- Covid Christmas: 7 Mood-Boosters If You’re Struggling to Cope
- 1. Have a digital detox
- 2. Check in with your loved ones
- 3. Declutter your home
- 4. Do something for someone else
- 5. Head outside
- 6. Do something you love
- 7. Get enough sleep
- Gifts That Lower Stress and Boost Your Mood
- Brain.fm App
- Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
- VERTELLIS Card Game
- “Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media”
- Aromatherapy Diffusing Jewelry
- Blooming Lotus Jewelry
- Linda Lauren Reiki Room Spray
- Candles from Magnolia Scents by Design
- State of Energy Happiness Mix
- 7 Mood-Boosting Foods to Help Fight Seasonal Depression
- Key Mood-Boosting Nutrients
- Fatty fish
- Leafy greens
- Bell Peppers
- Fermented foods
- Nuts and seeds
- Tips for Adding Mood-Boosting Food to Your Diet
- Stay Healthy This Holiday Season
- These Are the 7 Best Stress Relief Gifts for a Mood Boost
- 7 Best Holiday Gifts for Natural Stress Relief
- 1. Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Sleep Oil Tincture
- 2. Vagus Nerve Oil by Osea
- 3. Dream Dust® by Moon Juice
- 4. Handmade Wool Comforter by PlushBeds
- 5. Lavender Sea Therapy Bath Salts by 100% Pure
- 6. Charcoal Cacao Mask by Annmarie Skin Care
- 7. Knock Me Out Chew by Goop
Covid Christmas: 7 Mood-Boosters If You’re Struggling to Cope
With many of us facing Christmas under restrictive measures, it's vital that we're taking steps to look after our own mental health, as well as keeping an eye out for distant loved ones.
Whilst such measures are necessary to tackle the pandemic, frequent lockdowns and localised restrictions can be challenging for all of us in different ways, and especially those with mental health problems, the lonely, and those with a lack of support system.
Whether you're spending Christmas alone, or you've had your festive plans scrapped due to the government's tighter rules and introduction of the new tier 4, there are plenty of simple mood-boosting things you can do to spark happiness over the festive period.
Take a look at them below…
1. Have a digital detox
Having a break from the digital world – whether it's social media or the news — is a great way to focus on real-life situations without distractions. Some of the benefits of unplugging include being more content with your life, increased levels of productivity, improved sleep and better physical health, too.
The news can, at times, be incredibly anxiety-inducing, so a little time offline is a great way to recharge. While technology has a plethora of benefits, spending some time away from the screen will leave you more in touch with the world around you.
2. Check in with your loved ones
With Christmas bubbles now limited to just 25th December in tiers 1-3, and scrapped in tier 4, many of us will unfortunately be spending the festive season alone, or with less family members than planned.
A great way to ease the pangs of loneliness is to call distant friends and family. We might be tired of video calls by now, but a little virtual interaction can help to brighten our spirits during these dark days.
If you feel you have no one to call, there are plenty of support organisations on hand to help. Take a look at them below:
- The Silver Line is a confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that offers them the chance to talk to someone.
- Age UK offers help to the elderly who need advice and support.
- The Samaritans runs a 24/7 helpline for anyone who wants someone to listen.
- If you're young and need help, Runaway Helpline provides expert advice for those in need.
3. Declutter your home
According to previous research conducted by Smart Storage, decluttering can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and boost levels of creativity, too.
If you're feeling a little low, why not have a clear cupboards, drawers and boxes? As well as giving you a mood lift, it will help to distract you from all that's going on around — while also making your home cleaner, too.
Damian LugowskiGetty Images
4. Do something for someone else
Doing something kind for someone else with no expectation of receiving anything in return can help you feel better, lifting your mood instantly.
With restrictions making it hard to stay positive, why not surprise a neighbour, friend or stranger with a random act of kindness. Whether it's picking up someone's food shopping, getting their medication or helping with donations, we're certain any help will be greatly appreciated.
Need some ideas? Take a look at the 12 acts of kindness to do throughout Christmas to spread some positivity.
5. Head outside
Nature performs some major miracles for us. In fact, research conducted by the University of Regina found that just five minutes outdoors can quickly improve our mood, increasing positive emotions.
'A general life hack – especially on winter days – is to make sure you keep getting outside to experience sunlight during the day, and this includes Christmas Day, because it’s so beneficial for restful sleep,' says Hafiz Shariff, founder and CEO of hand-made mattress company Owl and Lark.
In tier 4 areas, people can exercise outdoors or visit public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside accessible to the public, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities. You can also continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person. See gov.uk for further guidance.
