Although there are many ways to increase your mood, one effective way is to increase the amount of pleasure you receive on a day-to-day basis. A great way to improve your mood is by finding activities that bring you joy. No one is immune from feeling overwhelmed or experiencing stress in this life, so it’s beneficial to learn ways to cope and help improve your mood when you start feeling down. Meaningful activities also bring us a sense of purpose.
Take Small Steps
If it seems overwhelming to commit to a large activity such as a weekly art class, then start smaller. Watch an art program on tv or start a small project at home. By making small changes over time you can make a lot of progress. As you do enjoyable activities you will start feeling better and in return, you will have more motivation to try even more activities. Engaging in meaningful activities help build a life you will be excited about.
Tips to Get Started
1. Create a list of pleasurable activities. Only include things that are practical for your current condition.
2. Use sample lists of activities to help jog your mind of possibilities (sample list below).
3. Keep your list somewhere that it can be easily found.
4. When you notice yourself feeling anxious or down, grab your list and choose one activity to try.
5. After the activity, note how you feel. Are you more relaxed? Less anxious? Was the activity fun?
You can then create a schedule that works for you to engage in one activity on your list each day or so. It doesn’t matter how many or often you do activities, but the important thing is to start setting aside time to have meaningful activities that will improve your wellbeing.
Need a pick me up? Try one of these:
• Soak in the bathtub • Get a manicure/pedicure
• Organize house items • Relax
• Watch a movie • Listen to music
• Plan a future event or trip • Laugh out loud
• Think about past adventures • Read
• Work on a hobby • Spend time with close friends
• Eat your favorite food/drink • Practice meditation
• Watch a sunset • Care for plants or enjoy house plants
• Doodle/draw • Enjoy a family get-together
• Sing around the house • Make flower arrangements
• Take a nap • Sit in the sun
• Sewing or Embroidery • Attend church or practice religion/spirituality at home
• Birdwatch (set bird feeders outside windows) • Make a list of the things you have accomplished for the day
• Kiss the loved ones in your life • Watch children play
• Daydream • Go for a drive
• Buy a gift for someone else (can be done online) • Exchange emails or chat online
• Look at old photos • Stargaze at night
• Write in diary/journal or letters to others • Volunteer or think of something you can do for others
• Think about family • Knit/crochet/quilt
• Play cards • Solve riddles
• Do crossword puzzles • Talk on the phone with a friend
• Put a puzzle together • Light candles around the house
• Get a massage • Say “I love you” to someone
• Think about your good qualities • Play computer games
• Identify your current coping skills • Get involved in social media (Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc.)
The Heart ‘n Home team helps put life back into the end of life. We want you to live life the way you choose and by doing the things that make you happy and bring more meaning to your days. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, contact us today to see how hospice can help you feel comfortable so that you can make more memorable moments with those you love.