Today, I’m happy to introduce you to author Pauline Wiles! Pauline writes articles on lifestyle and organizing and when she offered to write a post about low-cost mood boosters, I was excited to read her ideas. Enjoy!
For the days when you’re feeling just a little bit blue, taking action before your mood sinks further can be really helpful. But that doesn’t mean buying shoes or feasting on chocolate cake. Below are some calorie-free, low-cost options for lifting your spirits.
First, though, are you an introvert or an extrovert? Did you know your personality type makes a difference in how you like to recharge? Introverts tend to regain their energy from being alone, whereas extroverts get a boost from being around others. So do consider that when picking your tactic:
- Check Meetup to see what’s happening in your area. With 13 million members in almost 200 countries, you’re sure to find like-minded souls.
- Organize a swap session with your friends. Pick an item like handbags, books, baby gear or home accessories and enjoy an afternoon of wallet-free ‘shopping’. Real Simple has tips here.
- May is national photo month! Pull out an album from an especially happy time and reawaken your memories. Or, take new pictures of the people you love and refresh the contents of the frames you see every day.
- Play with an animal. If you own a pet, great, if not, see if you can borrow a neighbor’s dog or hang out with their rabbit for a while. Contact with animals is a proven mood-booster and now widely used in the nursing world.
- Make something. Chances are, you’ve already saved a bunch of ideas on Pinterest: pick one and let your creativity flow. You might also challenge yourself to use only the materials you already have on hand.
- Visit your library and browse for a while, or download an e-book for less than the cost of a latte. The top 100 free books on Amazon can be found here, while Ereader News Today curates free and bargain books.
- Volunteer. The saying is absolutely true: volunteering is one of the best examples of giving that gives you something back. If there’s a local organization you feel passionate about, give them a call and see how they could use you. Or, for a one-time commitment, I love the opportunities listed by One Brick. You can even change the world in your pajamas: visit Help From Home for ideas.
- Each of us probably has five or six songs which never fail to get us singing along at the top of our voices. Try creating a feel-good play list to use when you’re blue. Or, tune into Pandora and search for zumba, disco, or pop from the decade you were a teenager.
- Meditate: it’s free, it’s quick and you can do it anywhere! There is a great guide for beginners here.
- Go outside, just for a few minutes. Breathe deeply and let the oxygen work its magic. For even greater benefit, get moving. A brisk walk is good, a gentle jog even better. It’s the cheapest, most effective way I know to feel terrific.
Once you identify a few tricks for banishing the blues, make a note of them, or even put a few on slips of pretty paper, to be drawn randomly from your ‘good mood jar’.
Have you tried any of the ideas here? What are your best tips for boosting your mood?
Pauline Wiles has written articles on lifestyle and organizing for House of Fifty, The Savvy Life, and Open Exchange Magazine. British by birth, she moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for historic houses and afternoon tea, has never looked back. Her first novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting, has just been published and was a quarter finalist in this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. When not writing, Pauline loves running and zumba.