6. Do something you love
Doing the things you love will spark joy in these uncertain times. Why not lose yourself in a mood-boosting book, get creative with some crafts (see a guide here on how to make a wreath or how to make a picture frame card display), or try out a new recipe? It's never been more important to put your mental health first without being weighed down by guilt.
The NHS website explains that doing things you enjoy is good for your emotional wellbeing: 'Simple activities watching sports, having a soak in the bath or meeting up with friends [virtually] can all improve your day.'
7. Get enough sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? These unprecedented times can cause sleepless nights for many, whether you usually suffer from anxiety or not. If you're feeling anxious or low, make sure you're giving yourself enough shut-eye at night (adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, according to the Sleep Foundation).
UK Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist, Nick Davis, previously told us: 'Wind down before bed with no TV, electrical devices or stimulation for at least an hour prior to sleeping. Your devices produce electromagnetic radiation which, coupled with the adrenal stimulation you get from watching the news, and reading the tweets and posts from your phones, overstimulates your brain.'
If you are feeling anxious and need professional support, you can contact the charity Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm).
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Gifts That Lower Stress and Boost Your Mood
No matter what the season, could there be anything better to gift than the opportunity for your recipient to boost their mood, lower stress, and become increasingly happier all year long?
Well consider yourself a human happy pill, because we’ve created the perfect shopping guide that does just that and includes picks from high tech to no tech, products to Apps, all designed to deliver ongoing and improved mental wellbeing all year long.
A High Tech Mood Booster…
What if there was music you could listen to that was scientifically proven to boost your mood, and put you into an enhanced mental state? THERE IS! Brain.
fm creates music specifically designed to help you enter a desired mental state sleep, focus and relaxation — and they offer super affordable gift subscriptions so you can deliver an ideal peace of mind and deeper sleep — and all your recipient needs is their phone and headphones! This means you can have a part in helping them increase their productivity at work, sleep better at nights, or just chill after a chaotic day! Not only will they thank you, but they’ll probably think about your creative and innovative gift giving for months to come!
Brain.fm is available through the Apple App Store and on Google Play Monthly subscription priced at $6.95 or under $50 for the entire year!
Low Tech Mood Boosters for the Whole Family
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
Sure there are high tech Apps to boost your mood, but let’s go back to an old-fashioned classic with a fresh new twist that’s sure to help lower stress and boost moods for everyone in the family! Meet Crazy Aaron’s (non-toxic) Thinking Putty: It’s perfect for calming you down and changing your mood when you need something to focus your mind on or keep your hands occupied so you can concentrate. Trust me, once you get to know the bright colored, tactile Thinking Putty in modern its wow-worthy colors you’ll want to pick out the perfect style for everyone on your list and keep one for soothing yourself as well. Crazy Aaron’s also offers small travel-sized containers that can be kept in a handbag or briefcase (a wonderful remedy for a nervous flier) or on your desk so you have it whenever you need it!
Around $11.95 and up at Amazon.com
Connect & Calm Down
VERTELLIS Card Game
In a cell phone and social media-based world, sometimes simple, technology free conversations can bring and keep us together, both relationship-wise and mentally! Now there’s a board game that can help facilitate just that! VERTELLIS, which translates into “tell me more”, is the perfect dinner party or dinner table tool designed to help you reconnect with friends and loved ones, get to know them better, and move beyond small talk. Emotional, human connection as well as mindfulness are proven to improve your overall mental wellbeing and help you deal with stress, and that connection happens nearly instantly when we stop staring at our phones and start interacting with each other! Gift VERTELLIS and give the gift of genuine human connection.
Around $19.99 at Amazon.com
This Book Will Calm You Down:
“Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media”
Speaking of going technology free: Countless studies have told us about the impact social media is having on our mindsets and moods, and now we have the perfect book to give that will combat that! In “Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media,” award-winning journalist Jessica Abo addresses the relationship between our psychology and technology and how we can take back our happiness IRL (in real life) without falling into the compare and despair trap. This juicy and action-plan-packed read will help technology lovers on your gift-giving list push their reset buttons and boost their moods thanks to bite-sized chapters packed with practical insights, and advice from top experts, psychologists and celebrities Alysia Reiner of “Orange is the New Black” and Baked by Melissa CEO Melissa Ben-Ishay.
Around $14.57 at Amazon.com
Wearable Mood Boosters
Aromatherapy Diffusing Jewelry
The soothing power of aromatherapy just got a fashionable upgrade which also makes it a perfect gift. Imagine giving the power of mood-boosting scents being released around you all day long — that’s just what you get when you give aromatherapy jewelry from Bella Vita Jewelry.
