I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s hit “that rut” before.
The one where you feel Monday’s a drag, Thursday’s just a tease that we’re not quite to the weekend, and Sunday evening is a sad song that the weekend is nearly over.
You might feel down, drained, or tired of the same old routine. Perhaps all of the above! Or maybe you’re going through something really difficult and it feels all-consuming.
The last few years I’ve struggled with this a lot, as I’ve been in the midst of fighting Lyme disease.
With the days of the week seeming to all run together for me (spending the majority of your time at home will do that to you), I’ve definitely had my share of, what I’ll call: dread land.
Today I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve found that can help boost my mood.
Try Something New
The smallest of changes can cast some sunlight into the busiest or hardest of days/weeks. Do you have a favorite lunch spot you frequent? Try a new place! Hop online to read some restaurant reviews in your area and check out one of the top 10 fast-casuals in your area.
Is there an alternate route you can drive home? Take it. A simple change of scenery can be a breath of fresh air. If the weather’s nice, roll the windows down while you’re at it!
For me, even when I’m at my sickest and stuck on the couch, trying out a new TV show/movie, picking up a good book or devotional, and listening to a podcast are my go-to mood boosters.
Start a Journal of Gratitude
Find a small pocket-sized notebook or journal for “gratitude notes.” Commit to writing down at least one thing you are thankful for each day for a month. If you’re an artist (or just like to draw), consider drawing a sketch of something that brightened your day.
At the end of the month, and especially when you’re feeling particularly down, spend a few minutes flipping through your pages. This one takes some determination on the really rough days, but it has helped me with perspective in the past.
Spend Time in Nature
Spending time in nature does wonders for the soul. Sometimes my hubs will pick us up sammies (gluten-free for me, of course) and we’ll head to our favorite park.
Even on one of my harder Lyme days, just eating our lunch in the car with the view of the pond and the trees makes my spirit and mood feel brighter. The change of view and connecting with God’s creation is both restful and therapeutic.
Spend Time with Someone who Makes you Happy
Is there a face or two that come to mind as soon as you read that line? Spend some time with those people.
If they’re someone you can confide in, you might share how you’re feeling or what you’re going through – just being heard can help lift the load and how you’re feeling. They might even be able to encourage you and offer you some healthy perspective.
Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
We all have our comfort foods we go to when we’re feeling blue or in a funk. My list includes organic decaf coffee, Frenchies (my endearing name for French fries), and a good burger. The “feel good” effect from the last two doesn’t last so long, though.
Recently, I found this article that highlights different foods and herbs that are tryptophan-rich, which helps boost serotonin levels. Serotonin plays a significant role in not only our mood, but a variety of other functions.
Check out this link to see the full food list and to learn more about the function of serotonin.
While I don’t wish the blues on anyone, the reality is this: we all face them now and then.
Sometimes it takes me awhile to get out of a down mood, but I try to at least get in one or two things from this list in an effort to brighten the day. Even if it helps one day and the mood is back the next, I’ll try again instead of beating myself up over it.
Giving myself grace can help me have the courage to try again tomorrow.
What helps boost your mood?