chances of sticking to the plan.
10.Set aside at least 15 minutes a day for self-care. Self-care activities could include taking a bubble bath, looking at old photos, reading a book or magazine, baking, watching your favourite tv show, walking your dog. Prioritize the self-care time! If you are a parent, this is a great way to model the importance of self-care for your children.