Life in isolation was something we all had to experience in 2020, and for a lot of us, both our mental and physical health took some hits. While the world is slowly opening back up again, loneliness is undoubtedly something we’ll still encounter and that can take a toll on our minds and our bodies when left unchecked.
There is no on and off switch when it comes to feeling down, but there are small things you can do that can scientifically boost your mood and help you feel a little happier every day. Here are some easy things you can incorporate into your life when you need a little pick me up.
Go for a walk
You’ve probably heard that exercise leads to endorphins, which in turn make you feel happy, and that’s completely true. Other than the obvious physical benefits that walking provides, it can also significantly improve your mood.
Research has shown that walking can help reduce symptoms of social withdrawal like bad moods, anxiety, and depression. It’s also been shown that walking, especially outdoors, can help you think more creatively and come up with ideas in comparison to sitting down.
So the next time you’re feeling a bit blue, overwhelmed, or stuck on an idea, a walk around the neighborhood or even a little errand run can help clear your mind.
While comfort and guilty pleasure foods can make us feel happier in the moment, indulging in refined food high in sugar and fat too often can actually have an adverse effect on your mental health in the long run. Studies have shown that people who had diets with highly processed foods were more likely to have depression.
Eating is directly linked to how we feel, so you’d be surprised to discover just how much the right foods can make you feel better. Eating foods rich in healthy fats support brain function while complex carbohydrates have more nutritional value and help you feel fuller for longer, keeping the usual hunger pangs and mood swings related to sugary and processed food at bay.
Supplements are also a great way to get your nutrients in or take care of other aspects of your health when your diet may be slightly lacking.
Spend time with a friend
This might seem like an obvious tip, but hear me out. There are certain days when you might be feeling bad but don’t want to disturb anyone in fear of ruining their day or simply because you think being alone might be better for you.
However, healthy discussions with friends and even simply enjoying their company and doing activities together doesn’t just boost your mood significantly, but it can also boost brain health and lower health risks caused by social isolation and loneliness.
It’s completely normal to feel out of it, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay there. Small actions like eating right and bonding with a loved one can make a world of a difference when it comes to how you feel and the direction your day is going, so they’re definitely not things you should overlook when you don’t feel so great. Next time you don’t feel a hundred percent, these things might make for a decent quick fix.