When we’re feeling down or a little sluggish we tend to go a bit slower, and we’re more likely to put off important tasks. There’s nothing wrong with being sad from time to time – as we learned from the movie Inside Out (how cute are those characters?) But sometimes you need a quick pick me up to get your day going again.
Here are some ways I make my day better instantly:
1. Dance it out – Solo-dance parties can be the best, it’s all about you and the music. No one can judge your dance moves, no matter how crazy. So put on your favorite track and get moving.
2. Keep a gratitude journal – Remind yourself of what you’re thankful for! It’s easy to get caught up in things and forget at times, but many studies have found that those who are grateful for what they have feel a higher sense of happiness than those who do not. I make a habit of writing in my gratitude journal every night.3. Doodle – I always tend to doodle when I’m thinking or when I’m on the phone. It’s a great way to be creative without the pressure of producing something at the end. Also studies show that doodling helps you to focus and increase your memory. It may get a bad rep, but it’s actually one of the most productive time wasters!
4. Ring your Mom (or Dad) – I love my mom, she’s always a source of inspiration for me. No matter how bad my day has been, chatting to my mom will always make me feel better. Plus I know that my phone calls make her happier too. It’s a win win!
5. Look at cute animals – Animals are adorable and they are also good for your productivity! Researchers at Hiroshima University have found that looking at cute pictures or videos of animals trigger care giving impulses, which can improve your work performance. That’s because you’re more likely to be attentive. I suggest checking out CatsvsCancer.org because as you’re watching cute cat videos and increasing your productivity, you’re also helping to raise money to fight cancer.
6. Go for a walk – Walking, or any light exercise, can help to boost creativity and mood. In fact, an article in The New Yorker claims it goes beyond that. Writing and walking use similar parts of our brain. When we walk, we are surveying the world around us and constructing a mental map. This mental exercise can help us to organize our thoughts and come up with a plan of action.
7. Indulge yourself – It’s OK to have that pain au chocolate you’ve been eying or get a manicure. You know you want to! Call it a reward, bribe, or pick-me-up, but giving yourself incentives to get things done can keep you focused and more productive.
8. Make a cup of tea – I recently started drinking Matcha, which is a super turbocharged type of green tea. It was recommended to me by several people who know how obsessed I am with tea – and I love it! The process of making tea is very relaxing, plus the small caffeine boost and rush of antioxidants gives me that extra bit of energy.
9. Random act of kindness – There’s a song in the off-Broadway musical Avenue Q that goes, “When you help others, you can’t help helping yourself!” It’s true – there’s plenty of scientific evidence that shows that giving can make us happier. Whenever you feel really terrible – push yourself to do something nice for someone else — it’s an instant lift.
How do you boost your mood?