Hey there, happy Friday! Did you have a hard week? Happens to the best of us.
For awhile I was feeling so chronically fatigued that my moods were bordering on depressed. Around the time I started this blog, about 10 weeks ago now, I began closely watching my nutrition and exercise and making some other small, yet positive changes to my lifestyle. I’ve learned that some of the smallest things in life bring me the most vitality.
Here are some small easy ways to elevate your mood during the week!
- Be outdoors. Fluorescent lighting and indoor dust are bad for us. Take in a breath of fresh air, feel the sun and a soft breeze on your skin, take your shoes off and touch the soil, grass, or sand with your bare toes. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. If the weather’s right, exercising outside instead of in a gym can really make you feel great.
- Disassociate “guilt” from your guilty pleasures. So you like to binge-watch Netflix when you get home from work. But it makes you feel SO lazy and guilty. Stop associating negative thoughts with your “you” time! If you really think it’s limiting your productivity, set a designated day of the week or time limit for doing that thing. But you don’t ever have to feel bad for doing things you enjoy. If your guilty pleasure is a type of food that’s bad for you, really try to limit it to a once-a-week treat and make sure you exercise on the day you eat it. Health and fitness are important, but eliminating downtime activities or favorite foods can make you even more unhappy.
- Meditate or Pray. I wish I had understood the value of this sooner in my life. Now, at 23, I’m just experiencing the grounded, contented feeling that comes from prayer/meditation. No matter what you believe, I believe that if you ask, you shall receive. Find a quiet place to sit for at least 15 minutes to unwind. Avoid thinking about work or things you have to do, and concentrate on your own personal goals and development.
- Abstain from alcohol. Liquor certainly does have its moments. I’ll confess, I’ve even known a shot of straight bourbon to ease the onset of an anxiety attack. But self-medicating with it to solve everyday feelings of sadness or fatigue, or binge drinking on the weekends to go wild and “forget” your problems, will only lead you down a road of negativity that may or may not lead to substance abuse or symptoms of addiction. Try to limit your alcohol consumption to a drink or two with dinner or happy hour, and in awhile you’ll feel the benefits of better hydration and sleep, leading to more energy and better moods on the daily.
- Random Acts of Kindness. Even just one smile of appreciation can lift your spirits dramatically! Not to mention the probability that whoever you help will also pay it forward.
Change is hard at first, especially when it comes to the foods we eat and how we spend our “spare time.”
Personally, I spend the vast majority of “spare” time taking care of my dog and working out, but when I truly sit down for some “me” time I like to either do my nails, or spend hours on my computer zoning out on the Internet or in SimCity. Setting limits on how often I play on the computer definitely helps me get more done and feel less anxiety about the hours that just flew by. Though now that I’ve begun blogging, my computer time is a little less play and a lot more work!
What’s your feel-good philosophy?