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Easy Ways to Boost Your Mood

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 13 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Mood Kids Work Boss Exercise Partner

We all get in a funk now and then. But if you find that bad moods are getting the best of you, it might be time to do something about them – before they take over your life.

You might think bad moods spring up from nowhere. But when the washing is piling up, the kids are begging to be lobbied to and from activities, and the boss is nagging because your report is already three days late, it’s no wonder you start to feel moody and irritable.

Looking after children while holding down a job – even a part-time one – can be extremely difficult, and women more often than not find the one person they neglect is themselves. For most women, however, a quick pick-me-up is all they need to get back on the right track.

Everyone gets in a bad mood from time to time, and it's no surprise that working mums feel stressful more than anyone else. Luckily, there are plenty of easy-to-do stress busters that can really lift your mood.

Look Back and Reflect

First of all, think about why you are in such a nasty mood. There is usually – but not always – a concrete reason why you’re feeling so foul. Talk to a friend about your problems, or write them down. Once you pinpoint the problem, you’re halfway towards solving it.

Next, think about how you can avoid the problem from repeating itself. Are you angry because a “friend” did something you didn’t like, or because your boss keeps piling on extra weekend work for you to do? Some people, like your friend, you can simply avoid. With others – like your boss or an annoying work colleague – a blunt one-to-one talk might be in order.

Once you know the cause of your frustration, don’t let it overwhelm you. Think about how you can improve the way you feel, and not let a bad mood take over the rest of your day. After all, we create our own happiness – don’t we?

Top Mood-Enhancing Tips

Feeling down? Stuck in the doldrums? Try these brilliant bad mood busters, and see which ones work for you…

  • Go out to dinner. At the end of a busy day, the last thing you want to do is come home and cook dinner for the kids. Scoop them all up and head to your nearest restaurant, even if it’s McDonald’s. Better yet, leave them with hubby, call a friend and head out to a (better) restaurant on your own.
  • Exercise. Releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormone, is the best way to feel better fast. If you can’t make it to the gym, put on an exercise DVD or go for a fast walk. Making exercise a regular part of your week could entirely change your outlook on life.
  • Eat something healthy – or unhealthy. Remember, junk food may make you feel better in the short term. But sugar will give you a quick rush that you’ll pay for later, by feeling tired and lethargic. If you really need something sweet, eat in moderation.
  • Call an old friend. Don’t underestimate the feeling you get from being with someone who knows the real you – and appreciates who you are. Even a quick cup of coffee or a phone chat with someone who knows you and loves you can make all the difference.
  • Go away for the weekend. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and… check into a hotel for the weekend! Getting away, either with your friends or partner, can really re-energise those batteries.
  • Read a good book. Slip away into someone else’s life for a while, even if only for a half hour. You’ll really have the chance to get away from it all, with minimum effort.
  • Take a long, hot bath. Soak away your troubles…
  • Rent a favourite DVD. Escape into a happy world by reliving a favourite fantasy, or introducing the kids to one of your much-loved childhood films, such as The Wizard of Oz.
  • Indulge in a hobby. Research has proven that people who are interested in others and have hobbies or other interests are happier than those who live inside their own heads.
Everyone gets in a bad mood from time to time, but usually that feeling of despair disappears fairly quickly. If you are experiencing frequent bad moods that last for longer and longer periods of time, it might be worthwhile talking things over with your GP.

Frequent bad moods could point to a hormonal imbalance or could be a sign of mild to moderate depression. Your GP could recommend counselling, anti-depressants or just simple lifestyle changes, which could make an enormous difference to the way you feel and act.

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