If you need a little something to brighten your day, here are ten ideas that are mostly free or pretty inexpensive (as opposed to a trip to a warm beach!).
1. Flowers. A bouquet on our dining room table is what inspired this article. Walking in and seeing the beautiful blooms made me smile. I don’t have a green thumb so do buy these, but you could grow them yourself.
2. Take a Walk. Exercise is know to improve mood by releasing endorphins. I always attribute it to the fresh air, but it’s biology working in our favor.
3. Fire. If you’re going to be in the house due to bad weather, make it cozy with a fire. This advice is only for those that have a fireplace or wood stove. In good weather, use an outdoor firepit or ring.
4. Picnics. Picnics are fun because you eat on the ground and outdoors. So pack that basket and head outdoors, if it’s nice enough, for a meal. If not, have an indoors picnic. Kids will especially think this is fun.
5. Scented Candles. Smells can have a powerful effect or casinos wouldn’t be spending so much money figuring out which scent to pump into them. Maybe a outdoors scent such as ocean or forest would bring the essence of those places indoors.
6. Bright Colors. Here’s another thing that marketers spend tons of money researching. Bright colors tend to be happy so wear that bright sweater your got for Christmas or decorate with brightly colored throw pillows and other accessories.
7. Music. There are songs that I can’t resist moving to and it always makes me feel happy. Play these types of songs and just dance around the house.
8. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine and there’s a lot of credence to it. Watch one of of your favorite comedies, do something silly, or play with your kids.
9. Visualization. Spend 5-10 minutes daily imagining yourself happy. The subconscious mind works to make it happen. I need to try this technique with some of my goals.
10. Socialize. People are not meant to be solitary and socializing increases life span. Why? Because happy people live longer in general. So visit friends or family. It doesn’t have to be expensive as you can have a game night or a potluck. The important thing is spending time together.
These ideas won’t help with depression, but can help with the occasional bad mood. What do you do to improve your mood?