Sometimes we all need a pick-me-up, and sometimes we need more. These are pick-me-up tips. If you have been suffering from anxiety or depression for a few days now, you might just need a pick me up. That’s true. Your negative mood might be situational, might be affected by hormones, or might come out of nowhere. It might be intense for a short period, or in the background for a while. There does come a point when you need to admit to yourself that you will need more than a mere pick-me-up, but for now, if you haven’t tried them, give them a go, and take it from there. Read our guide to little things that can boost your mood. Improve Your Sleep We are living in a hustle culture, and no matter your outlook on life, you might have to actively tell yourself that not every moment of every day is supposed to be “productive”. This outlook can make sleep feel like a waste of time, and more likely, will have you staying awake at night thinking of all the things you haven’t done, or have to do in the morning. I think we can all relate to our thoughts keeping us awake at night. It’s always some form of stress, whether it be worried about the future, or your brain reminding you of the past and just how bad that really was. But sleep is vital to brain and body function. It is your body’s chance to heal itself after the stresses of the day, and without it, your body is more at risk for chronic health problems, and your brain will slow down its thinking, reactions, and learning. Luckily there are a few simple things you can do to aid sleep. The obvious one is to avoid caffeine. You might need that coffee in the morning to wake up, but that’s because you had one before bed last night. You can also look into melatonin supplements. You can get these key sleep hormones from your doctor or grab an equivalent on the high street like ginkgo biloba, glycine, valerian root, and magnesium. Sometimes it’s just a matter of telling your mind to shut off, and it is something you have to actively work at to do. You can look into meditation, which can sound very simple, but that’s the point. You are telling your mind to focus on your breathing because you will then block out all other thoughts of work, relationships, anxiety, etc. You can also download a white noise app for the same idea. This sleep app isn’t white noise but it will analyze your sleep patterns and help you improve your sleep. Image Credits: Total Shape Watch What You Eat As much as reaching for a sugary sweet or some junk food might feel good at the moment, the boost in mood will be swiftly followed by guilt when you realize how bad for you it is, and like a glass of wine or a cigarette, you don’t want to depend on it. Know what you can depend on? Fatty fish. If your food has some omega-3 fatty acids, you might see your mood lift. Your body can’t make them on its own, so a meal full of salmon or a supplement will have to do to get your brain to better receive all the good hormones you have in the body. There is also the option of eating anything fermented. This includes yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut. The process of fermentation allows for probiotics, which may increase serotonin levels. And then there are bananas, which are high in vitamin B6, which will boost neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. If you’re not a fan of any of these, there is also the option of dark chocolate, oats, nuts and seeds, berries, coffee, beans, and lentils. Plus, you can check if your local drug store has a supplement version of the mood-boosting vitamins found in these foods. Exercise Better As a wise woman once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy”. You’d be surprised just how wise her words were. Studies have shown that exercise can improve our mood within 10 minutes. Physical activity can make you feel more content, more awake, and calmer even with some low-intensity exercise like walking for 30 minutes. Plus, physical exercise can reduce the adrenaline that causes stress, or rather give it an outlet. This, coupled with all the benefits it offers the rest of our body, will also see your self-esteem rise. And then there are the things that make you happiest. Go into nature and breathe clean air, visit a dog or a friend with a pup, write all your thoughts down, take a long bath, try aromatherapy, or just spend a couple of hours rediscovering a forgotten passion. They are simple, but they might bring some relief.