Practicing Self Care: Activities To Improve Your Mood & Mental Health

Last updated on : April 08 2020

Woman in good mood at a carnival.

Self-Care: How To Improve Your Mood & Mental Health 

Whatever the cause of our bad mood, we need to be able to return ourselves to a balanced state for our peace of mind and mental health. Being effective at this requires knowing what to do, and to turn practice into habits.  

It can be hard to reign in our emotions when we're not feeling your best, or our self-esteem is suffering. However, practicing suitable self-care activities will drastically alleviate the pressure we feel daily.

This article covers eleven self-care activities that will not only allow you to regain your good mood but keep you in that state, especially if you turn the advice into habits.

It would be best if you adopted these activities in addition to establishing a morning routine that sets you up with confidence for the day. 

1. Always Have Enough Sleep

Sleep is what affects our mood the most. If in doubt, ask young mothers about how the length of sleep affects mood. They will answer unanimously - even six hours of uninterrupted sleep can change your day, your mood, and even your attitude to life.

Therefore, develop a clear and unwavering habit of always sleeping enough.

During sleep, our brain works like a washing machine. Sleep cleanses our mind of the toxins, emotions, impressions, and experiences of the previous day. And only a full cleaning and rebooting makes it possible to wake up in a healthy state and a good mood.

Sleep deprivation is a common health issue for many people. Some of its causes are stress, lousy sleeping arrangements, or underlying health problems.

Generally, you can fix sleep deprivation by doing simple things like getting a new mattress or putting on some white noise. However, if it’s not so simple for you, then you should consult a doctor for a professional opinion.

However, for most, a good night's sleep, or a nap, is something we can give ourselves without too much extra effort.

2. Eat A Nutritious Breakfast

The second habit that directly affects our mood is breakfast. We mean a full breakfast - and not a cup of coffee, drunk in the car on the way to work. A healthy and well-balanced meal at the start of your day will set you up for the energy boost you need and improve your mood.   

Breakfast helps the whole body to wake up and start all its necessary processes, both physical and mental, which ultimately are responsible for our mood. Plus, it will help you avoid snacking.

The statements above are hard to dispute for most, even though research findings are inconclusive about the real benefits of breakfast. 

3. Practice Writing And Journaling Every Day

Handwriting is an excellent way to reflect, analyze, clarify, and praise yourself for your achievements. Science proves that writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you cope with the issues of the day, and even overcome depression.

Therefore, handwriting or journalling is an excellent way to cheer up.

Here is a simple exercise. If you feel a bad mood, then ask yourself the question "Why" and start answering. As soon as you write a few sentences like "I'm in a bad mood because a colleague criticized my work," you first:

  • help yourself understand the situation
  • understand its insignificance,
  • and begin to understand how you can handle this.

Moreover, it is not necessary to write at a professional level like the authors from the Online Writers Rating review service. It is enough to write what you feel - but to do it every day so that it becomes a habit.

These writing techniques allow you to get rid of unnecessary thoughts, understand which moments bother you the most, and, accordingly, affect your mood.

4. Do Something Good For Others

It is an excellent feeling when you can do something good for others, share, and help. Make the doing of good deeds your habit. The gratitude that you will receive will be a lasting booster for your mood.

Moreover, helping others is very simple. As a rule, this does not require large amounts of cash or investments. Two hours as a volunteer in an animal shelter, half a dollar to feed one child in Africa, one bun bought for a homeless person, a few of your things that you no longer want to wear, donated to the poor are a considerable contribution.

5. Say No When You Want To Say No

Do you know what spoils the mood very much? A sense of necessity and compulsion contrary to your will. Try to avoid the things you don't want to do to maintain your spirit. Learn to say no to those people, events, and activities that spoil your mood.

For example, you don't have to visit your cousin's aunt on your day off if she's an energy vampire who takes your energy and mood.

Sometimes it's easier to maintain a good mood than to raise it from scratch. Therefore, cut off everything that can annoy you and get you out of balance.

