Sourced with thanks from self.com
These are difficult times, without doubt. In the phase that we are going through it may be worth it to pursue a few moments of levity or relaxation that takes your mind of the situation. Please check out the list of small ideas that the author puts out in the article below that may help you move your mood in a positive direction. As the author warns, none of the suggested activities will change the challenges being faced right now but the few moments of happiness possible are for the better. Team RetyrSmart
Small things that could make your mood positive in these difficult times
- Open your curtains.
This might seem silly, but if you aren’t able to take daily walks or you feel stressed by going outside, opening your curtains or blinds each morning can be a nice way to interact with the natural world. Even on cloudy days, natural light can help brighten up your space. Bonus points if it’s warm enough to open your windows.
- Read a children’s book (to a child if you can).
Even if you can’t read a children’s book to an actual kid, immersing yourself in a much simpler, more wholesome world might be just what you need.
- Have a discussion with a child.
“I talk to my 5-year-old niece because she’s really funny. It brings me back to a place of innocence and humility because, while she’s a full human, our chats are so different from the conversations I have with adults.” Ask a funny question and see where the conversation takes you. “I’m always left with way more than I thought I’d get from the conversation”
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- Keep a gratitude list.
Gratitude practices are a tried-and-true mood-boosting method for many because the more you’re able to pinpoint things you’re grateful for, the more likely you are to train yourself to spot upsides in your life even when pretty much everything is objectively awful. If full-on journaling is overwhelming right now, try keeping a running list of things you’re grateful for as you think of them. I keep mine on my iPhone and nothing is off-limits—my toes are on the list.
- Dance, sing, or both.
Singing along to songs has a deeply soothing effect on me, but maybe doing a little dancing and movement is more your thing. It might feel a bit cheesy at first, but there is research to suggest that both dancing and singing can boost your mood and reduce stress, even if just for a bit. If you’ve been banking on the euphoria you feel after sing- and dance-alongs to Homecoming every week, you probably don’t need us to tell you that. But if you haven’t tried it out and you’re remotely into music, it might be worth a shot.
- Read one page from a book you love.
This can range from Harry Potter to the Bible. Really, whatever genre you like might do the trick. My favourite quarantine reads are romance novels by Jasmine Guillory and Alexis Daria. In short, read whatever sparks joy. Or, if reading feels too daunting right now, consider an audiobook.
- Try to make someone (or yourself) laugh.
After being screenshotted by one of my best friends without my consent, I called her wearing an admittedly bizarre homemade mask, and we laughed for several minutes. You don’t have to wear a mask, but finding ways to laugh can clearly reduce stress and elevate your mood. In my unscientific opinion, laughing with someone you love is even more beneficial.
- Take a shower.
This might be a game-changer if you’re living with other people and find it hard to get time to yourself. “Showering is my moment to think about everything [and] to cry a little bit. It’s the only place in the house where people respect privacy. I can close the door with no interruptions.”
- Create a playlist.
Maybe you don’t like to sing or dance, but bumping a playlist of your favourite songs might transport you back to summers as a kid, school dances, your wedding night, or a multitude of other moments that are, well, happier than right now.
- Do something nice for someone else.
This doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can compliment a relative, make dinner for your roommate, or if you have the means, donate to an organization doing good right now. On top of definitely making someone else’s day more pleasant, doing something nice for other people might make you feel a little better too.
- Watch a cute animal live its unbothered life.
As a godmother to two beautiful cats, I’m often treated to videos and photos from their owners, and it does boost my mood for a second. Snuggling and playing with your pet (or watching videos of snuggly animals) is good for you, and if your pet really needs space, they’ll probably find a way to let you know.
- Acquire a low-maintenance skill.
There’s a lot of talk about learning to sew or writing books, but new skills can involve costly equipment and a stressful learning curve. Instead of doing all of that, experimenting with a simple pleasure might spark joy and result in a new hobby.
- Meditate (or just breathe).
There are meditation apps to help you develop your practice, but if the thought of mindfulness makes you bristle, just close your eyes and breathe for a few minutes. And if breathing devolves into crying, that’s okay.