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45 Quick & Easy Mood Lifters

Slipped into the doldrums?

Feeling sad and low and lonely?

We all feel this way from time to time. Often, all we need is a good distraction to shake us out of the funk.

Here are 45 quick and easy mood lifters that you can use right now:

1.Tell a good joke – or ask people nearby to tell you their favorites. I just read this one, in the intro to Tina Fey’s book Bossypants. “Two peanuts walked down the road. One was a salted (peanut.)” And a personal favorite: “What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.”

2. Follow funny people on twitter.  I am partial to goofy humor and silly puns, so Ellen DeGeneres always gets a giggle from me @theellenshow. Conduct a search on twitter to see if any of your favorite comedians tweet.

3. Spend a few minutes watching babies giggle on YouTube. Or check out this little girl and her vigorous affirmations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg I’ve watched this dozens of times with my kids, and it never fails to brighten our world a bit.

4. Keep a list of inspiring quotes. Reflect on your favorites.

5. Visualize what life would look like if things were going just the way you want them to be.  Now, for the next few minutes, imagine you are acting a part in a play. Speak and walk and behave as your ideal self living your ideal life.

6. Drink 16 ounces of water. See if you don’t feel more energized and refreshed when you rehydrate.

7. Call your best friend.

8. Invite a few people over for dinner on Saturday night. Then plan the menu. (Another great  creative distraction.)

9. Look at photographs and scrapbooks. Research shows that this activity can quickly heighten your mood.

10. Write for 10 minutes about anything at all this is bothering you. Don’t think too much about what you’re writing. Just get it all on the page. No need to read it over.

11. Spend a little time in nature, even if it’s raining or snowing. Go outside and breathe. Walk around the block. Nature has wonderfully restorative properties. And the vitamin D from sunshine will give you another mood boost.

12. Run around the block, or do 30 jumping jacks. Get your body moving and your heart pumping for a few minutes.

13. Write down 20 things you are grateful for in your life, right now. Don’t stop until you get to twenty, even if you end up with something like “I’m thankful for the shape of my right pinkie toe” or “I’m thankful for spicy hummus and pita chips.” Some days, it’s the simplest of pleasures that bring the greatest contentment.

14. What are you good at making? Make it. Spend a few moments in creative bliss.

15. Bake a dozen cookies for your neighbors.

16. Find something to give away and give it.

17. Donate $10 to a charity. Spend a few minutes online researching various charities. Then send a small check in the mail (or make on online donation via paypal.)

18. Write down 20 things you’ve accomplished in your life. What are you most proud of?

19. Savor a piece of fresh fruit.

20. Spend a few minutes reading your favorite motivational blog.

21. Make a very detailed list of things you want to accomplish today. For maximum effect, include a number of things you have already done. Cross all those things off the list. Look how productive you’ve been!

22. Put on some music with a fast beat. Get up and hop around a bit.

23. Clean or declutter something. Does your car smell like French fries? Is the inside of your microwave sporting some soup splatters? Find something that’s been irritating you and clean it really well. Each time you see it, you’ll feel a little lift.

24. Set a new goal for yourself.

25. Go to the library and find a new novel to read.

26. Take an omega- 3 supplement or multivitamin. Experts say that certain vitamins and supplements can have a profound effect on your daily mood. Talk to your doctor about increasing B-12 and folate, as well as omega 3 supplements.

27. Take a nap.

28. Spend 5 or 10 minutes in meditation. Sit and listen to the flow of your breath. When your mind begins to wander, gently pull your awareness back to your slow, deep breathing.

29. Open the blinds and, if temperatures permit, slide up the window. Blast the room with sunlight. Sunlight helps to boost your mood as well as your energy levels.

30. Eat a bit of lean protein for a snack. You might be mistaking the blues for a dip in blood sugar.

31. Stretch. Do some yoga moves. Feel your body working and stretching.

32. Buy yourself some scented flowers.

33. Lift your mood with aromatherapy. You can find “mood lifting” essential oil concoctions, which may contain anything from rose to black pepper. Peppermint is a particularly invigorating scent on its own. So is any citrus oil (such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, and mandarin).

34. Read uplifting poetry. Reading a poem or two from Mary Oliver or Rumi always helps me to slow down and put problems in perspective. For a longer lasting distraction, try to commit a short verse or poem to memory.

35. Send five friends an email to tell them three things you adore or appreciate about them.

36. Dress up. Put on a nice outfit and your best shoes.

37. Browse Etsy. It’s fun to lurk in the midst of other people’s creativity. Find one small item to buy for someone you love.

38. Take your dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, walk someone else’s dog. This will get you outside and moving. Plus, it’s hard to stay sad when you see how happy you’re making the little beast at the end of the leash

39. Start planning your next vacation. Get online and look at hotels and attractions.

40. Take a virtual vacation. Look up a place you’ve always wanted to go on Google Earth. Check it out from above and from the street view.

