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try walking outdoors to improve your mood

Try These Lifestyle Changes to Stay Positive

try walking outdoors to improve your mood

As humans, we've always had an innate capacity to survive during challenging times. Whether through subconscious fight-or-flight reactions or conscious decision-making, we seem to mostly maneuver our way through turmoil. But we can only do so much on our own.

For most of us, comfort food, alcohol, and/or prescription medications serve as temporary coping mechanisms. But these quick-fix solutions rarely last, and some end up not helping at all. Luckily, there are natural ways to boost mood and stay positive—even in today's uncertain times. If you're struggling to stay positive, try these 5 lifestyle tweaks to put a pep back in your step.

Walk more

Study after study shows that walking not only improves cardiovascular health but also acts as a mood booster. It gets the endorphins going, it gives you time to think about (and maybe even plan) your day, and it allows for some fresh air. Plus, it's a great time to bond with your partner, kids, and four-legged family members.

Eat more whole foods (but treat yourself too)

Life is all about balance. When our bodies are out of balance from eating too many processed foods, our digestive systems suffer. This has a trickling effect because the mind and gut are closely connected. So add some fruit and veggies to your daily routine and reduce those processed foods—but don't forget to indulge once in a while!

Watch something funny

Whether it's a hilarious movie you've seen a million times or a comedy series you've had on your binge-watch list for months, now's the time to watch it. Use escapism to forget the world for a few hours. It can activate good brain chemistry and even protect your immune system.

Get some vitamin D

It's essential for brain and bone health, but vitamin D is also helpful for relieving anxiety and boosting mood. Head outside and get some natural sunshine for 30 minutes a day (just do it without sunscreen, which blocks absorption). If natural sun isn't your thing, you can always take a supplement.

Give yourself some grace

Working nonstop during difficult times can help take your mind off things, sure. But as I said before, life is all about balance. If you don't give yourself enough breaks—and a little grace to fail, to feel sadness, to release emotions—the work will eventually suffer. There are days when you'll feel productive and days when you feel like you can't get anything done. As long as you're not on a strict deadline that jeopardizes your work, give yourself permission to simply be present. Sometimes that's all you need to improve your mood.


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