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03rd May, 2020
All of this extra time with ourselves certainly presents an opportunity to get to know a little more about who we are, what we need and what lifts our mood when we need it most.
During the forced mindful moments of lockdown I’ve discovered that making pancakes really puts a smile on my face! I’d never made time for appreciating such simplicities in my busy pre-pandemic life, but the safety driven slow down has given me the time to pause, settle, get through the frustration of the first few flip attempts and find a rhythm that puts a smile on my face.
I don’t know if I’ll be sprinkling lemon juice quite so frequently once all this is over, but for right now that pan flip can be all that’s needed to flip my mood for the day.
Cupboard staple toss ins may not be your thing, but finding something that is has never been more important. Here, we’ve built a list of 10 small actions you can take to nudge your mood in a positive direction on those dark days.
Looking for big projects, life changing steps or ambitious learns? Not here I’m afraid.
This list is for those days when getting out of bed is an accomplishment, and staying out of it is a bonus!
Let the light in…literally! Such a small action, but opening your curtains is a great way to interact with the natural world outside. Take a moment at the window, what do you see? What can you hear? What can you smell?
Can’t get outside right now? You’ll benefit from bathing your home in as much natural light as possible – us humans thrive in it.
Children have such an innocent, untainted optimism about them that is rather infectious! Sit down, ask a silly question – or just ask about their day – guarantee they’ll have an answer that brings a smile to your face!
Don’t have your own? Give a friend or family member a call and ask to speak to theirs! I’m sure they’ll thank you for entertaining the little one!
Few things in this world feel better than fresh sheets, right!? Treat yourself; make the effort the strip your bed, launder those sheets and set yourself up for a blissful night (or Netflix binge!).
Added bonus of achievement points for the chore!
Feeling a little too focused on what you’re missing right now? Take a moment to list five things you have.
There’s always a temptation to make these the big wins of life; try to avoid that and focus on the small blessings that have got you through the day. Call with a friend? Daisies on your daily walk? Or maybe it’s the book that’s keeping you engaged!
Another proven mood booster! Well, two; moving your body AND listening to music.
Locked in with a partner? Pop on your song and twirl around the kitchen! Locked down alone? Turn up a banger and go nuts!
Yes, you’ll feel a right plank at first, but stick with it and you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear!
Bonus points for singing along too.
You wouldn’t tell somebody a joke that you didn’t find funny right? So, it stands to reason that trying to make somebody laugh will make you laugh too! Even more so if you succeed!
Call a friend and indulge in a silly memory, call your Mum and share that (slightly) blue joke you saw online, leave a silly comment on a social post…however you express your humour, get it out there and make them smile!
We’re all probably a little guilty of living in the beige snack cupboard right now – boredom, anxiety and lethargy can all leave us reaching for the sugary boost of a Haribo bag.
However, your body still has nutritional needs. Food does more than fuel the body, it fuels the mind, and living on sugary snacks will be playing havoc with your emotions.
Take the time to cook yourself a proper balanced meal – hopefully more than one! Spoil yourself; pick your favourites, or try a simple new recipe.
Basic, simple, easy to achieve…but total game-changer! Self-care is so important right now, and basic hygiene is the foundation of this. It doesn’t matter if you pop your PJs back on, or can’t be bothered to blow dry your hair; getting clean will make you feel a million times better.
Isolating with others? A shower is the perfect opportunity for some alone time and to take a moment to explore your thoughts and feelings in peace.
Throughout our lives we collects songs that make us smile, songs that remind us of special moments, songs that remind of us people, and songs with all sorts of meanings – collect your songs up and pop them all on to one playlist. Switch your playlist on when you’re working from home, cleaning the house or just feeling a little low.
Your brain is a powerful tool, you’ll find that you don’t even need to be actively listening to the music for this to have a huge impact on your mood.
It’s no secret; doing nice things for others makes them feel great, and a little of that rubs off on us too! You don’t need to do anything extravagant – send a letter to a friend, compliment a stranger, cook dinner for your partner or donate to a local cause if you’re able to.
It’s the little things that count after all!
That’s it! Ten small actions to help you brighten your darkest days of lockdown.
Remember, you’re not alone, this is a difficult new territory for all of us and we’re all struggling in different ways. Check in with friends and family, be honest with them about how you’re feeling and really listen to what they have to say back.