Instant mood boosters the Red team swear by

Bryony Firth-Bernard
·4-min read
Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

From Red Online

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!

Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

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!

Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

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!).

Photo credit: Unsplash
Photo credit: Unsplash

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.

8.Box clever

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.

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