Man outside smiling

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Do you have a case of the Mondays, the blues or the blechs? After the past two-plus years we’ve all experienced, occasionally feeling like you’re in a funk is certainly understandable.

While the following quick tips won’t fix everything, doing one or more is highly likely to boost your mood quickly and brighten your day:

  1. Eat a nutritious meal or snack. A diet high in sugar, saturated fats and processed foods is associated with an increased risk of depression. A healthy diet can’t prevent or cure depression, but eating a bit of dark chocolate, salmon, yogurt, nuts, fruits and vegetables can boost your mental — and physical — health.
  2. Call a friend. Feeling lonely correlates with anxiety and depression, sleep problems, an increased reliance on ineffective coping skills — such as drinking, spending and isolating — and a general feeling of distress. Create connection — on the phone, via a video call or in person.
  3. Get some sleep. Sleep-deprivation can cause anxiety, sadness, impatience and irritability. While regular nightly sleep is important, taking a 30-minute power nap can help put a little pep in your step. Put away digital devices, close the window shades, and relax your brain with meditation or light music for best napping results.
  4. Go outside. Nature can be healing for both the body and mind. Going to the beach, hiking in a the  mountains or simply visiting a park can help you to feel both happy and calm. What’s more, soaking up a bit of sunshine can increase your levels of vitamin D and serotonin — the “feel good” neurotransmitter in your brain.
  5. Exercise. Physical activity improves your mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin. Both help create feelings of happiness and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Exercise can also help foster your self-confidence — all ways to fix that feeling of being in a funk.

If you or a loved one is in crisis, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, now the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day by calling, texting or chatting 988.

The VRC recognizes that mental health conditions impact many individuals in our community. The VRC has compiled a list of resources here.