During a typical day, do you ever find yourself checking in to see how you feel or are handling a situation? If you are a New Yorker and find yourself working out before work or rolling out of bed into work, your answer is probably no. In today’s work from home climate, you might be living how most of us are living, on autopilot. That means checking your mood doesn’t even enter your brain. Assessing how your day is going or will go is something that the majority of the population just doesn’t think about. By now you’re probably wondering if it’s important to assess your mood health. Clear answer: Yes.
Why is it important to check your mood?
We are not saying that you should focus on being chipper or in a good mood non-stop. What we are saying is that it’s important to find balance in your mood regardless of a situation.
First, understand your current feeling and then, determine what is needed to take care of yourself. For example, I am currently tired. I just returned from traveling and yesterday I took 3 workout classes (to be fair I didn’t realize they would all be 60 minutes), so my body is sore and needs rest.
Of course, the easiest solution would be to rest (adequate sleep will help improve mood), whether it be actually sleeping, going to stretch, enjoying meditation, or laying on the couch. But because I have a couple of deadlines today, fully sleeping won’t be an option till much later on.
In this case, I could invest in one of my focus supplements, go for a brisk walk outside and let the fresh air work through me, or make a pot of my new coffee from Colombian beans. The option you choose to address your current mood can really be whatever you choose, what’s more important is that fact that you understand you should tackle it.
What are some ways to improve mood?
Yogi enthusiasts and therapists will tell you that regular gratitude practicing will help with your daily mood. When you intentionally give thanks daily, it creates a feel-good cycle that can improve your life satisfaction and gratitude to work as a team. You can simply say out loud what you are grateful for (ex: for waking up, being able to walk, being able to see, being able to nourish yourself properly, etc.) or you can pen it with a journal.
My mom and I started this notion in the early days of the pandemic — whenever things get stressful, one of us looks at the other and says “let’s do our breathing.” Three deep inhales, with the final one being a release with sound. I didn’t get why this worked so well to calm us down, but it’s similar to what we spoke about above — acknowledging the mood is not great and doing something to clear the air.
This type of breathwork is done in most mindful practices like meditation or yoga, and it acts to restore energy and warrant calming aromas. It really does help cultivate an environment where your mood can be elevated and restored before getting back into it. I sometimes find that with intense breathwork, I even find solutions to the very situations that were plaguing me. It’s a fascinating practice.
Smell the clean air
Okay, yes it’s COVID, so the air isn’t insanely clean. But a lot can improve by a quick walk in your neighborhood, if you feel safe enough. And it’s even better if you can walk through a park or where there is a plethora of trees, the color green, and nature. This can help boost mood too, with loads of studies claiming 20 minutes in nature can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Here’s a guide for candles for every mood.