The world is going through a massive transition period right now and everybody’s lives have been turned upside down with job losses, loss of financial security, coping with grief after losing a loved one, panic buying, lockdown restrictions, social distancing and finding it difficult to cope with the uncertainty and wondering when is it going to all end?
Here are 8 instant mood lifts to help you stay focused, grounded, give you clarity and to help maintain your mental health and wellbeing whilst living in these challenging times.
A change is as good as a rest
The environment you are in will have a direct effect on your emotions. If you feel irritated, frustrated and your day has been a challenging one, throw open the curtains and let some uplifting daylight in. If you feeling down and you start to feel like you are getting cabin fever, just step outside for some natural light and fresh air. You might not immediately think that going outside in the garden will make you feel better if the weather isn’t great but any sun exposure can help regulate you mood even when it’s overcast. Light is necessary for Vitamin D production and deficiencies in this vitamin are linked to higher rates of depression. You don’t have to go far. A wonder in your garden is good if a walk round the block or round the local park isn’t possible. Another way to get connected with the outside world is to look up at the sky and watch the birds fly by and listen to them singing it’s very soothing and it helps to bring you back into your body and be in the present moment.
Keep in Contact
Keeping in touch with your friends and family can lift your mood immediately. Picking up the phone and reaching out to someone you trust ‘who gets you’ and respects you and your views is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make you feel better. Having a good laugh or cry with someone will remind you that you are not alone in all this. It’s good to talk.
‘A Friend is one that knows you as you are understands where you have been accepts what you have become and still gently allows you to grow’ – William Shakespeare.
When feeling anxious, fearful, upset just stop what you are doing and breathe deeply, slowly and properly. When we feel anxious, our breath becomes shallow so we don’t get enough oxygen within the body and the brain and it can make you feel really tired, sluggish and anxious. It’s so easy to feel fear, frustration, anxiety and panic with what we are witnessing on the news and what we are experiencing in our daily lives due to this pandemic. Practising regular breathing techniques and mindfulness really helps to calm your mind when feeling fearful and overwhelmed. It helps you to be aware of what is happening now and helps stop overthinking the worst scenario and you gain a sense of control and calmness.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Sometimes we forget to drink enough water during the day. Pour yourself a big glass of water and if you like add some sliced lemon, lime, strawberries or oranges or maybe add some cucumber or mint or whatever takes your fancy. Drinking this infused concoction will give your metabolism a boost; fill the stomach so less room for snacking or overeating, help your body to release excess fat cells, help you digest your food more easier, remove toxins from the body and improve your mood.
Organic Essential Oils
Some essential oils are natural sedatives and can be very calming when the scent is inhaled. If you don’t possess a diffuser or oil burner, just mix a drop of your chosen essential oil with a drop of carrier oil of your choice in the palm of your hand, rub together, then cup your hands over your nose and mouth, close your eyes and inhale. Lavender is the most popular but if you don’t like Lavender, try Frankincense, Neroli, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Ylang Ylang as these are all natural sedatives. All the oils I’ve mentioned are also safe to use if you are an expectant Mum but always use caution if you have allergies or a family history of allergies. If you think of may be allergic to an oil, do a patch test first.
Cry it all out
Crying in response to emotions like sadness, joy, frustration is normal and has a number of health benefits. It helps your body release stress hormones and helps to relieve pain, it enhances the mood, release toxins, aids sleep, fights bacteria helps self-soothe, and improves your vision. Basal tears which are released every time a person blinks helps to keep the eyes moist and prevent mucus membranes drying out, Research even suggest that our tears may contain different chemicals depending on the reason we are crying! Remember it’s ok not to be ok bottling up feelings was never a good thing and It isn’t a sign of weakness. If you are grieving there is no right way or wrong way and a natural response in losing someone you love. Everyone is different. When you are grieving, it’s normal to feel sad receiving and accepting support from others is an essential need of mourning. If you try to deny or hide your grief, you are closing the door that leads to healing. Denying or suppressing your pain is more painful. Acknowledging that pain and grief is normal and necessary even if people and society around you are telling you that you don’t need to feel depressed, and that there are ways around the pain is one important step to healing. If you feel that you are clinically depressed, please have the courage and self-compassion to seek help.
Moving your body daily is so vital for our mental health, strength and for healthy skin. By getting ourselves moving a little more each day, we are helping our bodies and minds function at their best. It improves circulation, encourages the flow of lymph, boosts energy, enhances your mood, and regulates digestion and elimination. If you think yourself as a skilled dancer or someone with two left feet, almost everyone finds that 5 minutes of dancing can make you feel happier. By increasing blood flow exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body and makes you feel great this is partly due to the release of endorphins that bring about the feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Whether it be dance, yoga, an half hour workout in the lounge a run up the stairs or star jumps in the garden, get your body moving and you will feel the benefits very quickly and see a change in your body shape within months. Make sure you stretch before and after each exercise session.
Putting on your favourite music can turn around the way you are feeling in an instant as it’s a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory. Put a smile on your face and take yourself down a little fun journey of memory lane! Music can have a deep effect on emotions and the body, making it a great stress buster. Fast music makes you feel more alert and concentrate better, upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life and a slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stresses of the day.
It’s tough out there at the moment but resisting change just makes life harder as you focus on something you don’t want. When you accept and adjust with what is going on, you’ll find that life will bring solutions and opportunities. I hope you found these tips a source of support and comfort.