6. Say Yes When You Feel You Need It

And by the way, the opposite statement is also true. Say yes to the things you want to do.

Do not deprive yourself of anything if you feel that you want it (and will not regret the consequences). Impulses and impulse satisfaction are also part of human nature. And if it is a positive impulse, then it is better to satisfy it.

The main thing is not to forget about the rules of common sense. For example, if an impulse tells you that you need to drink the fourth cocktail in the evening, or buy a dress, the cost of which is equivalent to your monthly salary, then these are not the best ideas. And it's better to replace them with more prudent ones.

7. Learn To Disconnect And Reload In Ten Minutes

Sometimes our bad mood is a consequence of emotional and information overload. At this point, you need to cleanse your brain - like during sleep.

However, if you feel the state of emotional overload already in the middle of the day, then you need to react immediately. Otherwise, your mood will be hopelessly bad in the evening.

The easiest way to disconnect and regain your balance is through conscious breathing and meditation.

In this case, you can even do without meditation clothes, a yoga mat, and everything else - close the door of your office or park your car in an allowed place, turn off your phone and let yourself be calm and conscious for ten minutes.

This simple exercise will allow you to restore emotional balance and ensure yourself a good or at least adequate mood for the rest of the day.

8. Dance, Run, Swim Or Choose Any Other Sports Activity You Like

Sports activities trigger the mood at the physiological level, especially if it's a sporting activity that you like. Be sure to plan your day to set aside at least 40 minutes for sports or exercise.

By the way, quarantine measures have shown how purposeful we can be if we want to maintain our health under lockdown conditions. Many marketplaces noted an increase in sales of fitness products.

Many fitness trainers have opened access to their programs for free. And one man from Britain ran a marathon in a 6-meter backyard.

It is possible to make only one conclusion - sport is a chemical mood enhancer, and this is what each of us needs, regardless of external conditions. So dance, run, swim or just get active.

9. Add A Bit of Order

The state of the mess around you provokes similar chaos in your thoughts. This problem is the main disadvantage of open workspaces - it is impossible to put this humming hive into order.

However, if you have a personal office or work from home, or a bad mood caught you on your day off, then perhaps the reason for this is the mess surrounding you. A sense of order and organization launches productivity, a clear vision, and a good mood automatically.

Start with the simplest - clean up your desktop. If all the things on your table are already neatly arranged, then clean the dust off it and open the window to let in light and fresh air.

In simple words, this rule is as follows. If you are not in the best mood, put things in order around you.

By the way, a small permutation also has a good effect on mood. It's not necessary to move the wardrobe - sometimes, it's enough to rearrange the flowers and slightly move light pieces of furniture to make the mood noticeably better.

10. Allow Yourself To Do The Things You Love

Things or activities that we love are the most potent boosters of our mood. Do not forget that you love yourself, take care of yourself, and therefore you can always afford to do what you love.

Treat yourself to some shopping, your favorite book, a new movie, or delicious pizza in the company of friends. All things you love to improve your mood.

Do not deprive yourself of small joys - you deserve it. Moreover, you can achieve much more in a state of high spirits and in anticipation of things or events that you love.

Who knows, you might change your life and become a digital nomad

11. Bonus Tip: Put On Some Music

To improve your mood, try putting on some music. Certain kinds of music can help to relieve stress, decrease anxiety, and calm people considerably.

Jazz and classical are two popular genres of music that people tend to turn to when they need some stress relief. While jazz and classical are known to be calming, that doesn't mean you have to limit yourself to only those two genres.

Whether it's hip hop or country, play whatever music makes you happy. Consider trying a music streaming app that will allow you to sample different genres and easily make playlists for every mood.

Conclusion

It is not so difficult to maintain a good mood with some effort. The most important thing is to notice the changes within yourself, to reflect and find the cause of the ups and downs. And then to use these or other tips to rebalance yourself.

And of course, it is necessary to take care of your health - this is the primary source of our mood.

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