I like lists. I’m pretty sure everyone likes lists. And everyone likes being happy! So today I don’t really want to beat around the bush a ton with a lengthy intro; I decided to make a list of 100 little actions you can do as mood boosters. I hope it serves as a page for inspiration and a handy reference guide to look at in times of stress and go “oh DUH I should probably do xyz to feel better!”
Check Your Vitals
1) Have you eaten a meal recently?
2) If you have, did you eat a wholesome meal or did you just shovel whatever was nearby down your piehole? Check your nutrition.
3) Have you taken your daily vitamins today? If you’re not taking vitamins, I highly recommend bringing it up next time you’re at the doc’s for a checkup. More often than not there’s usually something you need to up your dose of. Since I use birth control, my doc recommended I take prenatals. See what they think is best for you!
4) Have you used the restroom recently, and do you need to go now? I know this one’s extra silly, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to neglect this.
5) Do a body scan. Sit yourself down and check each body part for pain. Start with your toes and hit everything up to your head. “Are my toes sore?” “Are my calves sore?” “Do I have cramps?” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. If you find a body part that hurts, ask yourself why and attend to it as needed- Advil, Midol, whatever you need, go get it.
6) Did you get enough sleep last night? I discuss the importance of sleep in one of my first entries Stress, Pride, and Sleep.
7) Have you regularly been getting enough sleep? If not, maybe it’s time for some tweaks to your schedule.
8) On the flipside, have you been resting too much? Napping a lot during the day? Too much shuteye can have some pretty bad effects; this study for example talks about how excessive sleeping is associated with psychiatric diseases and a higher BMI.
9) Are you dehydrated? Drink a big glass of water. Even if you’re not feeling dehydrated you should probably do this anyway.
10) How does your skin feel? If it’s dry for example, put on some moisturizer (I use the generic Target brand to be honest and it works fine for me, but definitely look into what works best for your skin) and Vaseline (cannot recommend having this on hand always enough. I have a whole bunch of them stashed around various places in my house or in my purse for easy access).
11) Have you showered recently and do you need one?
12) Is your hair tangled? Give it a good brushing.
13) Are your hands and feet dry? Use some lotion if they are.
14) What about your nails? Are they brittle and breaking? File them down, paint them (if that’s your thing), moisturize them, whatever you need to do to make them feel fresh and neat.
15) Pluck your eyebrows if they need them (if that’s something you do).
16) Speaking of body hair, if you shave what about that? I personally hate when my leg hair gets really prickly and stubbly.
17) Blow your nose. Probably the most mundane thing I’ve written on here but I’m trying to cover all bases of hygiene here!
18) Brush your teeth, especially if you haven’t yet today.
20) If you identify as a female, is your bra fitting you right? The constriction that occurs from a bra that’s too tight can be uncomfortable and aggravating.
21) How about your underwear?
22) Are you too cold or too hot? Change your clothes, adjust the temperature, get a blanket, et cetera.
23) Get ready like you’re going somewhere. Do your hair (or at least brush it to make it presentable), put on makeup if that’s your thing, wear fresh clothes. I always feel a little more ready for life when I’m all put together!
24) Clothes on the floor? Put them away where they all need to go!
25) If there’s anything on the floor at all besides clothes, put it away where it needs to go.
26) How about dishes in the sink? Wash and put those away too.
27) What about old food in your fridge, freezer, or pantry? You know what to do.
28) If your place is picked up, is it still dirty with dust/oils/stains? Wipe down your countertops, scrub the walls, clean the oven, all that nitty-gritty stuff.
29) If the place is picked up and scrubbed down, what about organized? Go through and declutter everything; clothes and books are two things that I tend to accumulate a lot of and need to go through regularly. Figure out your “clutter hotspots” and attack them with all your might!
30) Do you have any hobbies? If not, sit down and write a list of what’s important to you interest-wise. Cross-reference that with Wikipedia’s List of Hobbies and find something fulfilling to spend your time doing.
31) If you have hobbies, have you been neglecting them lately? Think about the last time you nurtured your interests beyond obligatory work/school things, and make a schedule to pick those things up again.
32) If you have been working at your hobbies, when is the last time you shared it? If you’re an artist, a dancer, a musician, when’s the last time you got critique? Perhaps your hobbies have felt stale because you haven’t been given new perspectives. Ask a friend or family member to watch and critique your stuff! If you’re too nervous or no one is accessible, turn to Reddit. There are so many great subreddits specifically for critique! For example, if you’re an artist /r/ArtCrit is the way to go. If you’re a musician, there’s /r/MusicCritique. Critique is a great way to breathe new life into the things you do.
33) I’m counting cooking as a hobby here: find a recipe that excites you and make it! Especially if you haven’t eaten in a bit. Find something nourishing and healthy, and go for it. Write down the recipe and any tweaks you made if you really like it so you can make it again later!
Help Your Mind
34) Have you established a self care routine? Do some research on self care tactics and figure out what works best for you. If you have a certain condition, research what people with the same condition do for themselves. For example, I have scoliosis, so whenever I initiate a self care routine it involves using a foam roller on my back. If you want some ideas for self care, I made a big list a few entries ago!
