Life Balance: Boosting Your Mood

With the spring weather finally upon us, you are probably starting to feel your spirits rise, and your mood elevate. However, if you are still feeling the aftermath of those winter blues, or if you simply need a pick-me-up on that gloomy Monday morning, then this column is for you!
Most of us have a cell phone, and probably spend countless hours aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. This creeping-induced social media envy, as mentioned in a previous column, can take its toll. I am here to offer a list of apps and sites that will get you using your phone in a more mindful, healthy and intentional way…with the added benefit of instantly boosting your mood.
I have, in several columns, discussed the mental health benefits of meditating, and in particular apps that can help you begin your meditation journey. Apps such as Calm and Headspace, as you may already know, are some of my favourites. Calm offers guided and unguided meditation options that range from three to 30 minutes in duration. It allows you to choose your scene and sound for your meditation session, the type of meditation you want to try and the duration. Headspace, on the other hand, aims at offering basic-level cognitive therapy, where you learn to change your negative thought patterns and consequently reduce anxiety. The app offers a wide variety of meditation options, such as beginner “how-to” guided meditation videos, to more targeted meditation videos that can help with such things as relationship building, overcoming obstacles, etc.
Physical exercise is equally important to your mental health as meditation is. If joining the gym isn’t in the cards for you but you still want to gain the mood-boosting benefits of a good work out, there are countless free online guided workouts that you can complete in the comfort of your home. As I have mentioned in a previous column, the free guided yoga Youtube channel, Yoga with Adriene, is my all-time favourite. Other popular free guided exercise sites and Youtube channels include Booyah Fitness, YogaGlo, Boho Beautiful and the BeFit channel.