Their aromatherapy diffusing bracelets include a lava stone on which they can apply their favorite essential oil to so it can emit scent throughout the day, helping them stay calm, focused, energized – whatever they choose. Pick the perfect natural gemstone and lava stone combination from the ten combinations they offer to suit her taste.
Each bracelet also includes instructions for applying essential oils and is handcrafted in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Around $55 at BellaVitaJewelry.net
Blooming Lotus Jewelry
Another stylish wearable mood booster perfect for gifting comes in the form of intentional jewelry that supports your soul from Blooming Lotus, THE source for beautiful jewelry that also empowers you.
Whether you’re looking to give an inspiring personalized mantra that she can look at and focus on whenever she needs a boost or you want to gift gemstones with powerful metaphysical properties, they have you covered! One Blooming Lotus fan favorite is the crystal “Master Healer” used to cleanse, focus, and amplify good energy levels in the body.
We also love the mantra necklaces that allow you to pick out a mantra sure to inspire them and where they are in their life right now including “I am enough” and “Be brave, be present, be kind.
Under $100 at BloomingLotusJewelry.com
The Power of Scent
Linda Lauren Reiki Room Spray
We all know that a smell can trigger a powerful memory and in the same way it can quickly shift your mood. That’s why scent-based mood boosters are such a powerful and welcome gift.
One of my top choices that has become an addiction of everyone I’ve shared it with thus far — even if it’s a little “woo woo” — is the incredibly smelling, reiki-infused room clearing energy spray from Linda Lauren.
Gift it in travel or large sizes and they’ll be able to blast any room with this positive boosting energy spray to clear out negative energy and welcome in good vibes. Here’s to good scents and good vibes all 2019 long!
Around $19.99 at Amazon.com
Candles from Magnolia Scents by Design
It’s time to raise your candle-gifting game for good, friends, and Magnolia Scents will allow you to do just that! These are not your everyday, sweet-smelling candles you can grab in any store aisle. Oh no! These permanently raise the bar (and boost your gift recipient’s mood) when it comes to candle gifting.
We love them because they are a totally green (including packaging), non-toxic and all-natural, and created by a family-run business. Un some candles packed with factory-made scents, these small batch candles are infused with essential oils specifically created to help influence one’s moods.
My current favorites? Their Bamboo Shoots & Casanova candle packed with Jasmine is used to calm nerves and produce feelings of confidence, optimism and revitalized energy. Now imagine a home where their Lavender & Clearwater candle is burning releasing calming properties that help control emotional stress.
“Customize” your candle gift by heading over to their website to pick out the perfect size and the scent-based impact you’re hoping your gift will make!
Between $6 to $25 at MagnoliaScents.com
State of Energy Happiness Mix
More and more often we hear talk about the healing and energy-changing power of crystals, and now you can gift that power via blends of of crystals, stones, and botanicals that are packaged so beautifully you won’t even want to wrap them! Brand new to the mood-boosting market, A State of Energy creates these custom, unique, and beautiful blends in designs that can be carried with you, or left at the home or office. First decide what your gift recipient is in need of – perhaps more happiness, love, or money – then decide on the perfect vessel to deliver it in, from carry along keychains to a crystal safe. Unexpected, elegant, energy changing: this option ticks all the boxes!
Starting at $20 at AStateofEnergy.com
7 Mood-Boosting Foods to Help Fight Seasonal Depression
With winter just around the corner, seasonal mood changes are upon many of us. The days are shorter and we have fewer opportunities to get outside and soak up that much-needed Vitamin D. Plus, the holiday season brings its own set of stressors. Add to it all the scary uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we could all use a little pick-me-up.
A healthy lifestyle is an important aid to fighting off seasonal depression, however, it can be difficult to maintain as the weather gets colder and the holidays are upon us.
But it doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many mood-boosting foods that contain essential vitamins and nutrients known for regulating and improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety.
Key Mood-Boosting Nutrients
There are several nutrients that can affect your mood in different ways. So whether you’re suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or just feeling blue about the cold weather, it can be beneficial to incorporate foods rich in these compounds into your diet:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin B folates
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Amino acids
Here we’ve rounded up the best sources of these essential mood-boosting nutrients. These 7 foods have been shown to ward off depression. They’re easy to incorporate into your daily diet, and they’re all delicious!
Salmon and tuna are well-known for their health benefits. Rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish can help reduce inflammation and blood pressure. But did you know they’ve also been shown to help fight depression and anxiety? In fact, studies have found that communities that generally consume more fatty fish have lower rates of depression.
