February 18th, 2022
5 healthy habits to boost your mood in time for the International Day of Happiness
Spring is almost upon us, and with it comes the promise of new beginnings. You might be looking forward to longer evenings, lighter mornings, and the mood-boosting weather that spring often brings.
If winter was a difficult season for your mood and wellbeing, you’re not alone. Around two million people in the UK struggle with Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) over the winter, according to an NHS report.
If you need a pick-me-up, you’re in the right place. As spring lands, so too does the International Day of Happiness.
What is the International Day of Happiness?
On 20 March 2022, the UN holds its International Day of Happiness, a celebration of their initiative that aims to “build back happier,” as countries around the world continue to grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On this day, you can participate in free online activities, including:
- Webinars with world-leading happiness experts
- 10 free days of happiness coaching through SMS
- Daily inspiration from others in the online community.
Joy often comes from the little things we do each day, so on this year’s International Day of Happiness, you could take the opportunity to lean into what makes you feel happiest.
Here are five healthy habits to boost your mood for the International Day of Happiness.
If you struggle to fit exercise into your daily routine, you might consider it to be a chore you’d rather miss. If that’s the case for you, you aren’t the only one – YouGov reports that only 1 in 12 Brits do 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Although it’s hard to fit exercise in, the science couldn’t be clearer: a 2019 study from JAMA Psychiatry, published by Harvard Health Publishing, found that just 15 minutes of running or an hour of walking daily could reduce your chances of developing depression by 26%.
Even if you aren’t a fan of vigorous exercise, you can modify your regime to suit your personal preferences. For example, you could practise gentle movement, such as yoga, or try walking to work or other appointments instead of taking transport.
By finding 15 to 30 minutes a day to do some physical activity, you could notice a big improvement in your mood, sleep, and overall wellbeing.
Meditation is an ancient practice that originated in India in around 5,000 BC. Thousands of years later, people all over the world still swear by meditation as a daily discipline.
The health benefits of meditation have been documented for years, and not just by word of mouth. Healthline has published 12 science-based benefits of meditation, including lowered blood pressure and reduced anxiety.
If you like the sound of meditation but aren’t sure where to start, apps like Calm give you guided meditations that ease you gently into the practice.
3. Go outdoors more often
Many psychologists believe that spending more time in nature can be transformative for your mental health.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has published studies that suggest a correlation between green spaces near schools and children’s homes, and better concentration, self-control, and cognitive development in children. This is just one of thousands of studies that have established the connection between time outdoors and improved wellbeing.
If you feel you spend too much time indoors, why not make it your mission for you and your family to spend more time in nature in 2022? You may find you feel less stressed and more optimistic, and you could rest better as a result.
4. Spend more time with those you love
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us were separated from our loved ones for a long time. If you feel you have grown distant from people you love, the International Day of Happiness could be the perfect time to reconnect.
Bonding with people you love by eating together, doing activities like sports and games, and discussing your common interests is great fun, and could form a healthy part of your daily or weekly routine. Regularly passing time with supportive loved ones might make you feel more confident and could reduce your stress levels.
5. Make a long-term plan
One aspect of life that may keep you up at night is your future. You could be concerned about world issues, your health, and your family’s wellbeing. This is a normal thing to feel, but there could be a way to turn your worrying into an action plan.
Making long-term plans to achieve your personal and financial goals is a healthy habit that could transform your outlook on life. For example, a regular review of your finances with an expert could help you to adjust your spending and saving, so you can work towards retiring at the age you have planned for.
In addition, if you want to eat more healthily, for example, you could create a long-term health strategy that is both achievable and sustainable, rather than engaging with fad diets.
Making an action plan can help you gain control over your worries and look towards a brighter future.
Get in touch
If you have financial concerns that are proving detrimental to your happiness, we can help you set achievable goals.