This blog post will contain all the things. Bullet points, “hacks,” and cute animals.
(See how bad I am? Even my blog posts have abstracts. Thanks, college.)
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been raining for over a week, and although today is Wednesday it looks like it will be raining until next Wednesday, or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been browsing the internet somewhat mindlessly for hours…or maybe it’s that I’ve been somewhat down for the past few days (I do hold the rain at least partially responsible). Either way, some combination of events has inspired me to create this list.
If you’re looking for a way to feel a bit better, this list is for you.
10 Kinds of Free Therapy
1. Clean something.
Maybe the sound of that doesn’t thrill you. But cleaning can help take your mind off of stressful events by allowing you to focus on tasks in the moment, and it rejuvenates your environment which is good for you, and your guests. So consider this a two-for-one. I clean when I’m stressed, angry, bored, and happy, and no matter what my mood is when I start it always improves. When you’ve cleaned something, you have made a positive impact on the world, and accomplished something.
2. Get Sunshine.
The weather blues are a real thing. Simply lacking Vitamin D makes you depressed. Although getting some sun is at times easier to say than do, even 20 minutes can make a difference. One way I get more sun is by eating lunch outside when the weather permits, with at least some sunlight actually touching my skin. If you have time, you might try drinking your morning coffee outside, or doing a hobby activity outside that you normally do indoors.
Nature has some downright magical properties.
3. Move Your Body.
If you recoiled from your computer screen because it seems like I’m suggesting you exercise, relax. I’m not suggesting you do anything crazy, and nothing that requires expensive clothing and equipment.
Just move. This can happen in combination with points 1 and 2, or by itself. One way I like to keep myself moving and prevent myself from spending too many hours sitting in one spot is by dancing to music played through iHeartRadio, or YouTube. But, there is also something that can be said for getting dressed up and going to a gym, yoga studio (is that what they’re called? I think that’s it…) or dance floor. You’re worth that effort. And it will make you feel better.
Bonus points if you also sing.
4. Bring Some Music Into Your Life.
This goes well with point 3. Find that music that inspires and uplifts you, and play it while you go about your daily tasks.
5. Pet Animals.
Because bonding with animals is extremely similar to bonding with humans, the same feel-good happy hormones are released, and it de-stresses you and the animal. And they’re soft and fluffy. Even if you don’t have a pet chances are you have a friend with one, or you can volunteer at a local animal shelter to pet the cute, fuzzy animals. Yes, that is a real thing you can volunteer for.
Watch a funny movie, find a funny v-logger you like, or read a book with some whitty lines. Either way, laughing makes you feel better. I actually recommend the v-logger bit, because you can find people who honestly appreciate their “fans” and will respond to comments. There are genuine people out there, and it allows you to build a relationship.
7. Do Good.
Since this list is all about the freebies, here are some free ways that you can “do good” and help others. Giving back will improve your life, as well as the li(ves) of the pe(ople) you help.
- Call your mum, grandma, grandpa, etc.
- Clean or fix something for someone who does not have the phyiscal means to
- Babysit a friend or relative’s kids (at no charge) to give them a break
- Take part in a beautification project
- Donate old clothes, toys, books, and those cans of weird foods in your cubbord that you will never actually eat, to charity
- Give some thoughtful gifts
Trust me, it’s not out of place. Crying actually can make you feel better if you’re getting overwhelmed. Cry, snuggle something, drink a class of cool water, take a nap, and then get up and do at least one of points 1-7.
9. Create something.
I will find an excuse to put this point on anything I can, but the fact of the matter is creating something allows you to focus on something, exercise your brain, get your hands dirty, and accomplish something. You will create something that would not have existed without you. I like writing things which bring happiness and joy to myself and others.
10. Welcome Some Change
Not all change is bad, but change itself is inevitable. I won’t say that you should learn to embrace change and life’s storms and lulls, even if that is good advice. Instead I would say make some changes yourself, which creates a feeling of accomplishment and control. If there’s something (healthy) you really want to do that you’ve been putting off, what are you waiting for? Now may be the best time there ever is.
If those lines seem too grand in scale, try making small changes that you would like to see. Even if it’s tossing out some old clothes or bedding you no longer care for, or styling your hair a different way.
11. Word Hard at Something
Maybe you’re currently working hard at something and it’s stressing you out. If it’s not ok to take a break from it, then go you! You can do it! If the world won’t collapse if you take temporary break, find something else to work at.
Maybe it’s gardening. Maybe it’s fixing something. Maybe it’s dancing passionately. But the key is to make effort, and be passionate. I like gardening in particular because it requires my attention, I get to spend time outdoors (in the sunlight) and I can see rewards for my actions immediately and as they develop in the long term.
12. Learn Something New.
You don’t have to be in school or college to learn, and it doesn’t have to cost money. There are thousands of good tutorials online which will teach you how to do almost anything. There are books available at your local library, for free, containing knowledge untold. Learn a craft, a language, or a practial skill such as how to change the oil on your car (why not? people do it). Gaining knowledge can help you feel indendpent, self-sufficient, and will enable you to give back to others.
In summary, I would say the key to mood boosts, at least for me, is making some sort of impact on my environment or body. Making it cleaner, healthier, friendly, or any of the above. I wrote this list to remind myself of these things and also to share them with you, dear readers, because I think the key to life is learning how to smile, even if you can only hold it for a moment.