It’s the first post of the new year and I’m sharing a few mood-boosting habits to help you turn 2021 into a more positive year. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t guarantee that this year will be your best year yet. I also can’t guarantee it won’t be as unpredictably chaotic as 2020, but you know what I’ve already learned a week into the year? Your mindset can completely change how you view the year.
We’ve already had a few intense days in 2021 that has some people feeling like this year is just an extended 2020. For me, I noticed that the bad news didn’t impact my mood like it did last year. I still feel hopeful about the year to come and have consistently had good days so far, which I completely attribute to the mood-boosting habits I’ve incorporated into my daily routine. Today, I’m sharing those five things with you so you can work towards a happier outlook on the year. If you need even more mood-boosting habits, be sure to check out the 15 Mood-Boosting Habits freebie newly added to the resource library!
The Mood-Boosting Habits for a Positive Year
As mentioned in the intro of this post, these mood-boosting habits are all things I’ve incorporated into my daily routine for the past few weeks and I can already feel a difference in my overall mindset. I vividly remember in 2020 saying on multiple occasions that I had more bad days than good—something I hadn’t said in previous years—and hating that truth. Even though there were some good things to come out of 2020, I wanted to put more effort into improving what I could control in 2021. That’s where these habits came in, and I’m so grateful that they are already improving how I feel about the year.
1. Regularly schedule some time for a hobby
When the pandemic first hit nearly a year ago, I wrote about 5 at-home activities you can do to stay entertained. One of those activities was to rediscover old hobbies, and this extended quarantine period has shown the importance of that recommendation. Hobbies allow you to completely unwind and get lost in something that doesn’t have to do with monetization, side hustles, news, or any other real-life concerns.
Looking for a hobby? Here are a few ideas:
- Learn how to crochet a chunky blanket
- Pick up needlepoint
- Relax with an adult coloring book
- Experiment with cooking
- Learn calligraphy
- Print photos and create scrapbooks
The main reason we drop hobbies as we get older is that we feel like they are for kids or we simply don’t have the time. This year, promise yourself that you will make the time. In addition to blogging, I work and go to school full-time so I completely understand how few and far between those periods of downtime can be, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to make the time. Whether it’s crocheting, coloring, playing video games, or practicing calligraphy, show up for yourself and your hobbies at least one time each week. It gives you something to look forward to each week and will allow your mental batteries to recharge while you get lost in your favorite hobby.
2. Keep a gratitude journal or a positive things jar
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but a journal is an absolute must-have if you’re looking to improve your mood and mindset. Having a space to empty your thoughts feels therapeutic and helps you focus on your to-do list for the day. I’m still pretty new to journaling each day so I understand it may be difficult to form that habit, but set an alarm until you get used to it. I spend around 15 minutes each day writing in my journal.
I purchased a blank dot grid journal from Amazon, but you can also purchase journals with writing prompts if you’re worried you may not have a clue what to write. My entries range from dreams I’ve had to reflecting on my day, but I always end by expressing gratitude.
If you aren’t quite ready to dive into a journal yet, a short-form option is to create a jar of positivity! I wrote a blog post a few years ago about DIY’ing a positive things jar, so check it out if you’d prefer to go this route. It’s super simple to do and fun to look back on when the year is up. You’d be surprised at how many little positive things you forget about by the time December arrives.
3. Get some fresh air and cardio in each day
This one feels pretty obvious but it’s something I never really noticed until the pandemic significantly decreased how often I was outside. Getting fresh air can completely alter your day and wake you up in ways that not even coffee can accomplish. There’s just something about walking outdoors, especially now, and appreciating nature (or your neighborhood) as you take a short stroll around the block.
When going outdoors isn’t an option due to weather or other reasons, a mood-boosting habit you can still do is get some cardio in your day. These days, there are so many free and paid sources of fitness online for you to get cardio inspiration from, so find what works for you. (I recommend Fitness Blender and Chloe Ting on YouTube if you want a free option.) Remember, cardio doesn’t have to involve HIIT or burpees, it can be as simple and fun as dancing around your house while your favorite playlist blasts in the background. I did that the other day while cooking lunch and my Apple watch let me know I had already hit my move goal for the day! Talk about an easy workout!
4. Spend at least 15 minutes a day reading a book.
I know, I know…but hear me out! Reading is hard to squeeze into your day as an adult when you think back to those long reading sessions we had the luxury of indulging in when we were young. I completely get that lack of time is why most people drop the habit of reading so quickly, but I’ve learned that all you need is 15 minutes a day at a minimum.
I used to try and read for 1 hour a night, but that’s no longer realistic with my workload. Amy Landino recommends one page a day, but I’d stretch it even further to say 15 minutes a day. After falling off the reading train, I’m back on it in 2021 with a modest goal of reading 12 books this year. If you’re looking for some book inspiration, you can check out my Goodreads account to see what I’ve read and loved in the past.
5. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend.
This habit is so crucial to improving your mindset and self-worth. We are our own worst critic, yet we would never speak to our friends the way we speak to ourselves. This year, ditch the negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend. Compliment yourself, acknowledge your strengths, and say it out loud when you’re proud!
No matter what the year brings, incorporating these 5 mood-boosting habits into your daily routine will get you started on the right foot. I hope you are enjoying the year so far! If you need some more positive habits, check out the resource library for a free download!
To recap, these are the 5 mood-boosting habits to implement into your routine:
- Regularly make time for a hobby
- Keep a gratitude journal (or a positive things jar)
- Get some fresh air and cardio each day. (Dancing around your house counts!)
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day reading a book.
- Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend.
No matter when you stumble across this post, just know that it’s never too late to kickstart a positive year! The mood-boosting habits I shared in this post are all things you can start incorporating at any point. Don’t forget to grab your freebie download containing 15 positive things to add to your day!
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