Life gets all of us down sometimes. And that’s perfectly normal – you shouldn’t push your sadness, anxiety or loneliness away. But it isn’t helpful to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, feelings and behavior either.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to instantly boost your mood. You might be tempted to drown your sorrows by eating junk food, having one more glass of wine or obsessively checking your phone. Those actions might brighten your mood for a moment, but they’ll only make you feel even worse afterwards.
To really get out of your funk, take a look at these 45 ways to cheer yourself up when you’re down (that don’t involve ice cream).
We’ve all experienced how singing along to your favorite tunes or trusting your thoughts to your diary can make you feel better. But did you know that regularly engaging in creative activities actually boosts your happiness and health?
Art therapy is a kind of therapy that uses creative self-expression in the form of painting, drawing or sculpting to support the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems. Other creative activities like music, dancing and writing are also praised for their health benefits.
Studies show that art therapy not only provides distraction, but also relieves stress and improves your mental health. Because visual art transcends language, it helps people express emotions that are hard to put into words. Even celebrated artists like Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh probably turned to painting as an emotional outlet, to help them cope with disability and mental illness. What’s more, being creative can evoke positive emotions like joy, awe and inspiration – all of which help build your resilience.
Art in all its forms can even promote your physical health. Recent research reveal that art therapy reduces pain when offered during acute hospitalizations. Listening to your favorite music also results into requiring less pain medication after surgery and boosts your brain health. Finally, dance training turns out to be a helpful tool in rehabilitation settings, to improve the balance and gait of patients with reduced mobility.
Pretty impressive, right? So how can you apply art therapy in your own life to boost your health and happiness?
First of all, you should know that art therapy has less to do with being ‘artistic’ than you might think. It’s about expressing yourself in a creative way, for your own pleasure and self-development. You don’t need special skills or difficult techniques. So silence your inner critic and perfectionist tendencies and take a look at these44 creative ideas to get started.
My dad used to joke that my mom and I don’t have blood running through our veins but tea. Honestly, I don’t even think it’s that much of an exaggeration. Because honestly, what’s more comforting than a big warm mug of tea?
Thankfully for me, a cup of tea really does make everything better. Tea is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, called polyphenols and flavonoids. Drinking 3 cups of black tea per day reduces your risk of heart disease and improves your blood sugar levels. The slight caffeine buzz from tea also improves your alertness and focus.
Green tea contains even more health-boosting powers, thanks to its production process. Because the tea leaves are steamed and dried soon after harvest, green tea contains higher levels of antioxidants than black tea. One antioxidant in particular, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), seems to be responsible for the health benefits of green tea, like inhibiting tumor growth in animal studies and boosting your brain functions.
Whether you enjoy a cup of Earl Grey, jasmine green tea or herbal infusions, there’s a flavour for every taste and every occasion. What most of us don’t realize, is that tea can be used in more ways than just putting a tea bag in boiled water. Besides making iced tea, you can use ground matcha in lattes, a mix of chai in baked goods or make tea-smoked savory dishes.
So get the health benefits from tea with every meal with these 10 tasty tea recipes.
Let’s be honest: living with chronic illness isn’t terribly romantic. When you’re sick, you probably don’t feel very sexy, nor do you have much energy for typical date night activities. Going on a romantic night out just isn’t that obvious when you’re tired, in pain or suffer from severe food sensitivities.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for love when you’re chronically ill. On the contrary; now more than ever you may want to have fun together, forget about your worries for a while and strengthen your bond.
Thankfully, with a little creativity you can still have a fabulous time together. And the good news is, you don’t even have to leave your home to relax, rekindle and do something exciting. Because in the end, a romantic or playful atmosphere matters more than what you actually do.
So if you’re looking for new ways to enjoy each other’s company despite chronic illness, take a look at these 12 low-energy ideas for a cozy date night at home.
Just like time flies when you’re having fun, the days can feel endlessly long when you’re stuck in bed, sick. Sure, catching up on your Netflix queue is fun at first. But when you find yourself refreshing your social media feeds every 5 minutes because the only other option is staring at the ceiling, it’s time for some entertainment.
Luckily for most people, that’s when you start to recover from the flu or whatever virus has been bugging you. But when you’re living with chronic illness, injury or disability, you might not feel well enough to pick up your usual routines and hobbies again. Instead, life may feel like you’re trapped in Groundhog Day – and not a happy one.
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