Lately I’ve been noticing the small things that can make a difference to my mood. And I’m hoping you can use some (or all) of these to boost your mood too!
Change your phone wallpaper
A couple of weeks ago I change the lock screen wallpaper on my phone. And I cannot believe how much of a difference this has made to my mood. I’m still not used to it, so every time I pick up my phone I smile. And the strange thing is that it isn’t a special photo. It’s just a coloured wallpaper that I found on Google when I searched for “tie die phone wallpaper”. I plan to change it up every month or so and start a little collection for myself.
Change your computer wallpaper
For a long time, I used the default wallpaper that came with my computer. Then I switched to a vision board that I created in Canva. But I’ll be honest, most of the vision board was covered up by open browser windows. So I switched to a plain coloured background. And I love it because the colour still peeks out from behind the browser windows. Plus I can switch up the colour easily, depending on how I feel or what I’d like to see.
Sometimes when you are looking for a wallpaper it can get overwhelming really quickly. There are just so many options out there. Picking a colour drastically reduces the number of options.
Vent your feelings and frustrations
What if I told you that you could vent your feelings and frustrations without putting the burden on anyone else? Well, you can. And it turns out I’ve been unconsciously doing it for quite some time.
- Record a video of yourself venting, then delete it. Then delete it from your deleted items
- Type out your feelings in a word processing program, and then don’t save it
- Write out your frustrations on paper, then shred or burn the paper
- Punch or scream into a pillow
- Go for a run to burn off some of that adrenaline
Send an encouraging text message
Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, I send encouraging text messages to my friends. I’ll be honest, I usually copy and paste the message so they all get the same one. But it really is the thought that counts.
I also like to do this when I am feeling particularly good. I think it helps to share the love sometimes.
You might not even know someone is feeling particularly down. But they receive this nice message from you and it makes their day.
Send a handwritten note
Ok, this might not boost your mood, but it will boost the mood of the person you send it to. I know the only thing I receive in the mail these days is bills. So it’s a nice surprise when I receive mail that doesn’t have a dollar figure on it. Plus knowing you’ve put a smile on someone else’s face is sure to put one on yours too!
Get out into nature
I feel like I have said this so many times before. But during the winter of 2020, I made it my mission to spend 20 minutes outside each day. While I didn’t achieve it all of the time, I really noticed when I hadn’t spent any time outside.
Even better if you can find a few things that you like to do that can be done outside. Some of my favourites:
- Playing with your kids
- Outdoor exercise like walking or running
- Going for a picnic
- Finding shapes in the clouds
- Reading in a hammock
Soak up some sun
Just like getting out into nature, sitting in the sun can boost your mood. Sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin. And if you’ve ever vacationed in a sunny place, you know how it feels.
Sometimes I like to pretend that I am recharged by the sun, so I’ll sit in the sun with my eyes closed for a few minutes.
But sunlight doesn’t just boost your mood. Research shows that it has preliminary links to potential treatments for some conditions, benefits those with depression and anxiety, and helps build strong bones thanks to Vitamin D.
Smell something nice
There are a few fragrances that make me smile. And I’m sure you can think of a few too. With so many ways to incorporate nice smells into your life.
- Candles, wax melts or oil diffusers
- Room or linen sprays
- Fabric softeners for your clothing and linens
- Perfumes, soaps, body wash and even hair care products
- Cooking or baking foods with distinct smells like garlic and onion or chocolate and yeast (just maybe not all together)
So many of those encouraging text messages I mentioned earlier were sent after a workout. All it takes to reap the endorphin rewards from exercise is finding something that you like. And there are so many ways to exercise. My current favourite ways to exercise is by doing yoga (in-person classes and following along on YouTube) and playing Ring Fit Adventure on Nintendo Switch.
Eat or drink something you love
Some days there is nothing better than cosying up in front of the television with a hot chocolate (that may or may not be spiked with Baileys). Or that beer after work on a hot summer’s day. Maybe it’s that first morning coffee that hits the spot for you.
If you’re more into food, maybe you enjoy foods from your childhood or learn how to make one of your favourite foods.
We moved house about five years ago and we came from an area where people wouldn’t look at you when you walked past them. But where we live now almost everyone we walk passed will smile, nod or say hello. It really does put a smile on my face.
And we always have a little chuckle when my daughter says good morning when it’s the afternoon.
Sing and dance
Sometimes it’s not happy songs that get me moving, it’s the emo ones. You know the ones. They get your arms to play air guitar. They make you grab anything nearby that might resemble a microphone. Then your feet start moving. And next thing you know, you think you are Freddie Mercury live onstage at Live Aid.
Have a laugh
I’m sure you’ve heard that children laugh a million times a day – maybe a slight over-exaggeration. But they do laugh a lot more than adults. And I’m also sure you’ve heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine.
My favourite ways to laugh out loud are:
- Watching funny movies like We’re The Millers
- Watching funny videos on Fail Army
- Telling jokes with my daughter
- Reminiscing about funny moments in my life.
Best of all, the laughter doesn’t even need to be genuine. It can be the fakest laugh you can muster. Honestly though, I think the faker the better. It might just mean a real laugh busts out at the hilarity of the fake laugh.
Relax your shoulders
I spend so much time on a computer that my shoulders are almost always up near my ears. And I really notice this when I’m sitting down to have dinner. Release your shoulders and take a deep breath in and out. I feel myself relaxing even further on that out breath.
Wear something that makes you feel good
Nothing looks better than confidence. And confidence often comes from wearing clothes that are comfortable, fit right and make you feel good. Consider a clothing swap with friends to get some new pieces for free.
Creative activities can not only boost your mood, they often give you a confidence boost. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s a hobby or a once-off creative outlet.
You can do things like cook or bake, paint or colour, scrapbook or make something with your hands, crochet or knit.
Get good sleep
The importance of sleep is becoming a popular topic on the back of hustle culture. And sleep can play a big role in our stress levels, digestion, learning and mental health.
Need help to get better sleep? Try these 14 easy steps to get the best sleep.
A clean(er) space can help clear your mind. Even if it’s something as simple as putting away the half dirty clothes on that chair in the bedroom or taking out the recycling, they can all make a difference in your mood.
- clear off the kitchen counter
- clear the space that is the dumping ground in your house (for me its the shoes at the front door)
- put on a load of washing
- dispose of anything lying around that is clearly rubbish
Think about something that you are really grateful for. Sometimes it can be hard to get past basic things like the people in your life or the job you have. But sometimes you can dig a little deeper into the what and why of it all.
- The always happy dog outside your fave cafe
- The rain that waters the vegetable garden and fills the water tank
- Your job that allows you to support your hobbies
Which of these have done to improve your mood?