Boost Your Mood With Small Steps

Boost Your Mood With Small Steps

What’s your mood like lately? Do you feel overworked, stressed out, and ready for a little pick me up?

With spring in the air and the Earth coming to life again, now is a great time to be good to yourself and boost your mood with small efforts. Even if you can’t take that wished-for spa vacation, you can weave a little self care into every day to boost your mood and bring you to a happier place.

Get Moving

Yes, we’ve all heard it before. Movement gets rid of stress and releases those all-important feel-good endorphins. So just get moving doing something you like. Play softball, dance the rumba, do kickboxing, run, stroll, garden, swim where you’re comfortable, spin until you drop, or do gentle yoga stretches until you feel at peace. Just move.

Use Color

Take a peek in your closet – what dominant colors do you see? Whether your clothes resemble the oceany palette of greens, blues, and tans or the ramped-up reds, oranges, and hot pinks, those are your feel good colors. Surround yourself with your favorite colors in your home, too. To boost your mood with colors, buy a few new pillows, a colorful bouquet, a new quilt, or even a funky lampshade to make your surroundings feel good.

Coddle Yourself

Nope, this isn’t a free pass for days in bed! But taking a little extra time for you is going to make you feel good. Experiment with something other than your go-to ponytail, your basic lip balm, and your baggy, but beloved, sweater. Or, if you find you are a slave to your makeup or hair, try to let some of that routine go. Perk up how you pay attention to yourself and to what makes you feel good.

Enrich Your Mind

Nothing feels as good as learning something new, but you don’t have to tackle War and Peace to feel smart. Pick up a colorful and easy-to-read magazine on something that looks interesting to you. It can be woodworking, herb gardening, travel, computers, photography, or poetry. If it looks interesting, a magazine or book is a low-investment way to take your mind to a new place.

Sit and Be

In this crazy, hectic world, we all need time to just be. Find a place where you can just sit for a few minutes every single day. Even if that means you have to close your eyes in a restaurant bathroom or in the car before you get out to run your errands, a few peaceful minutes can do wonders for your mood. Sit. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Be Grateful

Even on the toughest day, try to think of something to be grateful for. Can’t think of anything? Some days are just like that, but even appreciating the warm socks on your feet or the beautiful color of the sky or even that, thankfully, the day is almost over and you can crawl into bed, are all ways to pause and acknowledge your existence.

If all that fails, a little chocolate solves many problems!

What’s your favorite way to make yourself feel happier?

10 Steps to Achieving Happiness – Part Two

10 Steps to Achieving Happiness – Part Two

Happiness is desirable, yet elusive. Celebrated and fleeting. Happiness is a hard emotion to define, but you know it when you feel it on the job, at home, with loved ones and with yourself.


The first step is to define what happiness means to you. Is it internal or external? Can you find happiness or does happiness find you? Is happiness a by-product of life or the primary goal? Whatever you decide, there are some steps to take to help you on your happiness quest.


Here are 10 habits to help you pave the way for happiness:

Smile. It’s a people magnet. Others will gravitate to you because you exude a pleasant disposition.

Understand what makes you happy. This will help you focus on specific interests, goals and passions to achieve the happiness you desire.

Get enough sleep. Research shows that too many people operate with a sleep debt. Adequate sleep improves memory, strengthens the immune system and increases productivity.

Do something nice for yourself daily. It can be small, such as watching the sunset or your favorite TV show.

Believe you are worthy.  This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is crucial that you  remind yourself that you deserve to be happy. Take meaningful steps daily.

Avoid Jealousy. It’s toxic. Focus on being inspired by the success of others.

Own your mistakes. Learn from them and grow. Finger-pointers are not happy people.

Exercise and stay active. Heard of endorphins released during exercise? They make you feel happy.

Let go what’s gone. Dwelling on the past gets you nowhere fast. Forgive others and yourself and move on.

Create a “Silver Lining Playbook.” Yes, this is the name of a 2012 film, but it also concisely captures a crucial mental habit: stay optimistic. Try to look at the bright side.

