artwork of girl with shovel in a rain coat

It’s been a long winter

 (Well, if we’re being perfectly transparent, it’s been a super-long two years.) More than a few of us could use a few pick-me-ups. Here are five ways to elevate your attitude. 

1. Volunteer outdoors

This is a two-for-one. Being outdoors in the fresh air on a sunny day can work wonders for your mood, but research has also shown that volunteering can lead to improved well-being and benefit your mental health. So why not combine the two? A very small study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham in England, found those who volunteered in nature reported better self-esteem, more connections with others and a greater sense of freedom. 

artwork of girl in a yoga sitting pose
artwork of girl riding a bicycle

3. Get moving

We know you’ve heard it before and it’s not revolutionary, but perhaps you were like us and didn’t realize just how important moving actually was for your overall health. Walking for an hour a day reduces your risk of major depression by 26 percent, according to a 2019 Harvard study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. So put on those sneakers and hit the trails. It’ll do you a world of good. 

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4. Declutter

Cleaning isn’t super relaxing for all of us, but those who use it as a way to clear the mind swear by it. You know what they say: Declutter your space, declutter your mind. “If our surroundings stress us out, we feel the impact. Reducing the clutter in our lives — be it physical, digital or otherwise — allows us to tackle stressors head-on and that benefits our mental health,” says the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.  

2. Indulge in lavender

It seems every household (and office) should have a diffuser and lavender essential oil. For centuries, lavender has been for both its oils and flowers; historically, it’s been used as a sedative, antibacterial and an antidepressant. According to the Natural Medicine Journal, lavender can be used therapeutically in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety and stress. 

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5. Put on your favourite playlist

Downloading your favourite tunes can put pep in your step. There have been studies done on the benefits of music and music therapy, including one published in the Journal of Positive Psychology that showed folks who listened to upbeat, happy songs improved their mood and overall happiness in a few weeks.  

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