Setting goals for yourself and deciding to actively design the life you want is really exciting. But it can also be frustrating and even disappointing at times, especially when you aren’t seeing the results you want. It’s important to remember that creating a life you a love is journey, not a destination. Along the way you will most likely have some low points. You may have to deal with an unexpected problem or person, or you may just feel tired and overwhelmed by everything you need to do. It’s really easy to give up on a goal or revert to old habits when you are feeling stuck by life, rather than energized by it. If left unattended, bad moods can sabotage any progress you’ve made.
The good news is that taking a break from the daily grind to reflect and refresh is essential part of creating a life that you love. Here are 10 easy ways to help you feel better and stay motivated.
According to Harvard Health, gratitude is not only good for improving your mood it also has tangible health benefits and is an important part of building strong relationships with others. The next time you are feeling down or stressed, close your eyes and breathe slowly, while thinking of three things you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them. Just taking this type of self care can help energize your mood.
Talking even a five or ten minute walk can make you feel better. Regular movement each day has shown to help everything from stress and anxiety to better sleep patterns and sharper memory. If you can’t get outside for a walk, even doing some quick stretches at your desk can help break the tension of your bad mood and get you motivated to tackle your to-do list.
Laughter has been shown in studies to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Watch a funny movie or read a funny book, or spend time with a friend who makes you laugh.
You will actively practice gratitude (see #1) while at the same time, making someone else happy. It’s a win-win.
Too often busy women spend all their time on their to-do or should-do lists. And when they take time to do something just for fun, or just for themselves, they feel selfish or like a bad mom. Ladies, it’s time to give up the mom guilt and take some time for yourself. Build in some time to work on a favorite hobby or read a good book. Or whatever it is that makes you happy. For me – cleaning the house when no one is home is one of my favorite things to do. Sad, I know. But whatever – a clean and silent house (at least for a few hours) makes me soooo happy and I am ready to take on the world once more.
Sometimes writing down what’s bothering you can help you feel better. There’s something cathartic about taking problems or bad feelings from inside us and putting them out on paper. Journaling isn’t for everyone, but for those who do benefit, it is one of the best ways to take a break and refocus on what’s important.
This seems like it should be a no-brainer, but often we don’t realize that we do things that bring us down unintentionally. Things like reading the news, discussing politics, talking with the office vampire, even eating junky food may not seem like such a big deal at the time, but doing them on a regular basis can chip away at your happiness and leave you feeling depleted and depressed. If you come away from a conversation or activity that makes you feel…icky…stop participating.This is also true of social media. Nothing will make you feel more unfulfilled and stuck in life than Facebook envy. If you find yourself constantly comparing your life with that of your Facebook friends, it’s time to unplug for a bit.
Nothing lifts my spirits like a lunch date with my best friend. Make a point to spend more time with people who make you feel good.
Dehydration can make you feel tired and hungry – neither of which are good for your mood. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water (at least eight 8 oz glasses) throughout the day. Not a water fan? Try adding some fresh fruit for flavor or unsweetened herbal teas (without caffeine). I have a free daily planner that tracks how much water you’re drinking (and how many fruits and veggies you are eating), to help you feel energized all day long!
JK – who has time for that? But getting out of dodge can help lift your mood and add some perspective to life. If you don’t have the time or resources for a full fledged vacation, try a day trip to somewhere you have never gone before.
Feeling frustrated is natural, especially when you feel like things are getting in the way of creating a life that you love. While you can’t control every aspect of your lives, you can control how you respond to problems and challenges. Just remember, taking a break from the daily grind to reflect and refresh is essential part of creating a life that you love.
Do you have a favorite way to take a break from life? I’d love to hear about it on Facebook.
Want more FREE lifestyle design resources? Check out my favorite post about How to Unbusy Your Schedule.