All of us find ourselves stuck in a rut at some point in our lives. Sometimes, there’s a reason behind our bad moods–a problem at work, a fight with a friend, or even something as simple as making a mistake playing a video game can have us feeling down. At other times, we can’t express why we’re feeling low. It can be anything from general stress to simply waking woken up on the wrong side of the bed–the only thing we know is that we’re in a terrible mood. No matter what the reason, all of us need a pick-me-up at some point in our lives. If you’re feeling low and are looking for a way to gain some extra motivation to help you see out the rest of your day, I’ve listed some of my favorite fun activities to do. These may seem simple, but they offer great results!

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  1. Smile

It sounds silly, but try smiling. It doesn’t matter if you’re smiling at something in particular or are forcing a smile–science backs me up on this one, as the simple act of smiling releases endorphins to help fight off stress.

I would add that laughter goes a long way; try reading a few jokes or watching a funny clip on YouTube. Smiling and laughing helps break tension and resets your mood. With all of the technology available, finding content that will brighten your mood and get you to laugh out loud is right at your finger tips.

2. Read a Book

Regardless of whether it’s an old favorite or a new story you’ve never read before, taking the ti me to get drawn into a story can help take your mind off your day. There are countless of books on topics you’ve always been curious about, make great use of reviews online to pick one you want to relax with or escape into another world. So grab a book, pick a cozy spot to curl up in, and open the first page – you’ll find yourself feeling lighter when you finally close that paperback. This is also a great way to unplug from technology which can be very disruptive and help with calming one’s mind, which today is often overloaded with trying to process new information.

3. Talk to a Loved One

Spending time with the people closest to you can help bring a smile to your face. In fact, sometimes, simply hearing their voice is enough, so even if you’re at work or live nowhere near your loved ones, pick up a phone and make a call to a family member or friend!

4. Grab a Bite to Eat

A lot of us forget to eat when we’re feeling stressed or low. Even if you don’t feel like you have an appetite, just eating a small snack can help you feel more energized and able to face the world.

5. Relax Your Shoulders

One of the most common involuntary responses that people have when stressed out is tightening up their shoulders. The tension in your body results in you hunching, with your shoulders rising towards your ears. Just the simple act of forcing your shoulders and the rest of your body to unclench can immediately make you feel more relaxed.

While these tips may not be able to solve emergencies you’re facing or solve all of your concerns, they can help brighten your mood and make you feel more energized. Keep in mind, of course, that I don’t pretend that these can work as a replacement for professional help if you need it–only as supplementary activities to help bring a smile to your face and lighten the load a little.