It's but natural to experience being in a low mood from time to time, even if you can’t always figure out why you’re feeling down in the dumps. What do you do when you’re feeling sad, uninspired, and drained of energy?
Instead of wallowing in the sadness and self-pity and allowing yourself to spiral into depression altogether, try some items off this list to pick up your mood, reboot your slumped mind and body, and revive your zest for living.
1. Start your day on a positive note.
Set your day off on the right foot and shoo away any bad vibes early in the morning by waking up an hour earlier and using this time to do a productive task, followed by a relaxing one.
For instance, you can tidy up your desk or organize some files for 15 minutes. You don’t have to pressure yourself into finishing the chore, as the point of doing it is not to do a general cleaning of your place.
After 15 minutes of doing productive work, reward yourself by spending the rest of your free hour enjoying your morning coffee along with some newspaper reading.
This creates a sense of being more in control of your time and having done something for your personal enjoyment, upping your mood instead of being harried by the usual frenzied morning rush.
2. Refresh your skin.
Splashing your face with cold water wakes you up early in the morning, and clearing away sweat and grime during midday or late in the afternoon can refresh not only your face, but also your mood. Being physically clean and fresh can help clear away a frazzled mind and enliven your system for a better mood.
3. Spritz on a new scent.
Like being physically clean and fresh, smelling good makes you feel better pepped up for the day, more confident as you interact with other people, and even sexier as it increases your level of attractiveness to the opposite sex. Choose a light and clean scent that isn’t too overpowering, and uplift your spirits instantly.
4. Call a friend.
Reconnect with an old mate, reminisce fun and touching moments of the past, share the trivial stresses of your daily lives, and unload the challenges you are currently facing as you juggle the multiple responsibilities of adult life.
Doing this can remind you that you’re not the only one dealing with both petty and major difficulties in life, release your pent up frustrations and emotions, and raise your mood even before you hit the End Call button.
5. Perform a simple act of kindness for someone else.
This is a surefire way of boosting your mood, whether you’re feeling low or even neutral during the day.
Take a minute to come up with something you sincerely appreciate about someone, be it a family member, a colleague at work, or other people in your life you may regularly interact with but rarely acknowledge.
The only thing is that you have to get to be in the same room with that person at some point during the day.
Once you get the chance, tell him or her the honest compliment you have thought up—the result will be double the smiles and mood-boost, as you will not only get positive feelings out of it, the person you complimented will also experience a jolt in the happy mood meter.
Taking this concept to the next level, you can also go beyond your home or office environment and volunteer for a cause you genuinely care about.
Instead of spending your weekends poring over social networking sites, put your spare time into better mood-boosting and productive use by volunteering in a food shelter, an animal shelter, your community literacy program, or the local program for children with special needs.
Being a part of something that makes a difference gives you a sense of purpose and meaning that motivates you and sparks your zest for life.
6. Spend time with your pet.
Cuddle up or play with your dog or cat. Indulging the simple pleasures and giving your full attention to your pet not only grants a sense of calmness, it also takes you away from the world of the usually complicated human dramas, if only momentarily.
This effectively refreshes your mood as your show of affection and attention is satisfactorily returned to you by your furry friends as well. If you don’t have a pet, you can play with a friend’s pet instead, or volunteer at your local animal shelter to further boost up your mood.
7. Indulge yourself in something that brings you joy or pleasure.
When you’re in the middle of stressful situations, or you’re feeling so stressed you’re in danger of getting burnout, it is important to take a break and recharge yourself through a well-deserved indulgence.
Eat your favorite food, go see a movie, have a lunch date with your best friend, read a few pages of that long-anticipated book, do something creative, or simply engage in an activity you love.
This averts your foul mood and refreshes you so when you get back to work, you’re not only smiling again, but you’ll also have better concentration and increased efficiency.
8. Listen to music.
It’s easier for the mind to fill up with negative thoughts when your mood is at a not-that-great zone, creating a domino effect that can take you from feeling low to murderous.
Before you get swallowed up by the bad mood quicksand, counter the noise in your head by putting on your favorite playlist and singing along with your favorite up-beat tunes.
This is sure to raise your spirits and enliven your mood, maybe even encourage you to do some moves…which brings us to the next mood-uplifting strategy—exercise.
9. Get moving.
In case you haven’t already heard of it, physical activity releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural mood-enhancers. So perform some gentle stretches, take a walk to the park, or do a full cardio session early in the morning.
Giving your endorphin levels a boost will inspire a great mood all day long, not to mention keep you fit, jumpstart your body system, and release your much-needed energy for the day.
10. Go outdoors, get some air, and practice mindfulness.
Take time early during the day to enjoy the natural sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, and indulge your senses to the simple pleasures of nature.
Notice the sights, smells and sounds you rarely appreciate when you’re frequently rushing to do the day’s work.
When you’re in a low mood, remind yourself that how you feel is largely affected by what you think, so refocus your thoughts to the positive things in life you can be grateful for.
Stand in silence, be present in the here and now, and appreciate all the good things you have.
Experiencing that occasional low mood may be unavoidable, but with these 10 mood-boosting strategies in your arsenal, there’s no reason why you should stay miserable and gloomy for long. It only takes some creativity and enough willingness to redirect yourself to a more positive track, and you’ll be well on your way to a recharged, happier you again.