How are you feeling lately? If you’re stuck in a bit of a funk, you’re not alone. Between the pandemic, working from home adjustments, and all of the stress that has come with the last year, most of us could benefit from a bit of a mood boost. We’ve got a super simple pick-me-up challenge (that hopefully won’t feel challenging at ALL), so you can take really good care of yourself right now. After all… your health and happiness are a top priority! And bonus: these aren’t resolutions you have to worry about keeping — no pressure, all fun, feel-good activities.
14-Day Mood-Boosting Program
For the next two weeks, we challenge you to join us on this one-small-thing-a-day program to improve your mood and channel more joy and optimism each day.
Day 1: Blend Up a Good Mood
Natasha Beddingfield may have a pocketful of sunshine, but you will have a cup-full. This *ahem* cookie dough flavored mood-boosting smoothie is packed with research-backed ingredients guaranteed to fuel your brain with happy neurotransmitters. This is a tasty, frosty treat that’ll make your tastebuds and soul happy, too.
Day 2: Dance it Out
Listen, you don’t have to be “good” at dancing to enjoy a dance workout. You’re not performing for anyone. There’s no judgment — so move your body and have fun. If you need a nudge in this direction, know that dance is clinically proven to be good for you.
Get started with just a small amount of movement (again: we want this to be as simple as possible for ya!) Browse the FitOn dance category to find a class that works for you, and of course… You can always turn up the volume on your favorite music (nostalgic tunes are always a win!) and move in whatever way feels good around your house.
Day 3: Get Outside for a Walk
An outdoor stroll is so multifaceted. Not only are you getting some lovely low-impact movement, but you’re also taking your mind off work, stress, and whatever else has been bogging your mind down — and getting some fresh air and sunshine.
But wait, there’s more! Getting that sunshine may also modulate your circadian rhythm, so you’ll sleep better… and, in turn, feel better and have a better mood. Who knew that something as simple as walking outside could have such a profound impact on your wellbeing?
Day 4: Add Joy to Your Breakfast
Adding mood-boosting foods to your breakfast can give your brain the “right-side-of-the-bed” energy it needs to start the day. If you like salmon, the omega-3s in this fatty fish will make for an excellent breakfast brain food — try a lox bagel or salmon with eggs. Bananas are chock-full of B vitamins, which may also play a role in mood and brain health — so slice some up onto a chia pudding or smoothie bowl!
Day 5: Catch a Few More Winks
Make your goal for today to sleep an hour longer than usual. Maybe this means going to bed early or sleeping in a little. But by getting an extra bit of recharge time, you’re helping your brain in a number of ways.
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Sleep
Day 6: Practice Meditation
The clinical benefits of meditation are numerous, but the kicker here is that you only have to spend a few minutes to get going. Try this five-minute Get Calm Now guided session to instantly feel a little more chill.
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Meditation
Day 7: Do a Mood-Boosting Workout
Dance is so fun it often doesn’t feel like a workout — so let’s throw in a joyful, sweaty exercise session for kicks, shall we? Try a quick FitOn HIIT workout and get the endorphins flowing!
Day 8: Practice Gratitude
Take 10 minutes today to journal — and emphasize gratitude while you’re at it. The act of writing it down can help you experience this grateful feeling more mindfully, allowing you to truly savor the emotion and the power it can have on your mood. List out the beautiful parts of your life, the people you love, the things you like about yourself, even something as simple as a hot shower or a good cup of coffee.
Day 9: Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Eating a little candy might seem like a random indulgence, but when it comes to chocolate, the power is all in the mighty mineral known as magnesium. Dark chocolate is packed with magnesium, which can promote brain health, and magnesium has been shown to help with stress relief. When it comes to chocolate, stick with unsweetened 70% or darker, dark chocolate to avoid any added sugar!
RELATED: The 7 Best Foods For a Better Mood
Day 10: Get Zen With Yoga
We know you’ve probably heard this before, but yoga has been shown — time and time again — to alleviate feelings of stress. Even modern, western medical doctors suggest this ancient eastern practice as a means of supporting overall health, wellbeing, and mood. Browse the FitOn yoga category to find a yoga flow that works for you.
Day 11: Phone a Friend
Human connection is one of the most important facets of health and happiness we can experience in this lifetime. While we may not be able to visit with friends due to COVID restrictions, we can use technology to our advantage and connect virtually — a video call (or even phone call!) is better than a text, after all. Spend time connecting with someone who lights you up, makes you laugh, and supports you.
Day 12: Unplug for One Hour
Is doom-scrolling getting the best of you? Are emails so out of control you want to throw your laptop out a window? If you have one more Zoom meeting, are you just gonna…. We get it. We’ve been there too! Unplug for an hour. That’s right — a whole hour. The world can wait, but your health cannot. Grab a paperback book, a puzzle, some adult coloring books, a craft, a recipe — and just take time away from the constant connectivity today.
Day 13: Laugh a Little
Find a podcast, audiobook, movie, stand-up special, or show that makes you cry laughing. Whether it’s your favorite comedian or an old series you’ve seen a bunch of times, make sure it’s something that induces side-splitting laughter. It is such a powerful medicine to counter stress.
Day 14: Plan Your Favorite Activity
For the final day of the challenge, we’ve got a bit of a ‘dealer’s choice’ for you. Only you know what personally brings you joy — for some of you, it’s playtime with your kids or snuggle time with your dog. Maybe it’s going kayaking with your significant other or chatting and making s’mores over a bonfire with your parents. Maybe it’s taking a long hot shower and some much-needed moments of silence.
Choose something you haven’t done in a while or something that you know ALWAYS brightens your day no matter what. This is deeply personal and highly important, so let’s end this two-week challenge on a high note with something really special.
Feeling Good Every Day
We hope this two-week series gave you something to get excited about and something to look forward to each day. And we hope it also showed you how easy it is to incorporate even the smallest little things into your day to spark some more joy and snap out of a funk. It’s not a cure-all, and it’s not a fix for clinical mental health woes — but it’s a start! Sending lots of good energy your way!