7 Basics That Help Boost Your Mood

When you're feeling isolated, anxious, and disrupted, here are six science-based ways to help yourself feel better and lower anxiety related to social distancing and coronavirus (COVID19).

– Design Tiny Habits that help you take small actions each day to feel better. –

See science sources in the footer.

Expanded ideas COMING SOON

Move more – Experiment with new ways to help yourself keep moving every day. Start with a one-minute walk if you need to or dance to one song. 

Example Tiny Habits 'Recipes' - 

After I put down the dog's bowl, I will do three walking lunges.

After I take my vitamin, I will dance to one song.

Help yourself smile often –  for yourself and for others around you. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” 

If you're totally isolated, here's a tip. Browse stock imagery and footage of people smiling and laughing. It helps!

Example Tiny Habits -

After I wash my hands, I will smile at myself in the mirror and celebrate by saying, "You're making it!" 

After my child wakes up, I will smile at him and say, "I'm so glad to be with you again today." 

Connect with nature – Get outside when you can (as long as you can still comply with social distancing restrictions.) 

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I eat and put away my dinner plate, I will listen to the birds and the wind and savor what is not disrupted.

After I get to the mailbox, I will look for signs of the season.  I will celebrate that I'm free to step outside.

Take one day at a time –  Make a workable plan for today.
You can always revise tomorrow.   

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I notice I am stressing about next month, I will tell myself, "Let's make today as good as possible." I will celebrate with a deep breath.

Create  – Make time for simple creative expression, cooking, or little projects that provide a sense of creativity, accomplishment, or novelty. 
THINK: "Today, I’m going to try __________ and see how I like it. "

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I write our list for today, I will hand-draw an emoji next to each child's name.

After I open the pantry, I will google a recipe with two ingredients I have. I will celebrate by saying, "Creative!"

Connect safely with others –  Find small ways you can share kindess with others, volunteer in meaningful ways, and stay connected with the people you love.

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I finish a FaceTime call, I will say, "I've really enjoyed our time together."

After I notice I'm feeling isolated, I will text my neighbor and ask if they need anything. 

Meditate in Micro-moments  – Mindfulness meditation has some proven benefits, even if you start very small. If you're not sure how to start, I've posted a playlist for you narrated and written by Psychologist and former Sleep Professor Donald B. Weaver, PhD.

Resources to explore -  Rest Now 1, Rest Now 2,  PLAYLIST 

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I turn off the light, I will start the Rest Now overview, and celebrate with a slow breath.

7 Do's +1 DON'T  –  Don't spend energy on problems that aren't solvable now.
De-escalate and shift your attention. For example, this is probably not a good time to fight with your spouse about losses in the retirement fund.
Put your energy elsewhere for now.
Make a plan to address resolvable conflicts and plan for your future with openness and explore solutions together when both people can remain open and calm.

Example Tiny Habits - 

After I feel angry with my spouse, I will do something nice for myself and tell myself we will work on solutions when we have more details.

Sources  –  

Move More 

1. Harvard Medical School - Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression

2.  American Psychological Association - The Exercise Effect 

3. Verywell Mind - The Best Forms of Exercise to Improve Your Mood

Smile

3. American Psychological Association - Literary Review of Facial Feedback Studies

4. National Institue of Health - The Motivational Power of a Happy Face

5. Verywell Mind - Smile more for health, happiness and longevity

Nature:

6. Stanford University - Stanford researchers Find Mental Health Prescription - Nature

7. Harvard Medical School - Sour Mood... Get Back to Nature

Creative Arts 

8. National Institute of Health - Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health

9. American Psychological Association - Using Art to Distract

10.  citation  Effects of Medium and Strategy 

Connect with Others 

IN PERSON

 

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