I really feel for the states who were told that their Stay at Home order is going to be extended. The strain on mental health in this situation is for real and I hope that everyone is doing their best to stay healthy both physically as well as mentally as we trudge through all of this. I thought it might be helpful to discuss the small things that we can do to boost our mood and ward of feelings of depression while we are stuck at home. These are very simple strategies, but they are all proven to help boost serotonin levels which will elevate your mood and help you to guard your mind during a difficult time.
Eat Your Way to A Better Mood!
So it turns out that like 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract! What. The. Heck? What you eat truly helps or depletes your mood! If you can avoid foods that create that blood sugar spike resulting in a big crash later on, you’ll be ahead of the game in a big way. This is such a huge one and tough to stick with under our current lock down conditions but even shooting for an 85% healthy diet is going to help your mood. If you’re a snacker, load up on healthy ones (see this post) and ditch the refined carbs and sugar. Eat fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish and seafood and drink plenty of water- you’ll boost your mood as well as your immune system. If you follow me on Instagram I have a Highlight dedicated to healthy meal ideas if you need some inspiration!
Get a Vitamin Boost
Certain vitamins and supplements pack an extra punch for your mental health! Probiotics for your gut health <refer to above>, Omega 3’s reduce inflammation, Vitamin D is a mood booster and B Complex also helps to regulate your moods. Its important to get as much as you can from your healthy diet, but also consider taking them in supplement form to give you some added help, especially during these times. I’ve been taking these vitamin packs off and on for years. I always go back to them because they make me actually FEEL better.
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Go For a Walk
You don’t have to run a marathon or do CrossFit but exercise is proven to boost your mood! It helps to reduce stress, releases happy endorphins, and helps to deal with anxiety. Our daughter is still in South Africa and they have not even been allowed to get outside to walk outside of their homes until yesterday! Think about THAT. Get out and move to boost your mood! Play with your kids, play with your dog, go for a walk, run up and down some stairs, dance party……….it all counts and it all helps.
Meditation and Prayer
All too often these are brushed aside. But time and time again studies show that meditation and prayer will help you to combat anxiety and give you a general sense of well being. I like to take a portion of my prayer time to devote solely to the things that I’m grateful for. Some people keep a gratitude journal and there are loads of meditation apps to help you learn to clear your thoughts, which is so much harder than it sounds, but brings your mind and body an ease and calmness that I’ve not experienced any other way.
Being creative has never been one of my strengths, but I’ve noticed that especially right now in these times of lockdown, doing something creative has been incredibly helpful to my mind. Whether it’s designing my flower boxes, coloring (strangely relaxing), elaborately organizing my pantry, taking pictures, redecorating a room, cooking a new meal- whatever I can dedicate my mind to, to keep it productive really helps to boost my mood! There are LOADS of crafting ideas on Pinterest so hop on there and find something that interests you (And don’t forget to follow me there.). It is incredibly helpful to have something to work on……that doesn’t really feel like work.
This is one that has really helped us during the Stay at Home order. Once a week, we choose a restaurant to support and we go get take out from one of the places that we would normally have gone to back when we could dine-in. We usually get a bottle of wine and if the weather is nice, we eat out on the deck and make it nice. We re-plate everything, set a nice table and just enjoy the evening. It helps out our small businesses right now and the change of pace is a real mood booster!
I hope this gives you some ideas and some encouragement. Here in Colorado, our state is opening up and I’m not mad about it! I know that some people have it really tough right now. Look ahead. This is not forever. Look after yourself physically and mentally so that as restrictions ease up, (and they will) you’ll be ready to fly! If you have some ways to boost your mood, please leave them in the comments below. As always thank you so much for taking the time to be here!
Taking walks outside have been helping me.
Jennifer, that is helping me so much too! So calming.
After seeing y’all got take out fondue, I had to have some. We made it Sunday for Mother’s Day and it was so good. I hadn’t made any in years. XO
Lisa I’m so glad y’all made it! Its such a fun thing to do isn’t it? And right now, these little things seem to give us such a huge boost.