Hi, I'm Kate.
Your therapist friend who refuses to sugarcoat motherhood, and isn’t afraid to spill the tea on my own messy journey.
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Sometimes you’re just having a really blah day and need a remedy… fast.

So you lost your shit at your partner/kids, spiralled into a loop of anxious thoughts, or just can’t get out of your grumpy mood spiral (been there!)

Friend, I’m here to remind you that working on yourself isn’t linear and it’s definitely never final. You might feel like you’re connected to your joy for a while, self-care is happening, and your mood is on the rise and then BOOM, down spiral again. 

We sometimes have the false expectation that going to therapy, reading the books, doing the homework and establishing self-care practices should mean that our mood will improve steadily… but working to improve mental health doesn’t mean that you get to eradicate “negative” emotions like anger, rage, sadness, anxiety, and frustration. 

The emotions will continue to come. And really, that’s okay! We just want to learn how to ride the waves, and get back to feeling connected and regulated when we can. 

Sometimes you need an SOS guide for those days that just suck and when you can’t think of the first step towards regulating your nervous system. This is that guide packed with IRL realistic actions. Read it here! 

Prioritizing mental health isn’t a linear upward-trending journey all the time. We can sometimes have the false expectation that going to therapy, reading the books, doing the homework and establishing little self-care practices should mean that our mood and mental health will improve steadily. 

But then there are the days where, despite the efforts, we just feel our worst. Anxiety gets the best of us. We fall back into grumpy pits or bouts of depression. We come down too hard on ourselves. We ruminate, get angry with our kids or partner, get stuck on intrusive thoughts, or panic. Oof, the struggle can be too real sometimes!

I get that it can feel discouraging to have mood battles even after hustling so hard to feel brighter, happier and more at ease. But to whoever needs the reminder, it’s still normal to feel the full range of human emotions. 

Working to improve mental health doesn’t mean that you get to eradicate “negative” emotions like anger, rage, sadness, anxiety, and frustration. Small doses (or sometimes big ones, depending on what’s happening in life) of all of these are normal and it would be unrealistic to aim to never feel these again. 

The purpose of seeking support (like therapy) or investing in self-care is to put yourself back on the priority list and have these tough feelings stop ruining your regular day-to-day life. 

Now, with all of this said, sometimes you’re just having a really blah day and need a remedy… fast. We all have those days where we bicker with our partner, crack when we’re overstimulated, or feel discouraged by pretty much everything. 

For those days, I wanted to give you my list of five things that will help boost your mood and bring in a little more joy. It’s not about feeling your absolute best, but maybe these things can help boost your mood just a bit. Which of these will be your go-to way to turn around the day? 

1. Practice gratitude. 

Spend some time intentionally focusing on the great moments or small gifts too—not just the hard ones. Tough parts of the day often get more attention because we ruminate or focus on a problem that has to be solved (thanks, survival brain!). Practicing gratitude, though, is a way to rewire the brain to notice the moments of comfort, peace, connection, and joy. 

You know, when your baby smiles at you, when you wake up feeling well-rested, or when you have an awesome dinner convo with your partner. Maybe it’s as “simple” as fresh air to breathe, running water, a grocery store stocked with beautiful food that can help you shift into gratitude. Those little things matter so much and add up over time. Plus, research shows that practicing gratitude actually helps improve mood by rewiring your brain toward things that help you feel safe (rather than stressed).

What this can look like IRL: Spend five minutes jotting down a few things that went really well today or things in your life that you’re grateful for. Anything from a peaceful morning coffee, to nice sunshiny weather, to time with a pet totally counts! 

2. Move your body. 

This is one of the most effective ways to boost your mood. It has been proven again and again that movement is a happiness booster. You get to choose what workouts or movements you do and for how long. That means it doesn’t have to be intense exercise (so nobody is saying you have to go kick your own butt).  All you really need is a walk, fresh air, nature, or movement in a small way in order to feel more connected to your body, less stressed, and happier. The change of scenery definitely helps! 

What this can look like IRL: This looks however you want it to. Gentle yoga, a walk with a friend, a short run, or some fun dance moves is literally all you need. Seems doable/approachable, no?

3. Hang out with people you love. 

Go hang out with beloved friends or family! Not a bad assignment, right? Spending time with people who you love and socializing is key for mental health. People need social connection in order to feel safe, loved, seen, cared for, and happy. We need each other. 

What’s important to keep in mind with this tip though is that you want to make sure you hang out with those who energize you and bring positive or comforting vibes… especially if you’re already down. If some folks in your life drain you or maybe need some extra care, maybe opt for someone with a lighter energy if you’re looking to boost your mood today. Who might that be? 

What this can look like IRL: What you’re going for is simple, easy, and chill. No dinner reservations required. No out-of-the-way hard to execute plans. Just grab a coffee, go for a walk, pop over to a friend’s porch or chill at a park or beach nearby. What easy ideas come to mind? 

4. Chase your passions: 

What’s a passion or hobby that you value and would like to prioritize? When we give back to ourselves, we feel better because we’re recognizing and taking care of our needs. 

Remember you need more than just the basic food, shelter, sleep and water… As basic and obvious as that is, sometimes we could all use a reminder. So, when you’re feeling low, put some energy (doesn’t have to be a lot) into what matters to you. Perhaps that’s something creative, sporty or focused on learning. It could be anything that lights you up.

What this can look like IRL: My new thing is rollerskating, yours might be pottery, painting, dance, cooking, or working through some of the year’s best seller books? You get to decide. For more ideas (32 of them!) check out this blog post. 

5. Make self-care a priority. 

This is one of those annoyingly simple things that therapists recommend… that actually work. I know you may not want to hear if, or you already know this would help but for some reason it feels unattainable or unrealistic for you. First thing to clarify is that self-care does NOT have to be about spa days or massively effortful activities. Actually, it’s the little daily ways that you tend to yourself and protect your own time and energy that can really add up. This is about starting to find tiny ways to incorporate your needs into the day… even with kids around. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It’s just about making sure you exist on the priority list and that your needs are taken care of before you burn out. 

What this can look like IRL: This depends on how you relax and feel energized. Some ideas for simple self-care: watch a movie, do breathing exercises together, plan a picnic in nature with a no screens rule, listen to your music, prepare a dinner you want to eat, accept help from the person who offered to babysit, take a couple minutes to do some skin care, prep a healthy snack for you at the same time as you make kids’ lunches, etc.  

A lot of mental health care and boosting your own mood is about simplicity. Allow it to be simple and basic. See if you can find a little bit more joy in the little things, especially the little things that are already there. When self-care feels like too much effort, we get discouraged and let ourselves fall off the list. 

My hope is that you don’t feel discouraged because you’ve hit a moody bump in the road with a bad day or week (I’ve been there many times!). Remember that even therapists themselves get thrown off and need support. Of these five easy ways to bring a bit more joy into your day, which feels easiest? Which one(s) worked the best? 

If you’re looking for more ways to soothe anxiety and feel a bit more joy in your day to day life, check out my self-care challenge! It’s easy, approachable and takes just a minimal time commitment! 

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HI, I'M KATE BORSATO

Your therapist friend who refuses to sugarcoat motherhood, isn’t afraid to spill the tea on my own messy journey, and promises not to dole out cliche therapy advice.

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