I’m just like any other human out there, sometimes life gets hard. Flat out hard. It’s not that I think it will stay this way, or that I’m wallowing in my hard season, but I want to be honest, things are just challenging right now. That’s the way it is. I share this with you, because I know you’re human too. We all have good days and challenging days. We have wonderful seasons of life, and challenging seasons of life. Sometimes, its not even about life being difficult, it’s just that our list of things to get done seems overwhelming. For me, this is a NECESSARY time for a balance check.
During these seasons of life, it’s so easy for us to forget about ourselves, worry about our own health later. When, in truth, it’s THE most important place to steer our focus - for at least a little bit every day. YES, even when we have other things pulling on our demand. What’s become so clear to me, lately, is that remaining healthy through these seasons is what gives us the necessary resources to face them without total depletion of mind, body, and soul. Everything I’ve learned over the years, that I now put into practice daily, is exactly what has been helping me get through these challenging days. It’s not to say that I don’t still feel the difficulty of it all, because I do, but I am able to move through it, which is imperative.
Since MOOD is such an important factor to our well-being, healing, and results, no matter what season of life we may be in, I thought I’d share some FREE mood boosters I’ve been practicing lately. Even more so, what I would love to see, is your own strategies for boosting your mood when things get tough. What you do might inspire someone else! Or, maybe, you can share this with someone else that might be going through a difficult time; one to boost their mood knowing someone cares for them, and two so they know they aren’t alone.
Okay, here are some Free Mood Boosters:
Movement: I make time to move every single day. I’m not necessarily training hard every day, but I am moving. If I’m not at the gym or teaching a class, I’m stretching, doing yoga, walking my dog, taking my kids for a walk, swimming, or dancing with my kids in the living room. It’s a proven scientific fact that 30 minutes of movement a day gives us those happy hormones we love so much. The best part is that it’s free 😉.
Music: This might not be for everyone, but music just makes me want to dance! And dancing makes me happy. So anytime I’m feeling frustrated, or emotional, or just need to shake myself out of bad mood, I turn on some of my favorite upbeat tunes. Or I hit shuffle and see what the world brings my way. Sometimes a song from the past comes on that brings up a happy memory. Bam! Mood boosted.
Love my Dog: One of the best things our family has ever done is adopt our dog, Charlie. Petting him for 5 seconds gives me all the good feelings. Just having him around is a blessing. I’m pretty sure God made sure he came to our family because he fits perfectly. The girls de-stress with him after school. And a dog’s love, totally free! Except maybe the food and vet bills.
Fresh Air: Being indoors all day can drive me nuts! I need to get outside! Need to! Since it’s still 110* outside in these parts, I wait for sunset and then take my dog for a walk. I always feel amazing afterwards. Plus, this one is three-fold: I get the dog (mood booster), fresh air (mood booster), and movement (mood booster). Triple the effect.
Spouses, Family, and Friendships: I’m so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Friends and family members have all been there for me, whether it’s helping navigate that list of to-dos’, just sending me a text to see how I’m doing, or offering me their prayers and support. Connecting with them, sharing with them my thoughts and feelings, and then being able to laugh and enjoy their company is a gift I don’t take for granted. You never have to go through anything alone.
Comedy Podcasts: I love podcasts! I especially love podcasts about fitness and nutrition, of course. But sometimes I just want to smile, or laugh, or listen to silly stories so that my mind can just chill for a minute. So, sometimes, when I’m taking my walk, or driving, I listen to a comedic podcast, one where I know, things won’t get too serious. Some of my favorites lately are Conan Needs a Friend, Prinze and the Wolf, and the Pete and Sebastian Show (fair warning, some of these have language). My other favorite podcast is Happier with Gretchin Rubin – it isn’t a comedy but it’s two sisters who chat about finding their own happiness and it always brings me joy.
Gratitude: I say this all the time. The quickest way to a good mood is gratitude! I keep a gratitude journal and I try to talk with my kids each night at the dinner table about what they are grateful for that day. Plus, I always work gratitude into our bedtime prayers.
Sleep: I’ve said this before too! But sometimes during these challenging seasons of life, sleep can be difficult. That’s why I try to get extra rest or take naps when feasible. Plus, I do my best to stick to that bedtime and bed routine.
Prayer and Meditation: I tend to hold a lot of stress. It’s just the nature of who I am. I’ve come to terms with it. Knowing this about myself I make it a daily practice to pray and meditate or practice mindfulness. After 5 minutes, I always feel a little bit better. Plus, it helps me sleep, so it’s two-fold. I use the app Simple Habit for meditation.
Reach for a New Goal: This one is new for me. You might say, “Why set a new goal in the midst of chaos?” Well, first, there is never a good time for anything. There is only time, we decide how we use it. Second, having something positive to set my eyes on rather than all this other stuff surrounding me feels nice. I like to make it a small goal. This time around it was to practice my handstand. I get better each day. Plus, hanging out upside down, just gives me a rush of happy hormone. So, there’s that.
I was chatting with a friend during everything and she reminded me, self-care is so important during these times in our lives. I was like, you know what, you are so right! We can’t forget about ourselves. We are important too. Joy and happiness can only be shared with others if you have it within you. What do you do to boost your mood?