10 Mental Health Pick-Me-Ups

Feeling overwhelmed? Research shows that there are a number of simple things you can do for quick doses of stress-relieving happiness.

  1. Call someone far away that you’d like to hear from. A British study found that regular contact with 10 or more friends significantly increases happiness and even lengthens life! Reach out to a good friend you haven’t talked to in a while.
  2. Take a break from your homework, cell phone, or whatever is stressing you out and talk a long walk outside instead. Everything can wait. As a bonus, spending time in nature has calming and rejuvenating benefits.
  3. Clean your room, desk, or car for five minutes. Cleaning may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re feeling down but the sense of accomplishment after your tiny task will make you feel better. Who knows? You might even want to keep going after the five minutes are up.
  4. Take a long drive. Going out for a drive lets us reflect and unwind. For some people, literally being in the driver’s seat comes with a sense of control that allows them to think productively and work through problems.
  5. Writing exercise. Write down 10 things that are stressing you out. Then write down something you’re grateful for.
  6. Drink a glass of water. Then drink another. Any lethargy or pessimism you’re feeling might be coming from dehydration. Shoot for 8 glasses a day!
  7. Take a nap. A 10-30 minute afternoon snooze will improve your mood and boost alertness and productivity.
  8. Make a mood-boosting playlist. Music has power over our mood. Create a feel-good playlist with . Include some nostalgic
  9. Create an emergency happy file. Fill an envelope with ticket stubs from your favorite concerts, pictures of loved ones, postcards, kind emails from coworkers, artwork from kids..whatever makes you think of happy times. If you’re having a bad day, pull out the file for a happiness booster.
  10. Do a random act of kindness. Leave an extra big tip for your barista, check in on an elderly neighbor, or offer to help out a stressed friend. Making an effort to be kind to others will make you feel better.

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