Health Advocate Blog

25 simple stress-busters and mood-boosters

2020 has been a challenging year for many people. It is understandable if you are feeling stressed or your mood isn’t the best. We’ve put together 25 simple tips to help you reduce your stress and boost your mood. Try one or several today!

  • Play with or cuddle your pet. This can release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone!
  • Read a book or article. Whether you are just shifting your focus by reading a brief article or losing yourself in a good novel, reading can help you bring your focus away from current stressors.
  • Take an online course or learn a new skill. Learning something new, and accomplishing something like completing a course, gives you not just a knowledge boost but possibly even a mood boost!
  • Take a walk. This tried-and-true suggestion can help you clear your mind.
  • Streeeeetch! If you’re feeling mentally tense, reducing your physical tension can help! Start with these simple desk stretches.
  • Call or video chat with a friend or loved one. It can help you feel less alone with your stress and make you feel more connected to someone you care about.
  • Create a delegation plan. Stressed out about chores at home? Come up with a plan to delegate some to your partner or kids. Live alone? Consider seeing if you could outsource a chore, such as using a laundry service instead of doing laundry yourself.
  • Take a power nap. You don’t want to nap for too long, as it may negatively impact your nightly sleep. A 20-minute nap can really help you feel refreshed.
  • Curate the right playlist. Music can be a great mood booster! Put together an upbeat playlist to listen to during stressful times.
  • Try deep breathing. Click here to learn how to do it.
  • Watch something funny. Watching a funny animal video online can help take your mind off a stressor—plus, it feels good to giggle!
  • Come up with a mantra. Choose something that works for your situation, such as “This feels hard, but I know I can do it,” or “I can handle anything life throws at me.” Repeat it in your head, say it aloud, or write it down when times feel tough.
  • Stop scrolling. Scrolling through social media can often bring people down. Log out of your social media accounts, put your phone down, and do something to help you feel good and unwind, like enjoying a nourishing meal or watching a favorite TV show.
  • Go to bed an hour earlier. If you’re feeling irritable, a little extra sleep could really help!
  • Eat that frog! You may be stressed because there’s something you’re putting off doing. The best way to make it go away is to get it done—start today, and don’t put it off any longer.
  • Take time off. If you feel overwhelmed at work and you have vacation or personal time to use, schedule some! It is totally okay to relax at home or have a “staycation.”
  • Do a puzzle. Take your mind off something stressful by engaging your brain in a challenge like a crossword puzzle or game of solitaire.
  • Try journaling. Writing out your worries can help release them from your brain.
  • Focus on gratitude. Instead of feeling sad or stressed about what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Take it a step further by keeping a gratitude journal or writing a thank-you note to someone who has had a meaningful impact on your life.
  • Ask for help. Overwhelmed by caregiving or family duties, or with heavy projects at work? Think about what you can reasonably accomplish yourself, and then ask for help with the rest. In many cases, people are open to helping you, but they don’t know you need help until you ask!
  • Reward yourself. Stressed because of a big project? Once it’s over, treat yourself as a reward for a job well done! It doesn’t have to be expensive—consider treating yourself to your favorite dessert or a new book.
  • Do something kind. Doing kind things for other can make you feel good, too! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  • Tidy up. Studies show that clutter can make people more stressed. Pick an area of your home or workspace to declutter!
  • Daydream. Things might not be exactly as you want them to be right now, but you have the power to change that. Visualize a more ideal situation. Then turn your daydreams into reality by writing down actionable steps to help get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
  • Seek professional help. If you are consistently feeling stressed, seek help from a licensed professional counselor.