20 simple ways to boost your mood when you’re feeling depressed

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Sometimes when your stuck for inspiration it helps to have a go-to list of activities that boost your mood. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I know that I have mentally taken note of what has eased my pain over the years. Here is a bunch of ideas to get you started if you’re not sure what to do when you’re experiencing low moods. Please bear in mind that these are not a substitute for medical help, merely a few tools which have helped me along the way in conjunction with medication and therapy.

1.Take a bath – there’s nothing more relaxing that a soak in a hot bath. I also like to take this time to leave my phone in another room and be more mindful of what’s going on in my head, or read a book.

2.Paint your nails – I hardly ever paint my nails because I work with food for my day-job. When I do take the time to give myself a manicure I always feel myself admiring my nails and feeling a little bit fancy.

dying blonde hair red

3.Get a haircut – I know not everyone can afford to get a new do that often, but when I’m feeling a bit yuck a trim at the hairdressers always makes me feel refreshed. I think getting a haircut really does make you feel lighter and give you an energy boost.

4.Take yourself to the movies – this is a great way to disconnect from social media because you have to turn your phone of and concentrate on the film you’re watching. Sometimes when I’m anxious a trip to the cinema is a bit difficult for me, but it’s often good when I’m just in need of a distraction from negative thoughts.

5.Walk on the beach – I don’t know any facts about the calming nature of being near the sea, but I know it has a profound effect on me personally. Starting out at the ocean from a beach is so hypnotic, and it often gives you perspective on whatever is on your mind.

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6.Book a massage – I know I certainly can’t afford to do this as much as I’d like, but it’s something to bear in mind for a special occasion or a time when you know you’ll be under pressure. I organised to have one the day before my wedding and it was such a great way to shake the tension out of my body before the bid day.

7.Try out some new make up – My current budget favourites are the Garnier BB cream, the Sleek Contour & Blush Palette and the Freedom Brow Pomade.

8.Buy some new pyjamas – I don’t know about you but a trip to Primark isn’t complete without a snazzy new pair of PJs thrown in for good measure! I like to get a new pair for a pamper evening, just to make me feel a little more special.

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9.Put fresh sheets on your bed – The act of washing and changing your sheets is quite possibly THE most annoying household chore around. It feels like you only did it yesterday and all of a sudden it’s time to do it again. We all know nothing beats the feeling of freshly laundered sheets though, it’s the best!

10.Cook your favourite meal – This might be something healthy like a stirfry or a treat like macaroni cheese. Whatever you feel like, take the time to enjoy the cooking process and savour every last bite of your favourite food.

11.Read a book – My pile of books is growing everyday, and I feel like I never have time to read. Put your phone on silent for an hour, get a hot drink and settle into some reading for a while. It’s a great way to escape negative thoughts and relax.

12.Go out for a coffee – Whether it’s coffee, tea or a milkshake I recommend getting out of the house and sitting in your local cafe for a while. I love to watch the world go by or stick my headphones in and listen to a podcast whilst I enjoy a few moments of mindfulness.

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13.Practise mindfulness – I’m sure you’ve heard people talking about mindfulness and thought that it would be way too difficult to do yourself. The secret is that it takes lots of practise! My favourite app is Calm, but you can also find lost of guided meditation videos on You Tube that talk you through the process to make it easier. It’s a great one to try if you feel anxious or overwhelmed.

14.Stretch – You don’t have to go to visit the gym or find your nearest Pilates class (although they are two viable options too) to enjoy the benefits of stretching. Simply do the stretches that you know you enjoy take your time. I love this Blogilates video which only takes 12 minutes and is perfect for beginners.

15.Burn your favourite candle – It’s become a habit for me to light candles every evening, as I find it really lifts my spirits and helps me wind down. Try dimming the lights and have a few candles burning whilst you meditate or do some stretches. I love Yankee Candles, Little Tulip London and Jo Malone.

16.Brush your teeth – When depression takes over the thought of getting showered and dressed is often too much to bear. If you only do one thing then consider brushing your teeth. I also like to wash my face with my favourite cleanser just to make me feel a little more alive.

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17.Listen to your favourite music – I have a few playlists that are full of feel-good songs to help cheer me up when I’m feeling low. Be careful not to listen to any music that might trigger any bad memories.

18.Look at your favourite quotes – I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to positive quotes, and nothing pleases me more than adding more to the list! If you’re feeling demotivated then I would highly recommend pinning for an hour or so, it’s strangely therapeutic.

19.Clean your make up brushes – On those days where you have a long to-do list that feels totally overwhelming, sometimes it’s easier to tackle one small task that gives you instant gratification. Cleaning your make up brushes or ever just reorganising your make up storage can be an easy job that only takes around 30 minutes.