35) If you have an established routine, when’s the last time you updated it? Does doing it ever feel like a chore, or has it not been helping lately? Time to go back to the drawing board and revamp it.
36) Have an established routine that you know works? Use it now!
37) I’ve personally found it fun to look into what other people do and try what they do for fun. Even if my routine has worked fine for me lately, it’s nice to mix things up and get new ideas for self care.
38) Meditate! Even just for five minutes. Youtube has some great guided ones for relaxation, stress relief, etc; it’s all just a search away.
39) If you need to cry, please just let it out and cry. Whatever you identify, screw any preconceived notions about what it means to cry as your gender and just do it. It’s so much better to let your emotions out than to bottle them up.
Write About It
40) Do you have a list of things that make you happy? If you do, look at it for reminders of things to smile about. If you don’t, write one! I wrote one in a previous entry here if you want some inspo.
41) Journal journal journal! I cannot recommend this enough. If you’re not journaling, get yourself a pen and a notebook you love (and as a shameless little plug I sell notebooks on my Redbubble) and write out everything bothering you, from the big to the small, even something as small as “I was out of eggs this morning and it made me want to set fire to my whole apartment.”
42) If you need some writing inspo, do some preset writing prompts! I actually have a list of Soul Searching Writing Prompts that I did a while ago if you want to check that out.
43) Write a bucket list of everything you want to accomplish, from the big goals (e.g. travel to Ireland) to the small ones (e.g. finally hang up that shirt that’s been sitting on my chair for 3 months). Even if you’ve written bucket list on bucket list, write another one! Re-writing bucket lists in my opinion gives you insight on your priorities and what you really want to do; if you’ve written the same goal across every list you’ve ever written, then you know it’s really important to you.
44) If you have a bucket list and don’t feel like writing another one, go through your bucket list and see if there’s anything you can do to advance any of your goals! (e.g. make a list of all the places you want to go in Ireland… or hang up that shirt)
45) Write a list of everything you’re grateful for.
46) Have you talked to anyone today? Maybe you’ve just gotten so wrapped up in work or something that you’ve forgotten to have a little human contact. Call your mom, go meet up with a friend, message your partner, whatever you want. Just say hello!
47) On the flipside, have you talked to too many people today? I’m a huge extrovert, but I also definitely need to recharge my batteries regularly. If you’re getting socially exhausted, don’t feel bad about retreating for a little while for some R&R.
48) Don’t be afraid to ask for a hug or a shoulder to cry on if you need it. There’s always someone out there willing to listen to you; find them.
49) Are the social interactions you’ve been having meaningful? Or are they purely surface-level? It’s important to not only see people, but to connect with them too. One of my favorite Youtube channels, The School of Life, did a great video on How To Have Good Conversation that’s really inspiring. Check it out! (If you wanna see some more of my favorite Youtube channels, I did a blog entry on it here.
50) Get the app Meetup and find some like-minded people to pursue your interests with!
51) Complete an exercise! There are great free ones to follow on Youtube and Pinterest if you just search “yoga,” “weightlifting,” etc.
52) Go get out in nature. Take a walk, a hike, anything to keep you from sitting stagnant. Take lots of shameless pictures of pretty flowers, bring a journal to write at the top of a hill or in a park, go at sunset to marvel at how beautiful the sky is, indulge in all that cheesy stuff.
53) Do some breathing exercises.
54) When’s the last time you learned something new? Expanding your brain is a great way to feel good about yourself. Watch a TED Talk, go visit Khan Academy, Coursera, what have you. If you want a list of places to keep your brain sharp beyond grade school and university, I wrote an entry about it here.
55) Another way to keep that brain sharp and take you away to another world for a little while is to read a book! A great place for inspiration on what to read next is Goodreads, or go hit up your local library.
56) Make playlists of pump-up music! Or music that reflects your mood- sometimes ya just need some songs that you can relate to. I made a whole bunch of playlists once here and I’ve been posting playlists weekly to my Instagram.
57) Research what certain herbs can do for your mood and brew tea based on what you feel you need. Or if you don’t want to do research, I did it for you 😉
58) If you’re feeling up to it, find somewhere new to drive to. Go alone or get a friend, make a day trip of it. Sometimes my bad moods come from being stuck in a routine, and a day trip is a great way to shake myself out of that and come back to regular life feeling refreshed.
59) Find local things to do in your town. Do they host Farmer’s Markets every Saturday? Are there any great art galleries around? Research!
60) Volunteer! I like to visit my local food pantry to help prep food and I feel great knowing that I helped a good cause every time I leave it.
I know a lot of these may seem like really obvious things to do. I also know though that in the thick of a bad mood it’s really easy to curl up in a ball and try to wait for it to pass without doing anything for yourself. The obvious becomes irretrievable in your mind. I wrote this for those kinds of moments, so all you have to do is look at this page and let someone else do the thinking.
What are some ways you boost your mood? Let everyone know in the comments below!
Wishing you luck and strength through the bad days,
DISCLAIMER: I never want to imply that the things I write are as credible as professional help. A lot of what I write about is based on personal research and experience, but I am no psychologist and I should not be a replacement for one. I am not writing to fix mental illnesses! The things I discuss can help with day-to-day moods and health, but if you suspect you may have a real mental illness please discuss your concerns with a professional.
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