Being an adult is exhausting! Gone are the days when we only had to make sure our homework was done, we washed the dishes and tidied up our rooms. Now our every day lives are a lot more complex. From relationships, work, bills, tasks piling up at home, and never ending to-do lists, we sometimes find ourselves stressed, tense, burnt out and even unhappy. If you’ve been following my most recent blog posts, then you already have an idea that this has pretty much been me for the past few months to a year.
Opening our eyes every morning should be a refreshing and grateful feeling. For me, my mornings have been the complete opposite. I was constantly overridden with anxiety, which drained my energy more and more each day. Whenever I’m stressed, self-care is the very first thing to go, which in turn makes me feel even worse. And when I realized my anxiety was crippling my everyday life, I decided to take it upon myself to make a few simple but effective changes to my life to help brighten my mood each day.
Now I know some factors that affect our mood are completely out of our control because genetics play a major role as do current life circumstances. But I still found that these small things have helped to amp up my good vibes as of late. I must admit my mood has been on quite a high but I do have my days when I still get down. Though it’s sometimes hard to keep up a happy state of mind remember those negative feelings aren’t always permanent. But when you are feeling down, check out these 5 things you can put into practice to help you feel more balanced, at ease and in a better mood.
I know, I know! When you’re feeling down and in the worst possible state of mind, the last thing you want to do is smile. But I was reading a study recently and it was found that subjects heart rate decreased whenever they smiled after a stressful activity. I was skeptical but I decided to put this into action, even if it meant faking a smile. I actually felt very silly on my first few attempts to smile when sad or upset [you’ll know what I mean when you give it a try too]. But it works!!!
Suggestion really is a powerful thing. By faking a smile, my mood elevated and my frown turned upside-down. Even if you aren’t genuinely into the smile right away, I guarantee this will help to uplift your mood. I don’t think this is an absolute fix for very deep rooted issues but it’s a quick fix to help bring your spirits up, even a little ♥
Obviously this would be on my list, since I realized social media was draining my energy and as such I took a three week break away from the ‘gram’. But other than just doing a social media detox you can also try to get away from the vortex of e-mails too.
Your home should be your safe haven. So whenever you get home from work, attempt to switch your cellphone to airplane mode or even on silent. I know some jobs are more demanding than others, so try doing this for even an hour or two to give yourself a mental break. This will allow you to transition from ‘work mode’ and into a comfortable and relaxing home atmosphere.
Keep a Gratitude List
This has been a real life-changer for me. Seems simple I know. But I’ve come to realize just how much we take for granted. Things like taking a shower in hot water or being able to sleep on a bed and with a roof over your head. We have so much to be thankful for and yet we complain and make a fuss over the silliest of things.
I was recently reminded of this while watching a much older episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Kim became hysterical when she lost a US$75k diamond earring while swimming in the ocean in Bora Bora. Her sister, Kourtney gave her the best response, “Kim, there’s people that are dying!”. She’s absolutely right. Instead of being thankful for being able to travel and stay in a place where most of us will never get to see or afford, she nearly ruined the entire family vacation over a pair of earrings. We may look at this scenario and now find a million awful things to say about the Kardashians, but thats not the point of this. Think about all the times you made a big deal out of nothing. We’ve all been there.
Though life constantly reminds us about the things that we don’t have what about the things that we actually do have? Counting my blessings has been one of the quickest, most effective ways to effect a shift in my mood. Every morning or at the end of each day, I take a few minutes to write down at least 3 things that I’m thankful for. Not only is this a mood booster but I also am left feeling more optimistic and less stressed.
Celebrate Your Victories [no matter how small]
This goes right back to gratitude, because the things that we take for granted may just be a major accomplishment for someone else. So give yourself some credit for the small WINS in your life. You’d be surprised just how much power lies within these small victories. The moment I started to spend more time noticing the things that actually went right in my days was the moment I had more good days than bad.
Sure it’s great to get a raise or get promoted but what about even smaller wins? Like turning on the radio to go to work, and your favorite song of the moment starts to play! I can’t tell you how happy that made me feel a few days ago. Seek out the little ‘wins’ of your day and find a sense of accomplishment from the simplest of tasks, like paying your rent on time or waking up in the morning.
Find Fresh Inspiration or Learn something New
Remember when I told you guys a few weeks ago that I was feeling stuck? Thats because I genuinely was stuck. Despite how overwhelmed I was with work and trying to keep up with this blog, I realized that I had gotten comfortable. And for that reason I decided to find new things to make sure my mind was staying active.
The digital world is full of ways to learn things fast and on the go. From watching a youtube tutorial to signing up for an online course, the possibilities are endless. And if going digital isn’t up your alley, then find inspiration by traveling more. Even if that means trying a different restaurant in your city or cooking a dish you’ve never made before. It’s easy to get caught up with work and the hardships that can come with life. So get out there and be inspired by the world.
WEAR what makes you happy
I know I said I had 5 mood boosters to share with you but while writing this post I realized it would be only fitting to share something with regards to fashion. By now, we all should be familiar with the saying, ‘do what makes you happy’ but what about wearing what makes you happy? When referring to self care and self love, fashion is perhaps one of the last topics that anyone would bring up, because it suggests materialism, a negative body-image and vanity. But I genuinely think fashion can also be used as a way to express ourselves and our confidence.
With the rise of social media, it’s easy to be influenced by what’s trending and it’s hard to wear what you want without worrying what other people are thinking. We hear time and time again that there are tons of fashion rules that we aren’t allowed to break. But the only fashion rule you should follow, is to wear what makes you happy. Wear what works for your body and what makes you feel special, sexy, strong and confident. Use fashion to brighten your mood and help bring out the light in you. If it makes you smile…wear it!
When it comes to making a statement, the color RED is pretty much the way to go! It’s bold, it’s powerful and it’s fierce. Of course, you knew this already but RED is also a popular color thats trending this Fall and I am all here for it.
I went with a statement making, bell-sleeve, RED dress that I think was both fun, dramatic and perfect for the occasion. I balanced out the oversized and very dramatic bell-sleeves by pairing it with understated tones of black. I went with my black mules from Steve Madden and my cross-body, black & white bag from Forever 21.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I urge you to try out a few of these mood boosters that have been helping to keep my light shining bright. What steps are you taking to bring happiness into your life? Nuff Love. Talk Soon, Natasha ♥