Even though the end of the pandemic looms on the horizon, moving past such a traumatic experience may not be easy, and it's more than slightly possible our mental health has suffered in the face of such trying circumstances. We may occasionally find our dispositions are not as sunny as they once were, and grey clouds may fill our otherwise blue skies. When your mood dips into a valley of stress, anger, despair, or sadness, there are things you can do to lift your spirits out of that funk. We've compiled a few of our favorite ways to improve our mood when life gets us down.
1. Write It Out
Whether you're emptying your mind of the millions of thoughts that create mental static that makes concentration difficult or listing things you have to be grateful for, writing in a journal is a proven way to create a little clarity and perhaps even provide a bit of perspective. You don't necessarily need to go back to read or keep the thoughts you record; instead, you can simply unload, as it were, to unburden yourself of the weight you might be carrying around.
2. Get Outside
Exposure to sunlight has countless benefits and is key to maintaining your body rhythms, increasing vitamin D intake, and improving your mood. Stepping out for even five minutes can be the midday boost you need to stay focused and free of negative thoughts that might impede your thought processes.
Who doesn't love an exquisite post-workout endorphin rush? The physical benefits exercise provides are obvious, but did you know even a ten-minute walk can increase energy levels, reduce stress, and improve your temperament? Whether you're able to make it to the gym or take a short stroll, movement is key to feeling better and more relaxed.
4. Rock Out
Music, especially the songs that we know and love, can give us the jolt of vim and vigor we need to make it through a rough patch. Throw on your playlist full of groovy tunes, bob your head, tap your toe to the rhythm, and soon enough, you'll find yourself in a different state of mind. And if you combine great music with a workout, well, in that case, you're on your way to having a great day.
5. Make a Personal Connection
In a year when we've become especially disconnected from our friends, family, and even coworkers, making a human connection is more important than ever. Taking the time to have a casual conversation or idle chat with someone is a sure-fire way to cast aside any negativity you might be feeling. And we're sure they'll appreciate the encounter as much as you do.
These tips are meant as guidelines for when you experience occasional bouts of melancholy, agitation, or any other difficult emotion you have trouble processing. If you are in distress for prolonged periods, please speak to your healthcare provider or reach out to a crisis line to avail yourself of support from mental health professionals.