January 14, 2021

We all have those days we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We also all seem to be a bit (a lot?) moodier now with pandemic fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, and fear. All that can often manifest in a classic “bad mood.” And then that mood can escalate and last all day if we don’t quell it fast. How about taking 10 minutes to boost your bad mood and turn it around? Need some ideas? Consider any of the following!

Take 10 minutes to sit and breathe.

As in deep, deep focused breathing. There are actually several styles of breathing. A few that work great for relaxing and moods are:

  • Box breathing. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4 then hold for 4. Picture a pretty colored square as you do this.
  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4, then an exhale through your mouth for as long as it lasts (8 seconds or so).
  • Alternate nostril breathing. Cover one nostril, inhale through the other, then cover that one and exhale through the first. Inhale on that same side again, then switch again, and keep doing this for 10 minutes. This helps send calming signals to our nervous system and also helps us switch the focus from external things to internal.

Put on something funny.

Grab your phone and search up something on YouTube that makes you laugh. It could be an old show you loved, funny videos, a comedy sketch you always loved, or bloopers. Laughing releases endorphins and it’s almost a guarantee to flip the bad mood to a lighter one.

Pour a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and take some time to savor it.

Sometimes little things like this do the trick. Plus, caffeine can do the trick if the bad mood is accompanied by a slump.

Turn up the music.

If you’re in your car or at home, crank up those favorite feel-good songs. Sing along and watch your mood melt away. If you can’t play it loud, any music in earbuds is a mood-improving activity.

Call a friend.

Sometimes even saying “I’m in a bad mood ” can be enough to release it and get a convo flowing. Before you know it, you might feel better, connected, and calm, and ready to take on the rest of the day with a brighter outlook. That’s what friends are for.

Take a walk.

Whether alone or with the dog, a refreshing walk outside often clears what was causing the bad mood. If the walk can be in nature, all the better, to reap those calming benefits.

Write down what is bothering you.

If you’re not even sure exactly what it is, write “bad mood go away” or “no more stress.” Then burn it in the fireplace or over a sink. Or just rip it up and throw it out ceremoniously declaring that the mood is now over. Mind over matter right?

Exercise or do some yoga.

Not only will the endorphins get flowing, but your focus on exercise also shifts the focus off whatever was bothering you. It’s good for the mind, body, and spirit.

Put on a meditation app.

Practice along with a guided meditation. There are plenty on YouTube also.

Take a shower.

Did you ever notice how people come out of the shower a new person? Something about that water and time alone washes away the mood. A long hot shower does the trick for many people. Some people prefer a cold one to wake up and increase alertness. Either way, it’s pretty certain your bad mood will be washed away. At least somewhat.

Here’s to kissing bad moods good-bye! What else do you do to counter a bad mood?