Good luck on your happiness journey. If you find the going getting tough there’s another reason to stay the course: Happy people tend to be healthier.

Robin Farmer is a freelance content specialist with a focus on health, business and education. Visit her at

Take These Steps Toward Happiness

Take These Steps Toward Happiness

Do you have a coworker, friend or family member who is an absolute joy to be around? Are there people in your life who deal with challenges with a smile and a can-do attitude? Happy people work on their thoughts and actions to create and maintain their happiness. You can, too.

If the idea of working on one more thing makes you feel weary, consider this: happier people tend to be more productive. 

Ready to work on taking your happiness to a higher level? Start by investing more time in your relationships, experts say. Seeing family and friends on a regular basis and having a good marriage promote happiness.

A study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics found that a better social life can be worth more than an additional  $130,000 a year in terms of life contentment, while actual changes in income buy little happiness. 

Ready to take more steps to become happier? Cultivate contentment with these HAPPINESS tips:

Have a sense of humor. The ability to laugh can see you through adversity.

Appreciate what you have.

Pay it forward. Helping others makes you feel better about yourself.

Participatein physical activity to relax, fuel energy and fight depression.

Identify and express your feelings. Practice gratitude and generosity.

Nourish relationships with your family, friends and others in your support network.

Enjoy life. Savor it. Align daily activities to fulfill your passions and purpose. 

Seek solutions. The ability to adapt to changing conditions is critical.

Stay optimistic. Frame events in a positive way. Keep positive company.

Happiness is not just a destination. It’s a journey. Enjoy the view.

Robin Farmer is a freelance content specialist with a focus on health, business and education. Visit her at 

The Secret of Social Wellness

The Secret of Social Wellness

A few years ago I joined a site called, a company founded by a health-minded web developer in Seattle, Buster Benson. In fact, our entire office joined the site, all of us sharing and tracking our health goals together.

The rise of health tech and health tracking in products like FitBit and Nike+ proves a long known fact: when your friends are active, you are more active. Or, at least, when you see that Susie from the Surgical Unit is jogging a lot, something deep inside you tells you that you, too, must jog. 

On Health Month, I was surprised at the amount of goals I could add for myself, and went through adding concrete physical goals, such as ‘Run 10 minutes a day’. In addition to the exercise goals, there were diet goals such as “drink 10 glasses of water a day’. 

And on, and on, and so forth.

Yet, I was surprised when I came across a category of goals tucked at the bottom of my goal page. Labeled “Social Wellness” I clicked on this category and opened a world of new goals.

One of the goals under this category: “go on a friend date”. I found myself laughing a bit. Who needs to make spending time with friends into a personal health goal? That’s just life! Friend dates happen all the time, right?

But then I took an honest look at my past week. My past two weeks. My past month. Had I spent any time with my friends, outside of work?

I realized slowly that I hadn’t called up a friend in the past 35 days, nor even went out for coffee with someone close to me. Though I’d spent time with my significant other and our dog, as well as my parents and immediate family, I hadn’t actually had a good sit-down-and-chat-about-nothing session with anyone for over 35 days.

I took a deep breath and signed up for the Health Month challenge to have one friend date per week. At least once per week, I would see one of my friends. This had been digitally decreed as soon as I signed up to meet this goal.

The website’s goals and gentle reminders changed the way I thought about relationships. I thought about who I could meet up with throughout the week, and which of my friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Also, I found myself thinking about the immense energy I was pouring into my career. It was worth it, but was I alienating my friends at the same time? I’d say the answer was yes, in my case. 

I didn’t want to become a person who lives in the same town as his/her friends, but doesn’t have any time to hang out. So, I made a change, I started meeting up with friends more often. It was a little hard; just like drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. That said though, it’s been great!

With the economy being non-ideal lately, it’s no wonder that most nurses stay focused on their career, and the advancement thereof. In the midst of managing daily life and sending a resume to that new hospital on the horizon, don’t forget about one of the greatest mood-boosting, healthy-habit resources out there: friends.