How to Boost Your Mood
I woke up today and I was in a so-so mood. I felt like I didn’t get enough deep sleep and was a little groggy. However, this often happens, and I didn’t pay too much attention to my mood. Yet, I got up and made breakfast as usual and got a cup of coffee, which usually does the trick.
Considering I would have been awesome, had I been by myself, my lovely, little babies (ages nine and seven) were fighting and my oldest had an early soccer game. The early game wasn’t the issue, but small things kept popping up and my mood started getting worse as did the time we had to get to the game. My son had some tummy troubles due to game anxiety and was a bit whiney. And let’s face it, he was probably in the same mood as me and I was trying to be accommodating.
I also share a bathroom with my kids and he came in a few times to use the bathroom while I was trying to get ready and be on time. (I don’t like being late – part of my perfectionism I’m trying to disarm.)
We also got an email we were supposed to bring both color shirts for him because the coach was unsure what color they were supposed to wear. My husband had told me this three times. Yet, as we ended up rushing out the door, I forgot the other shirt. (#momfail) Of course, I didn’t remember this small detail until we were right by the field and – you guessed it – his team was wearing the other shirt.
After all the other “small” things that went wrong that morning and my lack of sleep, I was almost in tears at this point as I frenziedly turned the car around to go back and get the other shirt so he could play, also replaying what my husband was going to say as he was leaving work to meet us there and we would obviously be late. (He was actually really nice, but my bad mood made me conjure up an entire annoying text conversation in my head. haha)
Feeling frustrated and defeated at this point, my mood was taking a turn for the worse. And we all know the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, no one is happy!” (In my house we actually say this about my nine-year-old -but I digress.)
I asked myself, “Why cant’ this be a day I got good sleep so I can handle all these little things that pop up?” Let’s face it, every day has its ups and downs, but good sleep helps me deal.
However, as I was researching more, I found some fantastic ways to help boost your mood (and mine) so that I can start out on the right path each and every day, which let’s be honest, is what my kids deserve.
In fact, did you know your mood is a habit and it can include being stressed, anxious, fearful, relaxed, calm, tense, and agitated?
If you feel you often have shifts in your mood and you are losing it more often than you would like, it is time to take a look at causation and take action.
What Causes Shifts in Your Mood?
Often, as mentioned above, things in your everyday life can cause mood changes. However, you do not always have control over everything and if you want to control everything, this can also make your mood change as it is not possible (again, disarm the perfectionism). Yet, as you learn more about changing your mood, you can use the tips in this post to find lifestyle changes that will work for you and help your mood shift less.
Some causes of shifts in your mood include:
Of course, we all have stress as we go throughout our day. Yet, how you handle stress can determine how it will affect your mood. Even mild stressors can build up over time and impact your mood and behavior, just like the story of my bad morning above.
Mental health disorders can be the culprit of mood swings. Especially if undiagnosed. If you struggle with anxiety (hello me!), or depression it can agitate your mood swings further. You may already be aware of this if you have struggled with mental health for some time.
As I mentioned earlier, had I gotten good sleep in the scenario above, I definitely would have been able to handle my little hiccups better. Yet, not getting enough zzzs is a precursor for mood shifts. Nonetheless, good sleep hygiene habits can have a positive effect on your mood the next morning and day. I know how tempting it is to watch the next episode of your favorite show, but that extra hour of sleep could be crucial to your happiness the following day.
Do you like sugar? (I do!!) Serve me up some ice cream, a donut, apple pie, and some birthday cake and I’m good – for a while. Yet, these sweet pleasures can affect your mood by creating ups and downs in your blood sugar levels. Eventually, you crash from your sugar high and are left feeling worse. What you eat throughout the day, whether it be sugar or processed foods, can make a huge difference in your moods, and of course, eating clean is the best option.
Some medical causes can play a role in mood shifts. Think PMS or menopause, which cause our hormones to go wacky, leaving us feeling like Mt. Vesuvius!
Here are some other medical causes of mood shifts:
- thyroid disorders
- vitamin deficiency
Since there are many areas that cause your mood to shift, take solace in knowing there are some things you can do to help stay happy and positive or at least content. Here are ten tips to help you deal with mood shifts.
1. Morning Journaling Routine
If you have a morning routine, kudos to you. Starting your day off on the right foot is key to staying calm throughout the day.
What are your morning habits? You have a morning routine whether you think you do or not; however, take a look at how it is affecting your morning and the rest of your day. Do you eat breakfast, brush your teeth, make a lunch, dress your kids and rush out the door?
There are things you must do in the morning, but why not add some activities that will improve your day and your mood?
One amazing idea to include in your morning activities is to journal. There are so many journaling options. You can do a brain dump, try journaling gratitudes, write out your goals, or use a guided journal such as this one (click here).
One of my favorites is a brain dump. If I had gotten up five minutes earlier in the scenario above, I could have used some journaling time to calm myself.
What is a brain dump?
This is as easy as writing down whatever is on your mind. Do you have some anxiety about a meeting you have today? Are you feeling down about a conversation you had yesterday? Jot it down. Once you have gotten through y our nagging thoughts, you will eliminate stress, overwhelm, and anxiety about the day ahead.
By getting your thoughts down on paper, you can start processing them and feel better.
2. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
As mentioned above, getting a good night’s sleep can improve your mood immensely. This can range from how many hours you sleep to what quality of sleep you are getting each night.
Just as having a morning routine is important, having a bedtime routine is equally important.
Here are some things to focus on at th end of the day:
- Get ready for bed 1-2 hours before you actually try to sleep
- Put away electronics or any blue light 2 hours before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol ( I have to stop drinking caffeine around noon to get a good night’s rest)
- Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to have a dark room.
- Make sure you have a quiet, cool environment in your bedroom for optimal sleep
- Try journaling at bedtime too or find something calming and not stimulating
Making these changes will help you get a better night’s sleep each night so you can face the world in a good mood!
3. Pay Attention to What You Eat
It may not be what you want to hear, but eating unhealthy can have an effect on your mood.
Food with high amounts of refined sugar and carbohydrates can cause spikes and drops in blood sugar. You may have energy in the short-term if you eat a candy bar, but will have an energy crash later.
When it comes to
eating right, make sure to eat whole foods and a balanced diet. Things such as complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains are foods you should strive to include in your diet.
4. Move Your Body Every Day
If we are going to eat right, let’s also take care of our physical body by exercising too.
Your body was not made to be sedentary and moving can also produce mood-shifting chemicals to help you feel good and stay healthy.
The key is to find exercises you actually enjoy. I love jogging, but some do not. Find something that works for you.
Some exercises you might want to try include:
- Fitness classes
- Weight lifting
- Family bike rides
- Family workouts.
5. Practice Gratitude
Research shows gratitude shows it can make people happier long term.
By focusing on your blessings instead of your curses, your mood will change and over time this will become easier.
No matter how difficult life can be or whatever challenge you must face, there is always something to be grateful for. If you have a hard time finding something to be grateful for try walking, having shelter, food, family, pets, coffee, sun, or just life in general. Take some time, even if it is just 5 minutes per day, to say thank you for the small things in your life.
Try using a gratitude journal such as this one (click here) and turn this into a daily ritual. You will notice your attitude and mood changing quickly once you focus on what you are grateful for.
Keep reading for more ideas on how to boost your mood…
6. Make Self-Care a Priority
Self-care is often forgotten, but so extremely important to keep your mood up. It is essential that you take time to do something for yourself and only yourself each day. This can include something you enjoy or relaxing activity. To put it simply, something that makes you happy.
Here are a few self-care ideas if you’re not sure where to start:
- Get a manicure and pedicure
- Try a new face mask
- Watch an episode of y our favorite show
- Read a chapter of a book
- Try painting
- Take a power nap
- Take a bubble bath or shower
- Meet a friend for coffee or lunch
There are no rules for self-care, but make sure it is something that makes you feel better and you truly enjoy.
7. Declutter and Organize Your Space
Clutter not only bogs down your house, but it also bogs down your mind.
Working on decluttering is a great way to stabilize your mood.
Think about how you felt the last time your house was clean and organized. Chances are you felt more productive and happier.
Try 5-minute pick-ups and keep a “donate” box in your house. If you take a little time each day to declutter, the mess won’t feel so overwhelming and you will be able to enjoy and love your space.
8. Unplug at Least Once a Day
Do you feel the anxiety to check your phone every time you hear a ping? Putting away your devices is a calming mood-boosting activity.
Give yourself a time of day to completely unplug. Put away your laptop, tablet, and cell phone and just relax. It is stressful knowing you can be reached 100% of the time. So choose a time to be unavailable and away from these attention-sucking devices.
Enjoy this extra quiet time or spend time with your family uninterrupted.
9. Set Healthy Boundaries
This is a hard thing to learn, especially if you are a people pleaser. However, this can do wonders for your mood. Why? Resentment will creep in when no boundaries are present.
Often we have expectations and so many people that rely on us, you don’t realize these things wear on your mood as the day goes on.
It is okay to say no or turn down an invitation if you will be feeling overexerted. You don’t have to take care of everyone and personal boundaries will teach others how to treat you.
If your friends and family love you, they will understand and if they are making you feel bad or guilty, they may be toxic friends.
10. Get Outside for Fresh Air
Getting outside in nature is a mood booster. Fresh air and vitamin D will both boost your energy levels and benefit your mood.
Not to mention, research shows being in nature has a claiming effect on your brain.
So take a nature walk or go to a park. Even if you have your kids with you, you can sit and read while they play (depending on age).
11. Avoid Toxic People
If you notice your mood changing as you are talking with the negative Nacy at the school drop-off, it may be time to find another parent to stand by. In fact, pay attention to how th people you interact with affect your mood and if one is almost always an energy suck, it is time to avoid that person altogether. However, if you have friends that brighten your day, ask them for coffee! It can be that simple.
I know it can be more difficult if you are dealing with family members, but keep your distance if you have toxic family members. You deserve calm in your life and peace of mind. And who cares what they think? (Okay, I admit I am a recovering people pleaser so it IS hard not to care!)
Related Self-Care Post
How to Boost Your Mood Final Thoughts…
Paying attention to your mood is a start, but this week, try practicing some of the tips above and see if you feel better. You can track your mood using the mood tracker in this journal and find things and activities that will help boost your mood.