I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person, feeling happy most of the time (despite my serious case of resting b**** face). But the truth is that I am sort of prone to mood dips.
Sometimes stress from daily life just punches me in the face, and I want to scream and break something, in dramatic movie-like fashion. Other times an empty, flat feeling overcomes me for absolutely no reason, and I feel like crying as soon as I see a puppy or overhear a quiet argument in the tram.
There are days when all I want to do is curl up in my bed with a cup of Earl Grey and watch “Gilmore Girls” all over again.
I feel like everyone can relate to this somehow – perhaps especially in the dark and cold of winter. We are only human, and mood swings are not the end of the world when a deeper psychological issue is not at play. Especially not when there are ways to improve your mood quickly.
I am not trying to be a guru here, giving out advice with every step I take. I just know what works for me and share it, hoping it will help someone else out there. So maybe give it a whirl – what have you got to lose?
(1) Let off steam. If you are not a party tiger, that’s okay. You don’t have to shake your hips from dusk to dawn. But having a movie night with your close friends drinking red wine and stuffing your bellies with tortillas is a good option, too.
Another great alternative may be right in front of you: Put on a beanie, thick gloves and an oversize coat, collect your friends and visit a Christmas market. Mulled wine is always a good choice; it will keep you warm and definitely lift up your mood. Besides, just the atmosphere is an instant mood lifter; being surrounded by the chatter of people enjoying their time out by the sound of Christmas carols… sounds nice, right?
(2) Try a bubble bath and candlelight. Not necessarily in that order. Even the bath is not really a must; the most important thing is shutting off your busy mind and giving it a chance to rest. If it means floating in a steaming bath for two hours in complete silence, then do it. If it means cooking something unusual, indluge your tummy! The most important aspect is that after your little ritual, your mind is a relaxed “tabula rasa” ready to take on the challenges of the world.
(3) Think about your future. And it does not have to be 10 years forward. Just make a plan of what you would like to do next week, or what places you want to visit in the near future. Also, write it all down if it makes you feel better.
In my case, when I feel a bit overwhelmed or anxious about the upcoming week full of school presentations or work-related stuff, the best option is writing a to-do list, or simply planning my time ahead in my diary. At first, I was putting it all into my cell phone (trying hard to keep up with modern technology), but that did not work.
There is simply something therapeutic about putting a pen to paper and seeing that the whole lot to do doesn’t necessarily mean a catastrophe, and that if I try, I can manage it all.
(4) Spend time with your favourite hero. If there are no real ones around, not everything is lost. Just take a look at your bookshelf and you will find many that you had a great time with and you didn’t even have to leave your sofa. Just open your favourite book and get lost in the world you love so much; some of us will end up on a secret mission following a convicted criminal, others will cross the lines of a magical world and take part in the dangerous adventures of the protagonist.
These are some things us little people can do to quiet our minds and escape the difficulties of the real world. So why not try to do it and lift up your mood instantly?
There are, of course, endless possibilities, and I promise that everyone will find something meaningful that helps. Life is not perfect and sometimes there are bad days, but people are bound to have some perfect moments worth waiting for. So I don’t know about you, but I am going to wait… preferably with a glass of wine and a good book.