We know only too well how it feels to wake up in the morning on the wrong side of the bed. The worst part? Once you’re in a slump, it’s almost impossible to get out. Almost. We’ve got 5 simple tricks to put mind over matter and cheer yourself up, no matter how sad/angry/frustrated you are today.
1. Eat your carbs
Drop that Atkins diet like it’s hot — carbs are good for you! Your body actually needs carbohydrates to produce serotonin, a chemical that stabilises your mood and calms you down. However, this doesn’t apply to simple carbs packed with sugar like cake and cookies, which gives you a surge of energy then quickly sends your mood crashing. Try to eat complex carbohydrates like oats (just add some fruit and nuts for a wholesome mid-day snack!) or wholemeal bread.
2. Practice the art of gratitude
Being grateful for things, big or small, not only makes you a great person to be around, but has a positive impact on your mood as well. Be generous with your please and thank yous and cultivate a spirit of thankfulness by listing down the things you’re grateful for that day, be it good weather or a delicious breakfast, and keep them in a jar. When you’re feeling particularly down, open up a few of them to remind yourself why you should be happy about your existence.
3. Pimp your space
In all honesty, some of our offices look way more depressing than hospitals. That doesn’t mean you can’t add some cheer to your space to improve your mood and productivity. Decorate with pictures of the family, memorable holidays, some scented candles, inspirational posters — anything that will perk you up when you’re down in the dumps.
4. Get moving
When all you might want to do when you’re feeling down is to curl up in a ball and sleep, do the exact opposite and sweat it all off instead. The benefits of exercise goes on: It relieves stress, eases anxiety and releases your brain’s happy chemical, dopamine.
5. Laugh out loud
Laughter really is the best medicine. It decreases stress hormones, triggers the release of endorphins and even strengthens your immunity. Take little breaks throughout the day and watch a funny video or two, or go all out and sign yourself up for laughter yoga. Yes, that’s a thing.
6. Turn off your phone
For those of us who habitually check our phones every few minutes, going off the grid, even for a little while, will hurt as much as peeling off a bandaid very very slowly, but it’s benefits include reducing anxiety and improving brain functions. Instead of hunching over your phone during lunch, take time to enjoy your meal and soak in your surroundings.
7. Go on a virtual escapade
Desperately need a getaway but all out of days off? Take a virtual break instead. Close your eyes for a few minutes and mentally recount your favourite holiday. Going to your happy place, even in your mind, promotes positive feelings and recharges you for your tasks ahead. Plus, you don’t even have to buy an air ticket.
8. Write it down
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a notebook and put your problems and feelings into words. By making them tangible, you allow yourself to see things more logically and remove yourself from the emotions that may have been clouding your judgement, giving yourself new perspective.
For more on lifestyle, click here or check out I Was Born Without A Sense Of Smell or The Best Ways To Save On Airfare This Festive Season.