Have you found yourself feeling a bit heavy lately?


Are you struggling to keep a good attitude at work?


Are you short with your spouse and snapping at your children?


You are probably aware of how major life events can affect your mood: expensive vacations, weddings, babies, divorce, sickness, death, or financial distress. Yet many times minor details in life have the most significant impact on our mood. After all, daily routines shape our most frequent experiences.


If you have found yourself in a funk lately, examine the following factors and consider making simple changes in your routines to increase your happiness:


1. H2O. If you repeatedly become lethargic and annoyed throughout the day, you may simply be dehydrated! Make it a point to drink water regularly. Keeping your body sufficiently hydrated may make a noticeable difference in your countenance!


2. Tune In. Music can have a considerable impact on one’s emotional state. Take stock of what music you most often listen to and evaluate the effect on your frame of mind. Make a playlist of your favorite songs that tend to elevate your mood and keep them close by.


3. Aromas. We can associate scents with positive and negative experiences. Identify a few of the favorites that remind you of happy memories or people you love. Then, pick up a candle, essential oil diffuser, or air freshener with that scent to keep on hand and perk you up on a hard day!


4. Weather. Depending on your preference, a dark, cold, or rainy day may weigh heavily on your mental state. While there’s little you can do to change the forecast, see if you can find something positive to associate with unfavorable weather conditions. Consider buying a new raincoat, keeping a heating pad nearby for chilly months, or treating yourself to an exceptional coffee on gloomy mornings. Additionally, you can try a broadspectrum light bulb or lamp as light therapy to elevate your mood.


5. Affirmations. Receiving encouragement from a loved one or coworker often boosts our outlook for the day. Make it a habit to acknowledge those around you and regularly express gratitude for them. You may find that simply by elevating others, you feel uplifted as well.  


6. Rest. Getting adequate sleep plays a significant role in your daily outlook. Protect your rest by going to bed at a decent hour every night, turning off distracting devices, and creating relaxing nightly routines. 


7. Stand up straight! If you have been sitting in the same position for a  period of time, take a moment to stretch your back and straighten your posture. 


8. The food you ingest. It is possible to have mild reactions to foods that impact how your body and mind operate. If you think this may be the case, try removing specific foods from your diet for a few days at a time to examine how you feel. Some foods that regularly cause problems include sugar (or those high in sugar), dairy, nuts, peanuts, gluten, and soy. 


9. Money. If you are feeling especially stressed lately, consider any unexpected bills that have recently shown up. It may help to create a new budget, to seek financial assistance, or to set up a payment plan to ease the burden on your mind. 


10. The company you keep. Surrounding yourself with negative coworkers, friends, or family can be emotionally taxing. It may be time to build new friendships or to develop boundaries to protect your mental wellbeing.


11. Get moving! You don’t have to spend every moment at the gym, but even small amounts of exercise can vastly improve your mood. Try taking a short walk on your lunch break or doing some basic yoga stretches in the morning before your day begins. 


If you have found yourself dreading the day or struggling to show love and grace toward your loved ones lately, take a few ideas from this list and make them your own! Maybe you don’t need a vacation from your life; perhaps you need a little daily boost. Purposefully implementing minor changes in your daily routine can significantly impact your mental health. 


What can you do to enhance your mood today?


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