We’ve all had them — those days where you just feel blah. Those days where you didn’t get enough sleep, or maybe your hair won’t cooperate, or perhaps you ate too much dessert the night before, or you’re feeling lonely being at home all day, or even ALL of the above! Maybe there’s nothing really wrong, but you just don’t quite feel like yourself.
When you’re feeling down it can be easy to want to stay inside on the couch and have a pity party (as much as the kids will let you!) I’m definitely guilty of this! However, sometimes you’ve got to get up and do something to improve your mood and get out of that “mom funk.”
Here are some of my favorite (simple) ways to instantly improve your mood:
- Play your favorite music, and play it loud! Music is a proven way to improve your mood, fast — I play “jams” for the kids on a daily basis to make mornings go smoothly and help make chores fun. When I hit that mid-afternoon slump, I’ll put on my favorite playlist and feel better instantly.
- Go somewhere! Whether you’re at work or at home, a change of scenery can be just what you need to shake things up. Sometimes I catch myself avoiding leaving the house because I don’t want to fool with packing a diaper bag or carrying the car seat. But then I look at my littlest one, who thinks every car trip is an adventure, and I change my mind. Anytime I decide to just go I never regret it — a trip out of the house, even just to run simple errands, can be totally worth it and a fun way to spend time with the kids.
- Take in some fresh air! Sometimes we don’t realize how much time we actually spend indoors. There is something exhilarating in being outdoors and it instantly makes me happy. Even if the weather is not ideal, stepping outside for a few minutes can work wonders.
- Break a Sweat! There are days when exercising is the last thing I want to do — BUT, it is the best thing I could do! A solid workout releases endorphins, dopamine (the “feel-good” chemical in the brain), and serotonin (which promotes restful sleep), so you are physically guaranteed to be in an awesome mood afterwards. Plus, lifting heavy objects or completing a super-challenging routine makes me feel like a boss anyways! You could even make exercise family time — try this 10 minute kid-friendly yoga routine!
- Take a Coffee Break! Coffee has many proven health benefits — it’s packed with antioxidants that help rebuild and protect your body’s cells, PLUS it is a rapid mood enhancer. And as my mom pointed out recently, we have quite a few relatives still going strong in their late 80s and 90s who are serious coffee-drinkers! All good enough reasons for me to grab a second cup (or third on those especially long days!)
- Take a deep breath! In fact, take five of them! Simply setting aside whatever you’re working on for a moment to close your eyes, relax, and breathe will melt away stress. Add in some stretching for a quick, natural energy boost!
- Say “Hi” to a stranger! When I was a junior in college, I moved across the country and started a new school where I knew absolutely nobody! My mom suggested that I initiate a conversation with five people every day, even if it was a simple as just saying hello. It was actually much easier than I had expected, and it felt good to talk to people, even if it was just about the weather. Check out my guest post for Think Big Resumes to read more about how to “change your life, one hello at a time.”
- Give a compliment! People often respond to compliments by giving one back, and who doesn’t like to receive a compliment? Even if they don’t return the favor, it still feels awesome to say something nice to another person.
- Take a Hike! Or a walk (if you live somewhere totally flat like we do!) I like to take the kids a let them burn some energy and enjoy the positive benefits of exercise combined with fresh air too!
- Hug someone! Grab your kiddos and squeeze them tight! Embrace the hubby when he gets home from work! Heck, if you happen to be alone at the moment, give yourself a hug! Why not show someone you love just how much you care? Plus, you can’t help but feel happier after getting a hug!
The next time you find yourself feeling down or drained, make a conscious effort to change your mindset and improve your mood. Keep it simple and start small — you might be surprised what a positive impact such seemingly little actions can have!
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