You know those days when you just feel off? You wake up extra tired, cranky or agitated for no recognizable reason? Or maybe it comes on suddenly in the middle of a workday, and you just can’t seem to snap out of it or shake the feeling. I think we’ve all been there. I’m the type of person who tends to ignore the early signs of one of these instances, so it usually hits out of the blue and is so distracting.
However, over time I’ve found a few easy solutions that help me to take a moment to reset, relax, and get back on track.
- Take a breath. Taking a moment to free your mind from whatever is distracting you and focusing on your breath can work wonders. Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise: inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this 3 or 4 times. You can also try syncing your breath to a breathing gif (yes, this is a real thing). This one is my favorite.
- Go outside. I find that a little bit of fresh air can make a huge difference in my mood if I’m feeling off, especially if I’m getting caught up in something at my desk. Take a quick walk to grab a coffee, or just sit and people watch for a few minutes. If the weather is poor, a big window or source of natural light inside works well, too.
- Call someone. Dial up your mom, best friend, boyfriend…anyone who you know will answer and take your mind off of things for a few minutes. I’ve been as up front about it as to tell the person on the other line to “tell me something funny” as soon as they pick up. Whatever works, right? On the other hand, talking through whatever is bothering me often helps me to put everything into perspective and feel better quickly. I’ve found that just the act of telling someone else why I am stressed can bring my anxiety levels back down and reset my mood.
- Move a little. Take a brisk walk, head to the gym, or sign up for a last-minute workout class. Exercise will release endorphins, natural mood boosters, and reduce adrenalin and cortisol, hormones which promote the feeling of anxiety or tension.
- Give yourself permission to take a night off. Sometimes, a quick fix just isn’t going to cut it. In these cases, I know that I need to really listen to my body and allow myself to just chill out and head to bed early. I find that good night’s sleep can cure just about any funky mood, so I’ll really put effort into my bedtime routine when I know I need some extra rest. I’ll put some magnesium into my sleepy time tea, take a bath, fill my diffuser with lavender essential oils, and put my phone away at least 10 minutes before laying my head down for the night.
Do you have any mood-boosting tips or tricks?