Sometimes when you’re having a bad day, it’s hard to boost your mood so you can move forward. Here are a handful of simple suggestions to get you started.
Go for a walk. Have a park nearby? Pop out for a 10-15 minute walk. This kind of gentle physical movement helps your body create hormones related to good moods. Research shows that being out in nature even for very short periods can and overall help your brain work better.
Take time to laugh. While laughter may not be the best medicine, it’s often a good one. In the short-term, it can improve your circulation and help relax your muscles, relieving physical symptoms of stress. Long-term, laughter may even improve your immune system and relieve pain. Watch a comedy, read a funny book, or chat with a friend.
Smell something good. There is research suggesting that smells associated with positive memories can make you feel better. Take a quick sniff of an essential oil you enjoy, put on scented lotion you like, or make an aromatic cup of peppermint or Earl Grey tea — just be mindful of those around you who might have sensitivities to odors.
Listen to music. Songs you enjoy can give you many benefits, such as reducing anxiety, improving focus, and relieving stress. (If you’re listening through headphones, make sure to keep an eye on the volume to protect your hearing.)
It’s important to note that these suggestions are meant to help you through an ordinary case of the blahs. If you find yourself feeling consistently down or stressed, you might want to talk to your doctor or to a mental health professional to see whether anything more serious is going on. If you are experiencing feelings or thoughts of harming yourself or others, call the crisis lifeline at 988.