Sometimes life can feel like being stuck in traffic on a damp school bus, your cheek pressed against foggy glass as rain plucks the pavement. I like to label this gloomy, contemplative experience the “rainy bus blues”. When I get struck with a case of the blues, I always consult my list of serotonin-boosting activities to perk me up.
1) Stock up on your favorite snack!
Nothing provides happiness like that special, home-cooked meal, or a scoop of sweet ice cream. Too often, indulging in yummy meals is associated with feelings of guilt. The media relentlessly parallels low calorie foods with physical health. This is simply not the case! Release yourself from this false sense of guilt, and boost your happiness with a delicious treat. I promise you, chocolate doesn’t bite back.
2) Find a creative outlet
When trapped in the mundane routine of everyday life, we often neglect that creative spark buried within us. You don’t have to be a professional painter or opera-house singer to be creative; everyone has the potential to express their vision. For instance, you can tie dye old white t-shirts, make jewelry, start a YouTube channel, or bake a cake! The precedent of artistic perfection is completely fabricated. The beauty of creative expression lies in your unique abilities. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
3) Spend time outdoors
The sun is truly our best friend. A little drop of Vitamin-D clears up your mind, and helps detox your body. Sunlight exposure is scientifically proven to enhance your mood and physical health. Especially during the age of social isolation, people find themselves locked indoors for long stretches of time. Don’t forget to embrace the outdoors; your mind will thank-you later!
Despite our distant world, there are still so many ways to socialize. Engaging in conversation with friends and family reminds us that we are not alone. Hop on a zoom call, plan a backyard picnic, or go on a hike with friends! Social distancing does not mean isolation; there are so many ways to stay involved with your community in the internet age.
5) Invest in your education
Many universities, such as Harvard, have released FREE online courses. Whether you're interested in graphic design, computer science, or environmental studies, there is a plethora of courses for you to improve your mind! The act of learning enhances feelings of productivity and well-being. So go learn a new skill and invest time into your education!
6) Acts of Kindness
The best way to feel good is to do good. You don’t have to change the world; start small. Buy your mom a gift; donate to local charities. If you don’t have money to donate, time is an invaluable resource. So many children are in need of tutors during the home-schooling era, and your help could drastically improve their learning experience.
Moving your body exponentially increases your sense of motivation and happiness. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to get active. A walk around the park or a quick yoga session is enough to boost that dopamine!