The pandemic has tested all of us, both physically and emotionally, and it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and sad during these times. To help alleviate stress and negative thoughts, here is a list of suggestions to help lift your mood.
1. Take Time to Work Out
Any kind of physical exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, a good motivator to keep your body active and your mood upbeat. Any type of exercise is good, and depending what equipment you have access to, varying your physical activities daily is advised to keep your routine interesting.
From learning to dance with widely available Youtube tutorials, to giving yoga a go, your possibilities are far more than you may think. Regarding the latter, yoga is a great way to relax the mind and body. Three sessions of yoga each week can boosts levels of a brain chemical – the amino acid BAGA – which helps promote a state of calm, say researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine.
2. Develop A New Hobby
Having a hobby is vital for everyone, no matter how big or how small. This could be anything from painting to learning to cook, as long as it’s an activity that you feel can satisfy your creative side. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a boom in people taking up gardening. Not only is the activity relaxing, it also can provide you with fresh fruit and vegetables to keep your diet healthy. Doctors are now being encouraged to ‘prescribe’ gardening projects to help people boost their physical and mental health.
3. Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness can mean different things to different people, and may be practised in a number of ways. But put simply, it means paying attention to the present moment without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Utilising this way of thinking can help lower stress when dealing with situations outside of your control, and may help improve your mental health if you are suffering from high levels of anxiety or bouts of depression.
Take a look at our article detailing how practicing mindfulness can help keep you stress free!
4. Keep in Contact with Others
It goes without saying that as social creatures, keeping in touch with our friends and family is extremely important, particularly if you’re feeling isolated. Connecting with other people is a proven mood-booster, partly because it stops you focusing inwardly on your problems. But rather than email or use social media, it’s preferable to chat with a friend or relative over the phone – or even better, face to face over video chat. Try to keep social media usage in moderation however, as it is commonly linked to lowering the mood of its users and may make you feel more lonely as a result.
5. Make a List of What You’re Looking Forward to Doing
It can be helpful to make a list of things you’ll look forward to doing after a return to normality. Whether that’s a long-awaited holiday to the beach or going to see the next big blockbuster movie with a group of friends, making a list can help reignite your excitement for what you’ll do after the pandemic has subsided and make the current situation feel much more manageable.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you can do to lift your mood if you’re stuck indoors or self-isolating, it is a good place to start as you consider how to keep yourself active, happy, and entertained.
If you would like to know how Ceed can help you during this time, please feel free to reach out to us today.