As the weather grows colder, and the days turn shorter, it is extremely important to take care of yourself. During the stress of the semester, it is sometimes hard to put ourselves first. Mental health is extremely important for your overall success, so we’re here to provide a list of simple ways to boost your mood.
Have a warm and comforting beverage
While it may be fall, and the thought of a warm, cozy beverage to sip on sounds quite calming, this can boost your mood any time of the year. If coffee is your thing, treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte or caramel macchiato. Not into espresso? No worries. Make yourself a hot cup of chamomile tea to help wind down your night. Wrap up in a warm blanket with your comforting beverage, and reflect on your day as you sip. This is guaranteed to help boost your mood.
Get your body moving
This one may seem obvious, but working up a sweat increases endorphins, resulting in an immediate boost of your mood. While going to the gym may not appeal to everyone, Rochester Institute of Technology offers plenty of ways to get your body moving. From rock climbing at the Red Barn, to skating at Ritter, the campus offers countless ways for you to work up a sweat, and there is something for everyone.
Go for a walk outside
The fall time is perfect to get outside and take in the majestic colors of the foliage the season has to offer. With the leaves changing, and the brisk cool wind hitting your face, your walk outside may bring forth a new perspective on a situation. Leave your cell phone at home, and truly take this time to focus on the moment, and the beautiful scenery around you. While many like to walk the loop around campus, there are various walking trails around campus. Itching to get off campus? Check out Letchworth State Park, and let your walk turn into a hike!
Declutter your space
How is it possible to be stress-free if your space is completely cluttered? If you feel unmotivated to clean up your space, set a 20 minute timer for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much cleaning and straightening up you can do in that short amount of time. Whether it is 20 minutes before you go to bed, or 20 minutes when you wake up in the morning, try beating the clock. Your space will be decluttered, allowing for your mind to be at ease in a welcoming environment.
Make plans with a friend
When we’re in a bad mood, surrounding yourself with other people (even if they are your friends) may seem difficult, and the last thing you want to do. If you push yourself to reach out to a good friend, or a group of your friends, the interaction may be exactly what you need to get out of your funk. Friends not only put smiles on our faces by making us laugh, they also can provide valuable advice if you are going through something personal and are looking for an outside opinion. Try it out!
Get your sleep schedule on track
Another one that may sound obvious, but getting your sleep schedule on track can be one of the biggest mood boosters on this list! For one week straight, challenge yourself to set an alarm for the same time every morning, and to put yourself to sleep at the same time every night. Although homework and other obligations may get in the way as a college student, it’s still worth a try! See how much your mood on a day-to-day basis changes this week.
Write your thoughts down in a journal
While many of you who are reading this may be thinking that you are too old to have a personal diary. You’re wrong! Journaling allows for you to get your thoughts organized on paper, and can oftentimes act as a form of relief. Journaling is a great mood booster for individuals who are more reserved, and may not want to talk to others about what is going on inside their head, but it is a great exercise for everyone.
Do something nice for someone else
Doing something kind for someone else does not have to be extravagant, or over the top. Maybe you heard that one of your good friends is having a bad day. This is the perfect opportunity for you to pick them up their favorite fall beverage, or even send them a comforting text message that everything is going to be okay. These small acts of kindness towards another person are mutually beneficial. The individual you are doing the act towards and your mood will immediately boost. Try making a goal for yourself to intentionally do something kind for another once a week for the remainder of the semester.
Read a book for fun (not a textbook!)
When professors are constantly giving us chapters of textbooks to read, it can be difficult to find free time to dive into a book you’ve been wanting to read for fun. Throughout the academic year, reading for fun is often not a priority. If you love reading, set aside 10 minutes everyday for you to enjoy a good book, then get back to the studying!
Write down your goals
Lastly, if you find yourself going about your day-to-day aimlessly with no particular direction, getting your goals on paper can be beneficial. First, start with writing down your goals for the day. These can be as simple as, “go to the gym,” or “study for my exam next week.” Then, move to your monthly, semesterly, and yearly goals. Having your goals on paper allows for you to not only see them written down everyday, but for you to easily remember why you are here, and why you should try your best.
While school, job searching, family, and friends all are extremely important, don’t ever put your mental health on the back burner. Actively practicing ways to boost your mood will allow for you to succeed in the other areas of your life. Try out some of the mood boosters listed above, and see the positive changes occur.