You ever have one of those days?
You know, one of those days when you feel…
Me too. It usually happens when I have a lot of alone time with minimal social interaction. (I am probably your textbook extrovert)
And then, when I feel this way, I start to think… “Man, I need a change of pace.” Food is less exciting (yet somehow more inviting). My home starts to repulse me. I start to actually be bothered by the enormous clutter that I’ve collected in my room
since I moved in this past week. And then I’m stumped for what to do.
So I decided to make up a little list. I searched high and low (via Google) and came up with my own mixed-tape, if you will, of the best Frown-Fixing-Blue-Banishing-Mood-Lifting advice. We’ll call it the Great Frown Fixing List.
The Great Frown Fixing List
Frown Fixer #1: Move Your Body
Alright, so if Beyonce doesn’t happen to show up in your workplace/home/cafeteria there are other alternatives. I like a quick walk outside- it seriously turns my day around. Several studies show that exercising outdoors improves mental well-being. And a brisk, 15-minute walk “can improve your mood and increase your energy for up to two hours,” (Thayer, R.- a psychologist as quoted here)
Frown Fixer #2: Listen to the Music
The same R. Thayer (psychologist Robert Thayer of California State University) found that after exercise, music is the second-most effective way to turn around a mood.
I, personally, use this method when I’m working on something that’s really stressing me out (i.e., a paper for school, notes for work). Basically, when I’m stuck inside doing what I’m doing and the chain-chewing-gum-monster in me is rearing its ugly head, music is super-effective in improving my mood.
Frown Fixer #3: Coffee
OK, OK, so I didn’t find this on any one of my “mood booster” google searches. But coffee is for-real an awesome mood booster! (for me) I’m a regular coffee drinker, so it’s part of my daily routine at this point, but I have a particularly vivid memory from several years ago of coffee’s blue-banishing powers:
For reasons that I will not go into, I was feeling really sad one day and spending time with one of my good friends/roommate-at-the-time and we decided to get some coffee before walking over to “The Lawn” at UVA where tons of little kids were trick-or-treating in their Halloween costumes (because it was Halloween weekend). Well, once the powerful-elixir started to kick in, all of a sudden I was optimistic and hopeful about life! And that + lots-of-cute-little-children made my day.
Frown Fixer #4: Laughter
So, obviously it’s fun to laugh. And studies show that laughter not only makes you feel good emotionally but also, “after you laugh, you go into a relaxed state,” (John Morreal, here) Your heart rate/blood pressure lowers and you release endorphins. For quick laughs, The Onion is a great spot: Tom Brady Questionable For Sunday’s Game After Waking Up Ugly
Or maybe SNL’s Digital Shorts are more up your alley.
Frown Fixer #5: Phone a Friend
Or visit a friend or make plans for a later date with a friend or whatever friend-related thing you can do. For me, this is an instant mood lifter. (Like we addressed earlier, I’m your textbook extrovert) And social support can even help you live longer.
Frown Fixer #6: Think quick!
This one’s pretty neat. Next time you’re feeling down (or need a break from school/work), do a rapid thinking exercise. This site uses these examples: quickly list all kinds of uses for a paperclip, solve a sudoku puzzle as quickly as possible. I used to take breaks from my schoolwork by playing Text Twist.
So now that you’ve boosted your mood, go and be merry! Or check out…
This Week in Workouts
Su – rest
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.26 mile run at a 9:40 pace
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – rest
F – Circuit Strength Training
Sa – Boot Camp