20.Re-organise your wardrobe – If you’re feeling brave enough to take on a bigger challenge then why not take on your wardrobe? If you’re anything like me then you’ll be hoarding ill-fitting clothing which hasn’t been worn for several years and could do with throwing out.

I’d love to know what your favourite mood boosting activities are, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet me.

 

10 little luxuries to help boost your mood

little luxuries to cheer up boot your mood depression anxiety

Dealing with low moods and the physical effects of depression and anxiety can be a full time gig. I feel lucky that I don’t deal with my issues on a daily basis any more and I’m currently going through what I would call a ‘good spell’. I am however hyper-aware that this situation could change at any moment. Depression can appear like a dark cloud without warning and anxiety symptoms can pop up out of the blue. My way of staying on top of my moods is to allow myself a few little luxuries on the regular, as it keeps me happy and relaxed. It’s not a cure by any means but it’s what keeps me going! Here’s how I boost my mood with little luxuries…

Face mask

This is such a cliche but I can’t talk about boosting my mood without mentioning face masks. I don’t actually do them often enough, but when I do I basically use it as an excuse to do as many treatments as possible. I like to cleanse, exfoliate and then use either a moisturising or deep cleansing mask depending on how my skin is that day. I will then cleanse again before applying my favourite moisturiser and serum. I also love using the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate oil before bed as has that soothing aromatherapy scent that gets my mind ready for sleep.

Bath bomb

I don’t make time for a bath very often as I’m definitely more of a shower-and-go kinda gal. I believe taking time to select the perfect bath bomb from Lush is a fine art, and one that should be savoured for as long as possible. I have sensitive skin so I tend to go for the simple ones like Butterbear and I also love the massage bars for soothing aching muscles.

Scented candle

OK you get the idea. I like to pamper myself in order to boost my mood! Lighting a scented candle is something I do almost every evening. I love knowing I’ve created a welcoming atmosphere for myself and any visitors and scented candles do that so well. I love sweet scents like vanilla and cinnamon, as well as fruity flavours like lemon and cherry. I’m also partial to a musky scent like Yankee Candle’s Midsummers Night.

Fresh fruit

I am pretty consistent about eating vegetables everyday but I tend to avoid buying fresh fruit because it can be so expensive. When I’m feeling low I like to treat myself to my favourite healthy snack to avoid or at least delay my urge to eat junk food. I love fresh blueberries and strawberries topped with coconut yoghurt with a drizzle of honey, or a home made fruit smoothie with oats and Greek yoghurt.

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Handmade chocolates

I recently tried some handmade Belgian chocolates that my good friend bought be as a birthday present and I was blown away by the quality. I won’t be giving up my Dairy Milk anytime soon but when you want something a little special a handmade chocolate is hard to beat. If you’re ever in Glasgow make sure you hit up Kimbles in Princess Square and sample a cappuccino truffle.

Double cleanse

The feeling of being ‘clean’ is something that instantly makes me feel more alive when I’m tired and feeling like crap. Once I’ve been for a shower I like to do a double cleanse as a special treat for my skin when I’m feeling a bit rough. I remove all my make up with a cream cleanser like the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser and then the Elemis Cleansing Balm to remove any dirt that’s been left behind. Finish off with a refreshing toner and my favourite moisturiser and I generally feel a little better than I did before.

Colour refresh

When my hair colour starts to fade but I can’t afford to get it done, I often book myself in for a refreshing toner treatment. It basically acts as a semi-permanent dye to inject some life back into your colour in around 20 minutes instead of having to get a full colour which takes so much longer. My salon charges around £30 and that includes a blow dry which also means I don’t have to worry about styling my hair for the next few days!

Coffee from your favourite place

Sometimes we forget to take ourselves out for coffee. Whether it’s with a friend or alone I like to enjoy my favourite beverage – currently I’m all about the chai latte – once a week as a little pick-me-up. It gives me time to relax and watch the world go by, something I often forget to do when I have my head pointed at my phone or laptop for most of the day. I find this is particularly helpful when I’ve been writing all day and I need some time away from work.

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2017 planner

Nothing gets me excited quite like stationary does. The idea that this little stack of paper can hold all my grand plans and ideas makes me so very happy. I like to scribble my thoughts and ideas down in various notebooks, but at this time of year it’s a great excuse to start the hunt for a new planner for next year. I love the Brilliant Ideas Launch Pad which looks perfect for bloggers like me, and this cute little Dinosaur Diary is adorable.

New bed sheets

I love nothing more than getting into a bed which has fresh sheets, so investing in a brand new set is like heaven to me! I like to have them washed and all ready so that once I hop out the bath I can just get straight into a beautiful clean bed. For me it’s the perfect end to a long day and the best way to guarantee a good night sleep.