We're living in uncertain times, so protecting our mental health has never felt so important.
So, what are the small changes you can make to transform the way you feel? The Red team and our favourite wellbeing experts have gathered the simple, but powerful mood boosting habits they practise for good mind maintenance.
8 instant ways to boost your mood
1.Get wet and wild
Sarah Tomczak, Editor
Swimming in the sea on any sunny morning has been a game changer to me. Being up early to enjoy the day, a blue sky, a whole hour alone, the feeling of being small in a big sea (which somehow makes my worries seem less significant). Not to mention of course all the benefits of the swimming – the exhilaration of the cold water, the improved circulation, increased metabolism, immunity boost and that hit of endorphins.
2.Write down your truths
Armelle Ferguson, Red’s eco-influencer
Journaling works wonders for me. When writing freely, I connect with myself on a very honest, raw and intimate level. It’s my tool of choice which allows me to empty my mind, rationalise most of my worries - and identify stress factors – so I can better stay away from them!
3.Bake some bread
Pauline Beaumont, Counsellor and author of Bread Therapy
Getting my hands into dough is calming and grounding, but baking bread also provides me with powerful life lessons. Over-proved or under-baked, loaves can turn out badly, but this gives me a helpful reminder that imperfection is normal and it’s a good prompt for self-compassion. Transforming flour, water and salt into delicious, golden bread reminds me that we too are capable of transformation.
4.Set a worry curfew
Dr Sarah Vohra, author of The Mind Medic
Whenever I experience worry in the day, I ask myself is this a worry I can turn into a problem I can solve. If it is, I solve the problem. If it is a ‘might not’ worry, i.e something that might not happen, I jot it down on the notes section of my phone and come back to it during my worry curfew. This avoids me getting caught up in cycles of worry that take up my time and energy!
5.Free yourself from social media
Poorna Bell, author and journalist
I turn off Whatsapp after 9pm. I've noticed that if people send me messages at night, I feel obliged to reply, and that then leads to a vortex of doom where I then check several other apps. Being on my phone late in the evening impacts my sleep, which is such a massive part of how I maintain my mental wellbeing.
6.Focus on the ride
Anna Bonet, Features Writer
To me there’s nothing more energising or freeing than riding a bike, and even on the most stressful of days, I can feel my worries whizzing away with the wind in my hair. It’s truly taught me how to be mindful; something I never used to be very good at. When everything else feels overwhelming, it’s calming to focus on the simple act of balancing the bike and gently peddling. (And the exercise itself helps me sleep better too - always a plus!).
7.Switch off your stress response
Dr Zoe Williams, This Morning GP and host of podcast Steths, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
A simple breathing technique, like box breathing - a 4 second rotation of breathing in, holding your breath, breathing out, holding your breath, and repeating - helps maintain my mental health. It can quickly help you switch your nervous system from 'fight or flight' which is when your sympathetic nervous system is firing, into a more restful, calm state, with your parasympathetic nervous system firing.
Anna Samuels, Co-Founder of Boxx
My biggest challenge is switching off, but when I box, I can’t think of anything else. I focus only on the combinations I am throwing, not the overwhelming number of things on my to do list or any other worries I may have. It forces me to live in the moment.
Subscribe to Red now to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like