In this case, I'm going to give out some ideas on Self-Improvement Saturdays probably most of the time. You can take 'em or leave 'em. You can save them or share them...whatever floats your boat.
As someone who has struggled for years with bouts of depression, I am often trying to figure out how to improve my mood. All of us have our ups and downs. And to be honest, while I'm feeling down for those folks affected by the awful Oklahoma (and other states) tornadoes in the last little while, it is hard to be in anything but a good mood in Portland, Oregon today as it is our 2nd sunny warm-ish day in a row! It is just beautiful out.
But back to the task at hand, which is:
10 ways to lift your mood*
- Get outside: If it is sunny and warm, all the better but even a good walk in the rain could improve your mood -- just don't stay in bed all day.
- Treat yourself: to a treat. Head for your nearest Baskin & Robbins or DQ, or make some cookies. If sweets aren't your thing, have something that is.
- Play some music: Preferably loud. Find some tunes that remind you of middle or high school or any good time of your life. Or just turn up your favorite radio station.
- Reread your favorite book: or go find a new one. For me it would be "A Room with A View."
- Watch some TV: Get out of bed and on to the couch. Find a great TV series (on Netflix, Hulu or at the video store) to immerse yourself in for awhile to get out of your own thoughts and worries. I have had great days enjoying episode after episode of "Doc Martin," "Psych," "The West Wing," "Without a Trace" and "Golden Girls."
- Hang with animals: Snuggle up with your favorite cat or take your pooch to the dog park. If you don't have your own pets, try to visit a friend who does.
- Take yourself to the movie: I have often done this one for my own birthday when everyone is working and I've taken the day off. Go see what you want, when you want and enjoy!
- Play: It isn't just for kids. Get on your bike, skateboard or lace up some skates. Better yet head for the local park and swing on the swings -- with abandon!
- Smile: Whether you feel like it or not and no matter what you are doing, even if it is just hanging out in bed playing on the computer. It tricks your brain into thinking you are happier than you are. Fake it 'til you make it ;-)
- Sing: Probably not "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." Go for something upbeat and even a little quirky. Some of my favorites are Christmas carols any time of the year (especially in Summer) and things like "Come On, Get Happy" by the Partridge Family and "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & the Waves!
*If nothing is working and you are still feeling persistently down and seriously depressed, you may need to talk to a therapist or medical doctor and/or get medication. If for any reason you are considering harming yourself or someone else, call 911, visit any emergency room or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help right away.
You matter. Please take care of yourself!
Now go and enjoy the day!