Quick Pick-Me-Ups

By Shani Petroff

When I’m frustrated or upset, I often turn to food — even when my annoyance is that I haven’t lost my desired amount of weight for the week. It’s counterproductive. There are so many ways to pick up spirits that won’t dip into my precious SmartPoints® budget. I’ve come up with a list of ideas to boost my mood without turning to snacks.

Pick up a plant: Having plants and flowers always make me smile. It makes my apartment feel more alive. I often go for flowers, but I hate that they don’t tend to last very long, but a plant — maybe even one with a flower on it — can give me months (I don’t have the world’s best green thumb) or years of smiles. Sometimes, I’ll even give the plant a name! And when I water it and check on its leaves, it feels extra-special.

Pet a puppy: I don’t own a pet, but everywhere I go in the city, there’s someone walking a dog. And sometimes, they run right up to you. For all you dog lovers out there, just ask the owner if you can pet their dog. A lot of them will say yes! There are also places that look for volunteers to take animals out for walks or to just give them some love. A wagging tail can instantly make the day seem brighter.

Giggling babies: When I’m really in a funk, I go to YouTube and turn on some videos of babies laughing. It’s hard to stay grumpy when I’m watching adorable infants having laughing fits. I also keep a video on my phone of my nephew cracking up as he unwrapped a present. It always puts me in a great mood!

Give a compliment: Sure, getting compliments are great, but it’s just as nice (sometimes even better) giving them! Telling people something about them that you like or admire is a great feeling, especially when you can see it brightened their day!

Volunteer or donate: Along the same lines of giving a compliment, I always feel better when I donate to a cause I care about. Whether it’s my time or money, helping out always increases my spirits.

Hug: This one is reserved for the people close to me, but sometimes a good hug is exactly what I need when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Knowing someone is there for you is a great feeling. (And if they live too far away, a virtual hug will even do the trick — because it’s nice to know they care even if they can’t be there physically.)

Dance it out: It’s always good to put angry energy somewhere else, so I turn on some really upbeat music and jump around! Not only do I feel better afterward, but also, I’ve even gotten in a little bit of movement!

What are some of your pick-me-ups? You can find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In.