Stop what you’re doing!

Take a few minutes to think about how you’re feeling. Are you stressed? Sad? Bored?

Sometimes we forget to think about what we’re feeling, or why because we’re always in the “go, go, go” mindset. We can go from feeling like we’re on top of the world to suddenly demotivated and sad. This can especially hit hard when you’re a student with tons of responsibilities to balance.

The important thing to remember is, moods are temporary, which means we always have the ability to change them. However, if you’re feeling sad, lost, or depressed for longer than a few days, it may be a good idea to chat to a professional, like the counsellors on campus or a free service like Good2Talk.

If what you’re experiencing is run of the mill demotivation or exhaustion, read on to learn 6 ways to boost your mood:

1. Let your feelings out

When you keep things that bother you bottled up, you don’t give yourself the chance to fully express how you feel. You’ll ruminate over your feelings and let them simmer without actually addressing the underlying issues.

Try venting to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. No matter how big or small your problem is, the people that love you will always have time to hear you out. Writing down your thoughts in a journal will also help you visualize your problems, and keep you grounded when your thoughts start to take control.

You also have free access to  Humber’s Counselling Service and Good2Talk, where you can talk to professional counsellors that can help you deal with any difficulties in your life.

Bob the Drag Queen from RuPaul's Drag Race lets out a scream

2. Get your laugh on

Have you ever laughed so hard you couldn’t control yourself? Your stomach started hurting, you felt light-headed, and you felt like you could barely breathe. Do you remember how you felt afterwards? It probably put you in a really good mood. Laughing is good for your heart, and brain. It releases endorphins, the chemical that relaxes your muscles, boosts your immune system, and promotes overall bodily health.

So maybe next time you’re feeling low, you can pick a funny movie from IMDb’s list of Best Comedy Movies, call up a funny friend, or head over to Yuk Yuk’s comedy club (tickets range from $11-20).
Girl wearing tiara, laughing and clapping her hands

3. Help someone else

A lot of the times, our low mood has to do with the preoccupation of our own feelings and thoughts. When we put in an effort to think about other people, we forget about our own problems and negative feelings.

Studies show that volunteering can help with both our mental and physical wellbeing. By putting our skills to use, we gain a sense of accomplishment from helping someone else, which effectively gets us out of our own heads.

Consider volunteering with IGNITE, your local food bank, a senior’s home, or even just helping out your neighbour with their groceries. The opportunities to do something nice for someone else are endless!

Dog holds milk bottle for baby sheep

4. Be spontaneous

When things get overwhelming, it’s always a good idea to take a break and try something new. Grab a couple of your friends, head down to a new neighbourhood in your city, and go exploring! Here are some ideas to get you started. If you want to grab a bite to eat, you can try blogTO’s restaurant finder, categorized by Toronto neighbourhoods.

On campus? Check out IGNITE’s events. Join us for our upcoming Real Talks featuring Sophia Bush and Iskra Lawrence on March 8th, 2018 in the North Campus Student Centre.

Three girls dancing in a car

5. Work your creative muscles

Getting your creative juices flowing can actually boost your mood. Here’s why:

  • Relieves stress by focusing on something other than responsibilities.
  • Uses different parts of your brain that helps repair your brain, and build new neurons
  • Connects you to the things you like and helps you understand yourself better. This creates an effect known as “psychological resilience”, which helps you handle stress better

So next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, maybe you’ll want to:

Dog with brush in mouth painting on canvas

6. Pet your pet!

Our pets are more than just animals, they are a source of complete joy for us. Did you know that just petting your pet can relieve your stress and lower your blood pressure? Cuddling with your cat, going for a walk with your dog, or feeding your rabbit can have the same effect on you. Taking care of your pets help you forget some of your worries and enjoy the present moment. Don’t have a pet? Try cuddling up with a friend’s, or maybe visit your local humane society.

Woman slowly petting cat

It’s normal to feel a little down and out sometimes, but there are ways to boost your mood. See what works for you, maybe it’s a combination of all these suggestions, or something completely different. Either way, it’s always within your power to do so!

If you’re feeling like these moods last longer than usual, it might be a good idea to talk to someone can who can help. Humber’s Counselling Service and Good2Talk are two free sources for students to use.