You know those days when you feel fed up and as grouchy as a bear with a sore head? Yep, me too.
“Arrrgh!!! EVERYTHING is really irritating, everything is super-stressful and everything should just shut the hell up and leave me alone…[*breathe…*]”
Days like these are far from fun and when they happen, I can’t wait for them to be over so I can get back to normal. For a long time, I’d just cross my fingers and hope my mood would shift soon (while periodically roaring at the world).
That is, until I realised that I am far more in control of my mood than I thought. Sure- hormones, and sleep, and circumstances all play a massive role in how I feel, but I don’t have to be their victim.
From that moment, I collected together a powerful ‘toolkit’ of emergency measures- 10 great things that I use to boost my mood and be a kinder person whenever the storm descends.
Want to use them too? Here you are:
#1: Get some sunshine and fresh air
Looking for an instant pick-up?? Sunshine and clean fresh air are perfect!
Not only does the natural light make you feel sunnier inside, it also helps balance your hormones, reset your body clock (hello better sleep!), and allow you to get some clean, oxygen-rich air instead of the stale stuff circulating inside your house.
Also, if you often suffer with low mood, depression or even anxiety, the action of sunlight on your skin helps your body to produce vitamin D for stronger bones, and helps release more serotonin- the happiness hormone.
Even if you live in the northern hemisphere and are often light-deprived at certain times of the year, the fresh air will still work wonders.
#2: Practice yoga!
Yoga is AMAZING for bringing some light back into your heart and helping you feel better. Whenever I’ve turned from peace-loving zen mother into a raging bull from hell and nothing will bring a smile to my face, I just pull out my mat and let some magic unfold.
There are many yoga postures you can do that will really help, but I love to take the thinking out of the equation and just let YouTube do all the hard work.
Try this video: Yoga with Adriene- Yoga for When You’re in a Bad Mood
#3: Clean up your clutter
We simply don’t need all of that stuff overflowing from our wardrobes and cupboards !! It just overcomplicates your life, overwhelms you brain and leaves you feeling rubbish. And studies have actually proven that one of the main sources of stress for women (especially mothers) is a cluttered home.
So I’d ALWAYS recommend that you go through and sell, donate or repurpose any possessions that don’t bring joy to your life any longer. Do this and you’ll feel about a million times lighter and you won’t have to waste endless frustrating hours doing ‘housework’ when you could be out there having fun!
#4: Feel your gratitude
Switching your perspective and starting to count your blessings will make you feel so much happier and more content with your life.
I remember a few years back when I was REALLY struggling with my mood, I started my own gratitude practice and felt its benefits in my own life. Every day, I’d grab my notebook and write down five things I felt grateful for. Sometimes the things were deep and meaningful, sometimes they weren’t at all. But writing like this made a massive different to how I was feeling.
Suddenly I stopped noticing those annoying, stressful things and only noticed the positives instead. Give it a try for yourself!
#5: Go for a run!!
Running is a brilliant way to escape your problems (even if only momentarily!) as it provides amazing mental space and gets those feel-good endorphins flowing.
And if you team that with an awesome view of the sunrise…well, there’s a recipe for an instant smile!
#6: Do a Short Meditation
I love to pop on my headphones, sit quietly and zone out by listening to a short guided meditation when I hit overload. Many studies have shown that meditation is a wonderful way to beat stress, reduce pain, feel calmer, rebalance your hormones and feel happier and more rested.
Here’s a great five minute meditation that you can use when you need to hit reset:
#7: Get a massage
I’m so lucky to have a partner that notices when my mood needs lifting and can offer a lovely soothing massage to rub away my worries.
Even if you don’t have a talented partner like mine, you can still enjoy all the benefits by treating yourself to a massage with a professional or even giving yourself a little food massage when you need it. It will work wonders!
#8: Cuddle someone (or something!)
Cuddles are a wonderful way to boost your oxytocin levels, strengthen your relationships, sleep better at night, feel loved and get some well-deserved relaxation.
So whether it’s your partner, your pet dog or even your mother, I’d highly recommend you top up on those cuddles to feel happier fast.
#9: Try journaling
It’s such an old-fashioned technique for stress-busting but it really works! Keep a journal and you will feel much happier and in control of your life. It doesn’t matter what you write, provided as long as it really means something to you. Best of all, you can get whatever is bothering you right off your chest without any fear of judgement.
I love to set a timer for ten minutes and just see what emerges!!
And last but definitely not least, simply sitting quietly, turning your attention to your breath and slowing it right down often works miracles when it comes to your mood. Here’s a great exercise to calm:
- Sit down and close your eyes if you can. If not, find somewhere quiet where you don’t be disturbed for a few moments.
- Allow your attention to settle on your breath, and watch the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe in and out.
- Now breathe in slowly to the count of four, hold it for a further count of four and then slowly exhale for the count of eight. Allow your stress and worries to simply flow from your body- imagine them leaving you into the world.
- Get back to normal life feeling wonderful.
So if you’re feeling low, irritated, depressed, in the grip of crazy PMT or simply feeling fed up, you don’t have to give in and keep feeling terrible.
Use these brilliant tricks and you’ll soon banish those dark clouds and get back to your usual self!