41. Still on Google Earth, look up the address of your childhood home. Have an imaginary conversation with the kid who used to live there. Offer some advice.

42. Browse gourmet cooking websites for new recipes. Print a few.

43. Play a game. Whether it’s on a traditional board or on your Wii or iPod, a 10 minute competition may be all you need to get out of your own head. Play against yourself or someone else.

44. If you can’t shake the blues, read a few selections or quotes from Pema Chodron. She’s great at helping you sink into whatever you’re feeling right now and embracing it, just as it is.

45. Understand that it’s okay to feel down every now and then. Take it as a sign that you simply need to give yourself some rest. Trust yourself to restore a better mood in time.

Please note, the ideas in this article are meant only to distract you from daily doldrums that affect us all from time to time. They are not meant to treat any kind of serious depression. If  you ever feel like depression or sadness is taking over, don’t hesitate to call a professional.


Susie Michelle is the publisher of
Momscape.com a parenting site best known for its inspirational essays, which help moms to be more conscious and creative parents. The site also features articles, tips and ideas from renowned experts on health and fitness, organic living, weight loss, romance, and travel. Susie is also the founder of Susies-Coupons.com where she spotlights coupon codes, daily deals and fun finds from around the web.

 

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  • http://undyingsuccess.com Jussi

    I enjoyed this one! I just loved all 45 – especially the 27, for me it works, anyway. Thank you!

  • http://thespiritualskeptic.com Keri

    Great list! Bookmarked =) Actually, I think I’ll print this out and post it on the wall!

    My favorites that always work for me are getting outside, and meditation.

  • http://www.Mazzastick.com Justin | Mazzastick

    Susie,

    I follow a couple people on Twitter just because they write funny things.

    When I feel down it is a signal to me that I am tired and in need of some rest and rejuvenation.

    • http://www.google.com/ Jeslyn

      Superior thinking demonstrated above. Tahnks!

  • NO. 46

    Pray and talk to God

  • http://www.peppervirtualassistant.com/ Marco Paulo

    What I normally do when I’m down in the dumps is to simply stare at my boxer’s comical face and show her some treats until she gets so excited that she couldn’t wait for her command, and then she starts doing every trick she knows. Boxers are really funny that they can easily shatter anyone’s sadness.

  • http://www.momscape.com Susie Michelle

    @Jussi – So glad you enjoyed it! Naps are great.

    @Keri – I keep a printed list, too. And a text file on the desktop of my computer so I can add to it.

    @Justin – I agree! Sometimes a bad mood is my cue to shift gears and get out of my own head.

  • http://blog.self-improvement-saga.com/ Nea | Self Improvement Saga

    This is a truly awesome list, Susie. My favorite: “Look up the address of your childhood home. Have an imaginary conversation with the kid who used to live there. Offer some advice.”
    What a creative tip! Thank you.

    Nea
    http://self-improvement-saga.com/

  • http://selfcarecommitment.com Melinda

    I do like taking a power nap (10-15 mins.) when I am stressed. I also like to open all the windows and let the fresh air in while I arrange my fresh flowers!

  • http://www.howtoseducelife.blogspot.com Guru Eduardo

    I create cartoons to mock my friends. It usually starts a barrage of funny comments going back and forth. They complain but I know….they love it!

  • http://mygoodthingz.com Gina

    Great list here Susie; thanks for sharing!

    People could also check out mygoodthingz.com to find inspiring music, motivational quotes, funny videos and lots of other cool stuff!

    Thanks

    Gina

  • http://www.betterfocused.com Tony Edwards | Better Focused

    I think number 45 is very important. We all have bad days, and they can be exacerbated when we are tired, hungry, not feeling well, etc. Rest and relaxation are key. Breathe. Know that it’s only temporary and you will get through it.

  • http://www.todayhaspower.com Rob

    Hey Susie,
    I am big on bringing a bit of humor into the mix. In spite of ourselves!
    And, it is contagious. It’s wonderful to see it spread.
    I also like getting outside with my children and getting a good game of ‘running bases’ going with the whole neighborhood. Win/win/win
    Excellent post.

  • http://www.kxpos.com.au pos system

    I’m happy to have found your very excellent article! I agree with some of your readers and will eagerly look forward to your coming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be adequate.

  • http://www.myweeklygoals.org Diana

    Love love love the list! Especially number 18. I suffer from depression, and I’m always looking for little ways to brighten my mood. Thank you!
    Diana

  • http://www.bitkisele.com hakan

    Hi, firstly love what you are doing here! Emotions come from our personality so they are a part of us and need to be expressed. As long as we all have open minds we can better understand.

  • http://worldwithhope.blogspot.com/ alan

    Thanks. Very insightful.

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