How to stay positive during difficult times
During these difficult times, when fear of the unknown heightens, many people find it hard to stay positive. With so much negativity going on around us, it’s important to keep our spirits high and participate in activities which have a positive effect on our minds. If you are worried about social distancing and how it will affect your mood, we have some helpful tips to keep you upbeat and optimistic. Discover which foods boost mood and natural remedies to reduce anxiety and stress.
9 ways to boost mood when social distancing
- Focus on keeping yourself well (or recovering if you’ve been sick). Nourishing your body and mind is essential right now. Learn how to boost your immune system naturally.
- Eat as healthy as possible and avoid gorging on sugar as it depletes energy levels, crashes your mood and triggers anxiety.
- Do some exercise. There are plenty of virtual workouts available online, from yoga and Zumba to body pump and spin classes. Exercise lifts our mood and makes us feel good.
- Stay connected with friends and family via email, phone or video calls. Support each other to boost morale.
- Keep your brain engaged. Read books you’ve always wanted to read, learn something new via an online course or catch up with things around the house.
- Enjoy spending time with loved ones. Talk, play games and appreciate each other’s company.
- Help others in need. Sometimes the best way to take our mind off things is to focus on someone else. Can you help a neighbour or friend out in some way? Perhaps you can drop off some shopping or walk their dog.
- Avoid negative media coverage (including the news) as much as you can. All the doom and gloom doesn’t do our mental health any favours.
- Listen to music as it has a positive effect on mood and can lower stress levels.
Foods to Boost Mood
- Nutritious vegetables such as dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, rocket), chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, fresh parsley and chives, mushroom.
- Oily fish such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring and salmon. Fish is high in the omega 3 fatty acids needed for brain health.
- Nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin and sesame seeds as they contain important minerals to help regulate mood.
- Bananas are high in B6, a nutrient required for serotonin production.
- Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir as these foods are great for your gut and help promote the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria. Up to 90% of our serotonin receptors are found in the gut so a healthy microbiome is essential for mood and brain health.
- Oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast as it is low GI (Glycaemic Index). It provides a sustained release of energy, keeping your blood sugars and mood stable.
- Beans and lentils are a fantastic source of B vitamins which help to regulate mood and make neurotransmitters.
Natural Remedies to Lift Mood
- Omega 3 fish oils. If you suffer with low mood, supplementing with a fish oil is recommended. Liquid fish oils are highly concentrated and supply a higher dose of omega 3, the essential fatty acids needed for
- St John’s Wort is a herb which has been used for centuries to treat low mood and anxiety. It’s a nerve tonic with anti-depressant properties. If you take any form of medication (especially anti-depressants or the oral contraceptive pill), please exercise caution and speak to your healthcare practitioner before taking St John’s Wort.
- B vitamins, zinc and magnesium – these are important nutrients for regulating mood.
- Bach flower remedies: Rescue Remedy is an excellent remedy for stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Mimulus is indicated for fear, anxiety and worry. Elm is for when you feel completely overwhelmed.
Learn more about Bach Flower Remedies
Stay Positive and Hopeful
When life presents us with challenges, it’s important to remain positive and hopeful. Stay connected with friends and family, listen to music and keep your brain engaged. Load your plate with mood-boosting foods such as leafy green vegetables, lima beans and sunflower seeds. Keep some Bach flower remedies handy for those times when you feel stressed out and overwhelmed.