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

boost your mood mental health blogger UK

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.

boost your mood mental health blogger UK

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.

boost your mood mental health blogger UK

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.

mood boosting activites mental health blogger UK

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.

 

Real women who inspire me

real women inspire body positivity

As soon as I typed up this blog post title I realised it was terrible. I need to explain myself. Who are these ‘real’ women I’m planning to talk about? What makes one woman more real than the next? Am I a real woman? I really did just knock-up this title hoping that people would get what I mean but I’m not even sure I really get what I mean. Let me just preface this post by saying that whoever inspires you personally is a valid role model by default. If she makes you want to be a better person, entrepreneur, artist or a chimney-sweep then she is a real woman who deserves some attention. I suppose what I mean in this context is that I’m inspired by women who aren’t necessarily successful or well-known in the stereotypical kind of way. I’m often inspired by women who have really followed their passion or done something interesting with their lives. Here goes…

Writing

It’s probably not a very popular thing to say as a writer, but I don’t read much fiction. I love reading about people’s lives, real experiences, anecdotes and unbelievable adventures from the past. Recently both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have totally inspired me to write about what I know. Both of their books (Bossy Pants and Yes Please) were equally heartfelt and hilarious but still entirely relatable as a woman in the 21st century. Their voices are both different. Amy is very much a ‘silver lining’ type of gal, seeing the hope and beauty in everything. This is a point of view I really admire, especially having made her name in an industry where rejection and self-hatred is commonplace. Tina on the other hand comes across as more sceptical, but seeing the funny side in every tale and I am in awe of her ability to tell great stories that make you laugh out loud.

Body confidence

I’m so angry that I’ve wasted the best part of the 30 years feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I’ve been convinced that if I eat less and exercise more I can somehow alter my body into the idealistic shape we’ve all been sold as ‘perfect’. I’m also so thankful that women across the world have now been confident enough to proclaim the love they have for their bodies – no matter what shape or size. I am so grateful that these women have used their platforms to spread the message of acceptance for all bodies everywhere. The first time I sat up and took notice was when I saw Ashley Graham. I mean the word beautiful doesn’t even come close to describing this lady. She is so cool, classy and down-to-earth. When she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated I felt like it was OK to be the size that I am, and that if I look at her and see beauty then maybe others do the same with me. My other body positivity idols are Grace Victory, Felicity Hayward and Katie Willcox to name a few.

Creative

Growing up I was always listening to male dominated music, but when I left home I was introduced to Rilo Kiley. I was into their music but when Jenny Lewis released her solo material I was really into it. Her first album Rabbit Fur Coat featuring The Watson Twins was a real celebration of powerful women. Three ladies singing the blues in harmony? Count me in. Since then I’ve watched her explore different styles of writing – always genuine and moving – whilst never compromising her own integrity. Her style is laid-back, eclectic and completely her own. I can’t think of anyone who is like her and it makes me realise that it’s OK to be yourself, in fact people might even like you for it.

Who are you inspired by?