Grumpy days: we all have them. But if you’ve been channeling your inner Scrooge more often than usual, it may be time to add a few natural mood boosting remedies to your routine. Now of course, none of us are exempt from the lifestyle stressors that can turn a smile into a frown. From relationships to careers, health goals to juggling finances and attempting to make time for self care— it’s normal for a touch of moodiness to creep up in the midst of chaos. But one of the best ways to prevent the overwhelm and anxiety that can lead to a grumpy mood is to supercharge your nervous system with stress supportive nutrients.
In fact, your nervous system depends on minerals such as calcium and magnesium, omega 3 essential fatty acids and the B vitamins to help process and manage your body’s stress response. Prioritizing time for self-care is also essential to promote a greater sense of well-being throughout your day. Here are 6 natural practices for well-being that can help boost your mood on a grumpy day.
1. Avoid Having Caffeine for Breakfast (And Have Protein and Healthy Fats Instead)
While it’s important to listen to your body’s true hunger signals, skipping your first meal of the day can set you up for a blood sugar rollercoaster later on— especially if you start your day off with caffeine and not much else. Caffeine has the ability to spike your blood sugar, or glucose levels, which only sends them crashing down a few short hours later. Since glucose is your brain’s preferred source of energy, erratic blood sugar spikes and crashes can directly impact your mood and promote irritability. For this reason, it’s best to start your day off with blood sugar balancing nutrients, such as healthy fats or protein. If you find it hard to make time for a full breakfast in the morning, simply have a handful of almonds, a hardboiled egg or a piece of sprouted grain toast with some nut butter. Protein and healthy fats keep your blood sugar levels stable, which helps keep your mood in check.
2. Create a Customized Morning Ritual
Creating your own morning ritual is an easy way to incorporate more self-care into your routine, despite having a chaotic schedule. Even the act of taking ten minutes each morning for yourself can be enough to promote a deeper sense of calm as you carry out your tasks throughout the day. A customized morning ritual may include writing in your journal, listening to a guided meditation, doing a few sun salutations or drinking your favorite green juice or smoothie uninterrupted. If you’d like a few more suggestions, we have an entire blog post on how to lower your stress levels with a healthy morning ritual right here.
3. Snack on Nuts and Seeds
As mentioned above, healthy fats such as the omega 3 essential fatty acids found in nuts and seeds can help stabilize blood sugar levels. But healthy fats are also your body’s secret weapon against stress because they offer direct nutritional support to your central nervous system, or CNS, which is the control center of your thoughts and emotions. Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are a good source of omega 3’s that make excellent on-the-go snacks. We personally love getting our omega 3’s from this Coconut Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding recipe (and it takes less than 3 minutes to make).
4. Take a Fish Oil Supplement Each Day
Since we’re on the topic of healthy fats, improving your mood each day can be as easy as taking a fish oil supplement. Not only is fish oil a good source of vitamin D — which is known as the “sunshine” vitamin for promoting a happier mood, fish oil is also a rich source of DHA. DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an omega 3 essential fatty acid found abundantly in fatty fish, which has been shown to play a key role for healthy cognitive function and a stable mood because it helps reduce inflammation and build healthy cell membranes. And the healthier your cells are, the healthier your nervous system will be. We recommend Botanica’s High Potency Fish Oil not only because it tastes delicious, but it offers 750 mg of EPA and DHA per serving. The average daily recommended amount of EPA and DHA is said to be roughly 500 mg, so Botanica’s High Potency Fish Oil meets the daily allowance with an extra boost.
5. Take a Technology Break When was the last time you unplugged from technology altogether? And by that, we don’t just mean a quick rendezvous to the grocery store without your phone, but an entire day without technology. Although emails, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and iMessages have become part of our daily lives and how we communicate with others, technology can be overly stimulating and cause more stress and overwhelm. Taking a break from technology notifications (even if it’s just for a few hours one day each week) can help restore mental and emotional balance.
6. Kick Out Refined Sugar
One of the quickest ways to improve your mood from a nutritional standpoint is to kick the refined sugar out of your diet. While quitting sugar is easier said than done, reducing the amount of white sugar and flour in your diet is essential for preventing those mood sabotaging blood sugar spikes and crashes, and for having energy that lasts all day long. If you’ve ever heard the saying “the more you eat of something, the more you crave it”, the same rule applies with white sugar. By reducing the amount of white sugar you eat, you’ll be on your way to a happier mood by safely jumping off the blood sugar rollercoaster that’s fueled by constant sugar cravings. One of the easiest ways to transition to a low sugar diet is by replacing refined sugar with natural sweeteners, such as green leaf stevia, xylitol, coconut nectar, raw honey or pure maple syrup. If you’re ready to quit sugar for a happier mood, we’ve listed our best foolproof tips for quitting sugar in this blog post right here. As you can see, promoting a well-balanced mood depends on both proper nutrition and self-care. By regularly practicing natural mood-boosting techniques, you’ll begin to experience an enhanced sense of peace and tranquility, even in the most chaotic routine.