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Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

Monday’s are the worst. They’re the beginning to a long, stressful week of work and responsibility when we’d love nothing more than to spend a few more days living a couch-potato life. Begrudgingly, we force ourselves up and out, heading to work or school to suffer through another week, dreaming of the next weekend.

It’s what we’ve come to accept and expect, right? That’s what it means to be an adult, isn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 ways to naturally elevate your mood and combat those Monday blues.

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Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

    Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

    I get it — we’re all busy adults! Sometimes, in order to accomplish everything we need to get done, we have to sacrifice sleep. An hour here or there may seem like it’s nothing, but consistently losing sleep can have some real consequences: health problems like migraines, high blood pressure, and worsening of pre-existing conditions. Lack of sleep also has definite connections to our moods and can contribute directly to the development of mood disorders.

    So how much sleep should you be getting? If you listen to classic suggestions, we should all be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. That seems to be a solid rule of thumb, though experts have suggested between 6 and 9 hours of sleep for proper recharging. Find what works for you and commit to it!

    Get Out of The Office and Into the Sunshine!

      Get Out Of The Office And Into The Sunshine

      So you’re stuck in an office for eight hours a day, staring at a computer screen. Music can help. So can some wall art or plants. Or, you could go outside for some much-needed sunshine! Not only does the warmth and light help you stay awake and feel refreshed, but it boosts your body’s natural production of Vitamin D and endorphins, lifting your mood.

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      Can’t take a trip outside? Consider changing the filter on your fluorescent lights! Filters which mimic natural lighting brighten the room and help you maintain your energy throughout the day. Other options include painting your office a color which promotes energy, happiness, and creativity. Consider these colors:

      • Orange: expands your thinking, boosts confidence
      • Deep Blue: encourages efficiency
      • Green: promotes wealth, encourages healing, and promotes emotional well-being
      • Light Blue: creates a sense of peace, aids in communication
      • Yellow: increases focus, mental agility, and intelligence

      Play with Your Pet

        Play With Your Pet

        Puppies, kittens, and other adorable pets! Who doesn’t love playing with their favorite furry (or feathery, or scaly) animals? Spend a few minutes in the morning enjoying your most loyal companion, and repeat the process in the evenings when you return home. Not only will this enhance your bond, but studies have shown that contact with animals helps lower stress levels and boost your natural production of dopamine.

        Don’t have a pet? Well, guess what? Those adorable puppy and kitten videos online have the same effect — no wonder they’re so popular! Take a few minutes to watch a couple — just make sure you don’t get too carried away!

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        Have Some Chocolate!

          Enjoy Some Chocolate

          Need an excuse to get that chocolate bar from the grocery store? Well, not only does it have antioxidants, but eating chocolate boosts dopamine naturally, too! Keep a bar on hand for those especially grueling days. Or, you can stock up on a hot cocoa stash in your desk — just make sure your friends and co-workers don’t turn you into the office candy supplier!

          Not a huge fan of chocolate? Trying to watch your caloric intake? That’s okay — these foods have the same effect!

          • Fish
          • Eggs
          • Apples
          • Kale
          • Red beets
          • Bananas
          • Strawberries
          • Blueberries
          • Green tea

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          Get Moving!

            Get Moving

            This one is something I struggle with myself: having a 9-to-5 desk job can severely limit how active we can be throughout the week. That inactivity can contribute to our sour moods and subconsciously lead us to dread Mondays even more than we already do. How do we combat that? Get up and get moving! Even something as simple as taking a quick lap around the office or jogging in place can lift your spirits and re-energize you.

            Now, understandably, if you share office space or work in a cubicle, you may not be able to do 20 jumping jacks. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything! Get a couple small dumbbells and pump iron while you’re on that business call, or do some stretching once an hour. Simple things like that re-engage your muscles and can improve your mood quickly!

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            Last Updated on December 2, 2019

            10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

            10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

            Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

            In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

            These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

            1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

            Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

            But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

            Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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            2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

            You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

            The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

            3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

            If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

            Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

            If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

            4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

            Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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            To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

            In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

            5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

            We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

            If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

            Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

            “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

            6. Give for the Joy of Giving

            When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

            One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

            So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

            7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

            Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

            Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

            8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

            When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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            So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

            9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

            Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

            It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

            It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

            10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

            There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

            But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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            Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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            Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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