5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Mood
The current lock-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic can impact our mood, leaving us feeling a little down and reaching for the duvet instead of jumping out of bed in the morning. Add that to the stresses of everyday life and being cooped up within the 4 walls of our house and we can feel overwhelmed, even suffering with symptoms of depression. Fret not though, there are 5 things you can do to boost your mood naturally so that you get more out of your day, feel lighter, and reduce stress.
The key difference between feeling low in mood — or just lacking motivation — and depression is that depression interferes with your day-to-day ability to perform activities for a prolonged period of time, typically longer than two weeks. Symptoms of depression include irritability, difficulty sleeping, low energy, loss of pleasure, neglecting responsibilities and aspects of physical care, and feelings of hopelessness or despair. If you are suffering with these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to rule out depression and/or to get treatment.
That said, whether you are suffering with depression or just the blues, there are some natural ways to boost your mood. Many of these can be used in conjunction with your doctor’s treatment — just make sure you check with your doctor first!
Spend time with a close friend and talk it out
Studies show that quality time with a strong social support network is vital to psychological health. Chatting with friends can help you feel better, boost self-confidence, provide you with a source of accountability while supporting you make positive changes in your life. Plus, laughter with friends is the best medicine and can lead to overall feelings of happiness. Research has shown that after socialising, people reported better health and well-being.
Studies have shown that you can feel the benefits of exercise in as little as 5 minutes! Exercising regularly reduces anxiety, panic, stress and alleviates symptoms of depression. It is also a great way to process the stress hormones we experience in the body, thus aiding relaxation and promoting better sleep. The endorphins (feel-good chemicals) that are released when you exercise also lifts your mood and act as a natural antidepressant.
If you sometimes indulge in sweets when you are feeling moody or upset, you know how immediately satisfying they can be. But all too often, they result in a quick blood sugar crash and irritability. Recent research has shown that eating certain healthly foods such as salmon, sardines, yoghurt, apples, strawberries and spinach can improve your mood and well-being. For a quick pick-me-up, you can try Boyo Strez, a Saffron Infused Botanical Beverage Mix with a twist of Orange that alleviates mood swings as well as soothe your nerves.
Play with a pet
Interaction with animals has been shown to boost the feel-good chemicals i.e. serotonin and oxytocin, and reduces stress levels. Even if you don’t own a cat or dog, you can still experience the benefits — offer to walk or hang out with a friend’s or a relative’s pet.
Eat dark chocolate
Chocolate, specifically cacao (the unprocessed seeds from which chocolate is made), has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression. It has a positive effect on mood due to its flavanols, which convert chemicals into the natural mood stabiliser i.e. serotonin. It also contains theobromine, which reduces anxiety and provides energy.
Please note this blog is not intended as medical advice nor should it replace it. If you are suffering with symptoms of depression, please seek the guidance of your doctor.