Nutrition and Wellness Blog

Notes from a Gut Health Nutritionist

Nutrition and Wellness Blog

Notes from a Gut Health Nutritionist

6 Ways to Boost Your Mood Instantly

Sep 21, 2023 | Health & Wellness, Mindset, Self Care, The Nourished & Thriving Show

Every year as we approach the holiday sprint, I hear from a lot of folks that they feel like they’re running on empty and burnt out… That added stress is NOT good for your hot mess gut and can only worsen your digestive issues! So let’s both agree to get ahead of the hustle and bustle of the holiday. Here’s some of my very best tips for creating calm amidst chaos: 6 ways to boost your mood instantly!

*This is a modified transcript of an episode from my podcast, The Nourished & Thriving show. This episode is titled “How to Shine When You’re Running on Empty”, which you can find on your favorite listening platform here.

*This is not medical advice.

First things first, I’m a registered dietitian on a mission to help you increase your impact and legacy on the world while healing your gut and reducing your IBS symptoms. My goal is to inspire you to live vibrantly and provide valuable resources and information that empowers you to take bold action towards your health goals.

6 Ways to Boost Your Mood Instantly

Let’s start here: How do you rest when you’re tired? What’s your go to relaxation technique? As busy women, it often feels like we “can’t stop” or as if there are a lot of balls we’re juggling that cannot be dropped. That’s because so many people rely on us – as mothers, as caregivers, providers, friends, sisters, etc. So how can you rest when you’re weary? How can you find comfort and peace through the chaos? And how can you become reinvigorated and inspired so can continue to uplift and inspire those around you?

Let me be honest with you… I’ve been feeling so run down, tired, and lacking in energy. So I’ve been experimenting with my tried and true relaxation techniques that I recommend to my clients as a registered dietitian and mindset coach. I already knew these 5 ways to boost your mood instantly worked, but the amount of liveliness and energy I’ve been able to gain back in less than 24 hours is mind blowing.

This is your reminder that if you’re feeling moody and down, you don’t have to stay in that energy all day. Here are some ways to improve your mood when you’re feeling low:

A colorful wardrobe on a clothing rack with various purses and heels on the shelf below them

1. Dress to make yourself happy

If you watch the video above, then you can see I’m wearing a sunshine golden dress. That is intentional. As the weather cools down here in Texas and the normally-sunny skies are tinted with a touch of grey, it’s been hard to break out of the slump. To create my own sunshine, I put on a colorful dress I love and added some fun earrings. This alone has improved my energy and mood.

A mom and son hold hands together and pray on a park bench, ways to boost mood instantly

2. Start with prayer

I’m reading a book called “The Time Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most” by Crystal Paine. In it, she tells this story of feeling so tired from dealing with her kids, a special needs baby she’s fostering, and lack of sleep. So what does Crystal do?  She starts her day with prayer, but not just any prayer. She says, “God, I’m not enough today. I am tired, and I’m not at my best and there’s no way this is going to go well. Will you please come and give me the energy that’s impossible for me to have without you? Will you come and help me be wise in the moments when I’m tired and have brain fog? Will you help me to think rationally in these moments where I tend to be more emotionally-driven? Will you please go before me today and make the way and help to know that you’re setting everything up for me.”

So I’ve been doing this. I’ve felt like I’ve had this peace inside of me as He is guiding me, lifting me up, making me stronger and more alert and more clear than I would’ve been on my own. Now if you don’t share my faith, this may not apply to you. However, if you do, this might be a powerful thing to incorporate into your mornings.

My mornings are often chaotic. Sometimes I do have a moment to myself to read the Bible and pray before a little one wakes up. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m saying that prayer while I’m getting my little, two-year-old dressed – praying for him and I’m praying for myself. You don’t need stillness and quiet to practice this technique.

A woman journals in a leather bounder notebook, ways to boost mood instantly

3. Examine your boundaries

Food issues, time issues, money issues… They’re all really boundary issues. Even when good things are happening, we still need to manage and deal with these things. And I’ve noticed that women in general – especially Type A women – tend to be overly responsible for things that are not ours to carry. We think we’re helping other people by doing that, but really we’re hurting them. We’re stealing the opportunity for those we are “helping” to step up and grow in the ways they need to. So I encourage you to examine: Are there things I’m being responsible for that are not mine to carry? Are there things that I am doing that are taking up my time, emotional capacity, mental capacity, resources, etc. that aren’t priorities for me? Are these things I actually feel called to do or are these things I said yes to because I feel like I should say yes? Maybe do some journaling or prayer on that. Then let the things draining you go. You’re going to be so much more free to fully immerse yourself and show up to the things that are priorities for you. This is your permission to let go of the things that aren’t intended for you.

If your curious about more of my candid thoughts on time management, boundaries, meal planning, and another book recommendation check out my recent Instagram Live replay here.

A woman with a matching workout set and turquoise bracelet unrolls a yoga mat

4. Make time for daily “active relaxation”

Are you participating in some form of “active relaxation” every single day (even if it’s just for 5 minutes)?

Are you on, go-go-go, all the things? Or are you checking out in front of the tv / on your phone? Those are the two extremes, but there needs to be something in between. There has to be something called “active relaxation” as well. You see, you’re actually just delaying your stress whenever you are zoning out on Instagram or while watching the tv. You’re not actually unwinding or unpacking your stress. Some examples of active relaxation to boost your mood instantly can include:

  • A yoga class
  • Walking outside in nature
  • Doing a meditation
  • Getting a massage
  • Journaling
  • Listening to good music and absorbing yourself in that moment
  • Checking in with your body and environment

Lots of smiles around a table of friends sharing food, ways to boost mood instantly

5. Find balance between alone time and social time

Find a balance between having quiet time and having true, genuine connection with others who lift you up and inspire you. Of course, everyone’s threshold and need for each of these is completely different. Those who are extroverts need more time and connection. Those who are introverts might need more time by themselves. Some people need different kinds of connections, too. For example, some thrive within small, intimate connections and others find energy within a huge group of people.

Examine what kinds of environment light you up or give you energy. What kinds of environments feel draining? If you know you have a situation or event coming up that you know might drain you emotionally, try to do something ahead of time that will fill you up and help you prepare. On the other end of the spectrum, remember that even the biggest extroverts need some time alone. Whoever you are and whatever alone vs. social situations you like, find that balance and identify the right balance for you!

A woman in a sweater and puffy vest walks her dog outside in a natural area

6. Incorporate movement

In today’s virtual world, I find myself sitting a lot at my desk. If you’re someone like me, who works long hours or sits a lot during the day, make sure you’re getting movement! The body in motion, stays in motion. The body at rest, stays at rest. Any form of movement can boost your mood instantly! You don’t get motivated to get healthy and then go take action towards being healthy. The motivation comes from taking those actions. The more you do it, the more you want to do it, because you like how you feel and you begin to build up a habit. So if you’re feeling tired and sluggish and just want to check out on the couch, maybe go for a walk, do a yoga class, do some sort of a workout and get your blood flowing. Then maybe that energy you’re seeking will follow.

Of those six ways to boost your mood instantly, which one stands out the most? Try it out! Explore these options. If you just sit here and consume this information all day long, nothing is going to change. So my homework assignment for you is to pick one of these things and take action towards it! Finally, be mindful as you’re heading into this holiday season. If you feel yourself fatigued, check in with yourself and return to this list.


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