Person sitting at a desk with a journal open to a blank page.

This year has been emotionally draining, and we may find ourselves feeling down. Here are 4 things you can do to improve your mood for a brighter week.

1: Start a gratitude list

Practicing gratitude is proven to be an effective mood booster. Not only does it make you feel better in the moment, but practicing gratitude regularly can help you remain positive, even when it feels like everything is going wrong. 

To get started, we recommend creating a “5 great things” list. At the end of the day, write down 5 things that were good, great or better than usual today. You can include things that happened, things you’re looking forward to or things that made you laugh, smile or feel relieved. You can use a notebook and pen or an app like CustomJournal

You can also join Wellness Wednesdays for their Spreading Gratitude sessions in early November. During these virtual sessions, you’ll be able to write gratitude postcards to send to loved ones and learn how to start a gratitude journal.

2: Create a quick playlist

Think of a happy or nostalgic moment in your life. Perhaps it was a trip you took, a summer when you were a kid or a fun time with friends. Create a playlist that reminds you of these moments and brings you joy. If you’re feeling down, use this playlist to remind yourself of the good times you had and the good times that are yet to come.

3: Start being (or stay) active

Physical activity and exercise can be a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go all out to reap the benefits. Consider taking a walk, going for a jog, riding your bike, making a reservation at the Rec Center or doing an at-home workout.

4: Create goals for today, this week or this month

Having goals and something to work towards can help improve our mood. Start by writing down 2-3 goals that you’d like to accomplish today, this week or this month. Your goals can include organizing your room, preparing for an exam, going for a walk each day, drinking a full bottle of water or making a plan to keep in touch with people you love. 

If you need help figuring out your goals or how to achieve them, Health Promotion offers free Peer Wellness Coaching. Trained student wellness coaches meet with you virtually one-on-one to help you set goals, figure out your next steps, make a plan to achieve your goals and connect you with resources that can help along the way.

If you’re having a tough week or struggling to think about practicing self-care on top of everything else, check out these 3 things you can do right now to feel better.

If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed or is struggling to cope, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a number of mental health services to students, including brief individual counseling, groups, consultations and crisis support. Learn more about how to get connected with CAPS

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