In addition to the much-needed Omega-3s, fatty fish is also a great source of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, both of which are used to treat depression.
Kale, spinach, chard, and their many cousins are growing in popularity because they pack a nutritional punch. But adding a regular dose of leafy greens to your diet can also help your mood.
For starters, they boost brain activity with the help of Vitamin B folates. People suffering from depression are proven to have low levels of these folates. And folate deficiency can inhibit your ability to metabolize dopamine, serotonin, and other mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
Avocado toast can officially be deemed a form of self-care. Because the addicting green fruit is another mood-boosting food that can help ward off depression.
Full of essential vitamins, avocados promote the metabolism of key neurotransmitters that improve your mood and reduce stress.
And with tons of fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, they’re a great, healthy addition to your daily diet.
These colorful peppers are loaded with Vitamin C, an antioxidant that’s been shown to help boost cognitive function and promote helpful neurotransmitters. Vitamin C can actually fight off depression and anxiety.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that helps your mood, and studies have found that the majority of it is produced in your digestive tract, not your brain! And probiotics, which promote gut health, are being found to actually fight depression.
Scientists are seeing a correlation between gut bacteria and mood, so load up on kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and dairy-free yogurt for those powerful probiotics.
Nuts and seeds
A great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are also mood-boosting foods, because they’re full of another key compound that can regulate your mood.
You’ve probably heard of tryptophan before – turkey is full of it. But nuts and seeds have it in abundance as well. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter.
In fact, a significant study over 10 years found that nut intake reduced the risk of depression by 23%.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that chocolate contains several compounds that can boost your mood. The sugar certainly helps charge your brain, but chocolate also releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. N-acylethanolamine, for example, is a substance similar to cannabinoids that’s known to improve your mood.
Chocolate’s highly pleasurable taste, smell, and texture have been proven to have an impact on mood as well, with its high hedonic rating. For a healthier option, try more dark chocolate.
Tips for Adding Mood-Boosting Food to Your Diet
- Meal prep: Save time during the week and whip up big batches of food you can freeze to use later. Planning out your meals for the week will make it easier to find ways to incorporate these mood-boosting foods into your daily diet.
- Make it a family goal: Getting everyone at home involved in a healthy eating initiative is a win-win scenario. It’s easier for you to consistently eat these essential foods, and your family reaps the healthy benefits alongside you.
- One-pot meals: It doesn’t need to be fancy to be healthy. Keeping things simple will make it easier to stay consistent and eat more of these mood-boosting foods. Slow cookers and instant pots will be your friend.
Stay Healthy This Holiday Season
Taking care of your physical health is just as important as staying in shape mentally and emotionally. And what you put into your body matters. Don’t let the stress of the season get the best of you. Start adding these mood-boosting foods to your diet now to stay on track throughout the coming months, so you can start the new year off feeling great.
Come enjoy a dish full of healthy, mood-boosting ingredients at Rainbow Restaurant today.
These Are the 7 Best Stress Relief Gifts for a Mood Boost
Editor’s Note: Shop for a cause this holiday season. Every product listed in our holiday gift guides is independently selected and meticulously curated by our wellness experts and editors.
And this year, when you shop affiliate links through our site, a percentage of our proceeds will go to Homeboy Industries.
Sign up now, so you never miss an exclusive gift guide and an opportunity to pay it forward.
Some days it takes every bit of willpower left in you not to fire off a snarky response to that rude email you received at work. Or, to keep your voice in check when your kids don’t put on their shoes the first five times you ask. Stress is your constant, unwanted companion.
We are stressed to the max. In fact, Americans rank among the most stressed in the world, according to a Gallup poll published in April.
The surprising thing is, stress is meant to be helpful. It delivers the energy you need to power through that work project by the deadline or to clean your house before the in-laws ring the doorbell for the holidays. But it’s only helpful in small bursts. Too much persistent stress leads down a darker path.
Why? Excessive stress is toxic. From tensing your muscles into fight or flight mode all the time to jacking up your heart rate and making your breath race. Stress knocks down your immune system, so you catch every cold and virus that comes your way. Eventually, it can lead to everything from heart problems to obesity to stomach issues.
All the extra hours you put in at the office, the lost sleep, and constant exhaustion take it you. Sometimes you wonder how you don’t completely lose it when the grocery store line is seven people deep and you still have a mountain of a to-do list to get through.
That constant stress stays with you. The pinching in the back of your neck. The bubbling up feeling in your throat. Those knock-you-down headaches and the weight on your chest.
So, how do we get some relief? Some stress relief, that is.
