Everyday life as a working parent can easily begin to feel mundane. The battle of the morning routine, school drop offs, then work all day, school pickups, dinner times, bed time routines and so on can make every day feel like Groundhog day and it can all begin to blur into one never-ending long day! With short days, long dark nights and freezing temperatures (heck, I thought spring was round the corner and now we’re forecast snow next week?!) our moods can start to feel a little gloomy. I’m definitely a warm weather type of person. I detest the cold and even five minutes outside when cold makes me miserable! I’m counting down the days to the summer and dreaming of holidays in far flung tropical places. I'm adamant I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Are you feeling pretty down about the winter and mundane routines like me? Luckily there are a few easy ways I can suggest to boost your mood and start feeling great. They work for me and I hope they’ll make you a little happier too:
Photo by Scott Webb
Go for a massage
My massage lady, as I call her, is currently travelling the world, so I’ve been without a massage for over a year and a half I think. I do like to find a good one and stick to them as I like it a certain way – the masseuse’s who don’t mind digging in and getting my knots out and who are quite chatty, but also who know when to shut up! I’d go every 6 weeks for a massage and it would always make me feel great and walk out with a big grin on my face. A massage definitely gets the feel good endorphins floating around the body.
Book a hair cut
I’m going for a haircut this weekend as it’s been over 7 months since my last! I felt great after having a chop last year. My hair looked tidier, easier to manage as I went a lot shorter and a slightly new look freshened up my face and my mood.
Join a new exercise class
Exercise is so good for mood boosting. I always feel great afterwards. I started Clubbercise last year and I love it. It’s so fun and I get to dance as well as exercise in a dark room with glow sticks! What could be more fun?
Visit friends and family
Working at home and being stuck at home with the kids in the dreary cold weather can make me a little crazy with cabin fever. Visiting friends and family at least once a week if possible is a great way to get out the house, boost my mood and have a good chinwag!
Photo by Alisa Anton
Sup on some raw cacao hot chocolate
Chocolate is known to make you happy, but I prefer the non-sugary version. A cup of raw cacao powder mixed with warm creamy oat or almond milk is the perfect healthy version. It’s so warming and comforting. Plus you’ll get your chocolate fix. It’s the perfect winter drink.
I love nothing better than a good decluttering session. It makes me feel so happy when we only have what we need and use. It also makes me feel good to take things to the charity shop to help others. Organising, cleaning, decluttering and donating to charity are all sure-fire ways to boost your mood.
Book a holiday
OK, so this one is an expensive one, but I’ve spent most of gloomy January planning this year’s holidays! It’s definitely a huge mood booster dreaming of trips away and then actually going ahead and booking some of them.
Go for a date
Date night’s as parents are few and far between, but even if you can only get a kid-free night once per month then go for a date and do something fun. Ben and I went ice skating this month and it was so much fun. I really needed to get out of the house and our town and do something fun. It lifted my mood no end.
Have a day out
Winter can make us stay indoors so much and it can start to get a little depressing. I love being at home, but I love exploring and getting out for the day, especially at the weekends when I’ve already been at home all week long. A day out to a place you’ve never been or your favourite spot will lift your spirits in no time.
Photo by Jake Melara
Walk up a hill
The countryside is a brilliant mood booster, so wrap up warm, pop on your wellies and walk up a local hill, through the woods or explore a forest. Seeing the incredible views, being one with nature, breathing the fresh air and not seeing concrete or other people for a few hours is pure bliss.
Listen to music
I often forget to listen to music since having children, but it’s something I’m making sure I do from now on. I used to always listen to music and it makes me feel great. Turn off the TV, pop your favourite albums on and bop around the house with the kids!
It’s amazing how good a big bear hug squeeze can make you feel. Grab your other half or little ones and have a good snuggle. Feeling so connected to others and sharing a hug makes you feel happier and more relaxed. Grab someone now and try for yourself!
Change your view
If you’re stuck in the same room or position every day it can become so dull and boring. If you work from home, like me, then try changing rooms every day or even every half day to add more interest to the day and change seating position. If you work in an office, perhaps you have a shared work space you can use to get away from your desk every once in a while.
Hopefully my ways of boosting mood and being a little happier each day in what is the worst season of the year (in my opinion) will inspire you to find things that make you happier each day too!
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