It’s hot girl summer! But what if you’re not feeling so hot? After the stress and uncertainty of this last year, many of us are looking for ways to better support our mental health. Here are some ways to help support your mind and help elevate your mood.
Yoga, a practice which involves deep breathing coordinated with full-body movement, can help you relax and ease stress and tension. According to one study, three months of yoga resulted in much more activity in the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system responsible for relaxation).
Changes in Your Diet
Certain foods can also help elevate your mood. Fatty fish, like salmon, contain Omega-3 fatty acids (like DHA) that help support your brain health and your mood. In addition, oats are a great source of fiber and help maintain blood sugar levels, which keep mood swings and irritability in check. And berries (blue-, black-, rasp-, or straw-) can help manage inflammation and stress.
Create Positive Routines to Improve Mood
Smile + laugh! The expression “fake it til you make it” may prove true, at least when it comes to happiness. Laughing and smiling, even if they aren’t “genuine,” may help improve your mood. Create a playlist of your favorite funny YouTube videos to queue up when you’re feeling the blues, or just crack a grin to help lift your spirits.
Tai Chi is a flowing, standing practice linking movement and breath. It’s said to unblock energy and support the movement of “Chi,” or life force, within the body. Multiple studies have shown that it can lead to reduced stress.