Self-care can do wonders for you physically and mentally. It’s so important… and also so overlooked. From stress relief supplements to indulgent beauty products, treat yourself (or a friend or family member) to a break from stress with these gift ideas for the holidays.
7 Best Holiday Gifts for Natural Stress Relief
These are the self-care products you deserve this holiday season. Take some time to relax and recharge or give a gift to a friend who deserves some stress relief.
1. Calm by Wellness Hemp CBD Sleep Oil Tincture
Get a good night’s rest with help from this high-quality CBD oil blend. This sleep-specific formula features broad-spectrum hemp extract and blueberry lavender terpene.
Made from certified non-GMO and organic hemp, this CBD extract is raw and extracted without the use of toxic solvents. It’s also made from domestic hemp grown in Oregon, Colorado, and Minnesota.
Free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
$64.99 for a 1-ounce bottle
Note! Shop for a Cause! Calm by Wellness will match Organic Authority's donation to charity — meaning if you shop with Calm by Wellness (using the links we provide), the contribution to charity (Homeboy Industries) is doubled from 8% to 16% of commissions earned. Learn more about Homeboy Industries.
2. Vagus Nerve Oil by Osea
This oil hits a nerve — literally. No really, it’s designed to massage along the front of your neck to stimulate your vagus nerve.
Even though you’ve probably never heard of the vagus nerve, it takes a prime role in promoting calmness.
As the longest-running nerve in the body, it sends information from the brain to the gut and helps manage stress, fear, and anxiety. It’s even related to the term “gut feeling”.
When you’re feeling a bundle of nerves, take a deep breath and get some stress relief with the help of a few drops. Massage it along your neck before bed. Finish by inhaling the calming scent, which stars soothing chamomile, juniper, and lavender oil. Free shipping when you spend $75 or more.
$48 for a 0.5 oz bottle
3. Dream Dust® by Moon Juice
Don’t spend any more time counting sheep or waiting for the sandman. With Dream Dust, you have your own magic sand… err dust to help you sleep.
This herbal supplement features ashwagandha, jujube, polygala, chamomile, and Schisandra, a powerhouse of herbs to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and calm the body and mind. Stir one teaspoon into tea, milk, or hot water. Sip and enjoy some shut-eye.
It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and vegan. Free shipping when you spend $50 or more. Two free samples with every order.
$38 for 1.5 ounces or $35 for 12 sachets
4. Handmade Wool Comforter by PlushBeds
It’s easier to take on the stresses of the day after a good night’s sleep. Curl up with this cozy wool comforter encased in a certified organic cotton sateen cover.
Wool naturally regulates your body temperature, so you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Feel free to snuggle face-first into this comforter. PlushBeds starts with pure wool and doesn’t treat its comforters with harsh chemicals, dyes or detergents.
The wool is also sourced from growers that use gentle flock management and humane wool shearing methods.
$299 for a twin; $449 for a king
5. Lavender Sea Therapy Bath Salts by 100% Pure
Nothing says self-care a relaxing bath for one.
Ease tension and de-stress after a long day with these bath salts starring good-for-the-skin (and soul) ingredients: unrefined French crystallized kelp, vitamin C, vitamin E, lavender flower/leaf/stem extract, rosemary leaf extract, lavender essential oil, and geraniol, a component of natural essential oil.
Dissolve half a cup of the salts in your next bath and soak up the stress relief. Even better, these salts come packaged in a glass bottle, so plastic packaging is one less worry for your stressed-out mind. Free shipping when you spend $50 or more.
$30 for a 15-ounce bottle
6. Charcoal Cacao Mask by Annmarie Skin Care
No self-care routine is complete without a face mask. Cucumbers optional. Show your pretty face some love with this new charcoal cacao mask.
Great for all skin types, the activated charcoal draws out impurities, cacao restores and protects the skin, and turmeric calms skin, leaving it radiant and balanced.
To use, apply mask to clean skin, leave on for 15 minutes, and then gently remove with a wet towel. Get 25% off full-size products on Black Friday with code EARLYBLACKFRIDAY.
$79 for 50 milliliters
7. Knock Me Out Chew by Goop
Get a break from your usual routine of moving from one worry to the next as soon as your head hits the pillow. Enjoy two of these bite-size melatonin chews before bed to nod off faster, without the play-by-play.
Melatonin, L-tryptophan, and vitamin B6 help put you to sleep, while organic tapioca syrup, organic coconut sugar, and organic palm fruit oil make it a tasty experience. These chews are non-GMO and gluten-free.
Free shipping when you spend $50 or more.
$55 for 60 chews or $30 for 30 chews