As someone who fights with chronic depression and unemployment, I’m always looking for the things to help boost my mood — and, well, the closer to “free” they are, the better. So over the years I found a few things some people might not think about as mood-boosters!
I wanted to share my list of mood-boosters with everyone because we all have down days and maybe these could help a Homie out…
I know it sounds corny, but I’ve read that they have actually done “science stuff” to prove they are good for you. Like hugs for over 30 seconds boost levels of serotonin. Hugs relieve stress, contribute to a better self-image, create a sense of peace and security. Google it if you don’t believe me!
If you want to fuel your day I recommend eggs, toast, orange juice, and fresh fruit. The egg is rather important due to its mood-boosting ability. It’s packed full of high-quality protein and omega-3s (from hens eating a diet rich in omega-3s), eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 (riboflavin) and a good source of vitamins B2, B5, and D. I avoid the coffee as well because, even though it helps pick me up quick, it dumps me twice as hard a few hours later. Also, my breakfast happens at noon so you can really eat it at any time of day.
3. Comedy and horror
I’m not much for horror, but an occasional shock to the system isn’t a bad thing, especially when you feel too down to even crawl out of bed. Horror movies can get endorphins flowing to help you get up. (Note: I watch these first thing in the day so I can forget about it before bed thus skipping nightmares.)
Horror may not be for everyone, but comedy most certainly is — and if you’re feeling blue, to borrow the old phrase, laughter is the best medicine. (If you’re going through a breakup maybe avoid romantic comedy, and if you’re depressed maybe skip the dark comedy.) I like to pop over to YouTube and listen to some clips of standup comedians — standup deals with a wide range of topics, which means I’m sure to find something to laugh at. For some good comedic movies I recommend Spaceballs, Super Troopers, and Blazing Saddles.
4. Sweet sunshine
Go outside, get some fresh air, but most of all bask in the sunlight. (But make sure you wear sunscreen!) The sun helps boost mood and they think it may be a low level natural antidepressant. You can read more about it here.
5. Smash stuff
I don’t mean smash everything and anything. Here’s what I do: while out yard sale-ing, I look for old plates that are super cheap, like five cents a pop, and save them in a box. When feeling blue or frustrated, I lay a sheet out against a tree, get my plates out, and throw them. As I throw I focus on something that was getting me down and as the plate breaks, I visualize it breaking, too. It may sound lame, but my therapist when I was a kid taught me this one, and it has worked well for me. Visualization is key though; if you struggle with that, this maybe a hard task.
6. Remember to shower and put on clean clothes
Sounds easy enough right? Well, when you’re depressed it can be hard to move and think clearly. (Full disclosure: in a deep bout of depression I once went a week without a shower or change of clothes, and it took a family member to kindly tell me this before I realized it had been that long.) Time doesn’t always flow right when you’re depressed because you don’t always sleep well. So when feeling blue, I now set a timer on my phone to remind me to shower today and put on clean clothes. This simple act is a mood-booster in itself, because when you feel clean, some part of the body feels better.
7. Be social
I know all too well this is easier said than done, and that in the age of social media it’s becoming abnormal to actually interact with your fellow humans. That being said, we are social creatures by design and staying locked away from the world feels natural when you’re blue, but it is not the answer.
Make an effort even if it starts as a two-minute phone call to order pizza. Then call (yes, I said call) a friend, skip the Facebook chat for a real chat even if it’s a five-minute ordeal to see if they want to walk in the sunshine with you. You don’t have to do it all in one day, but if all you do is stare at the computer screen you’re missing out on opportunities. If you don’t want your friends to see you when you’re blue, then volunteer at a shelter or retirement home. Help someone else and it will help you feel better.
What are your go-to mood-boosters for when you’re feeling blue?