Hello, it’s Monday, which means you might be feeling kind of gloomy. (According to Gallup research, employee well-being dips on Mondays.) To the rescue: a serious joy trigger to turn your day around right now. All it takes is watching this video of a toddler moving and grooving. Because what’s cuter than a baby dancing? A baby cosplaying as a dance teacher, of course.
But creating a positive outlook for your week doesn’t need to stop here. Throughout the day, keep these Microsteps in mind to help boost your mood and lower your stress. (While I have you, take a moment right now to unclench your jaw and lower your shoulders. Breathe.)
Look for unexpected teachers in life
Not only is this video an instant happiness-maker, it’s also a reminder that there are unexpected teachers everywhere, all of whom have the ability to infuse joy and wisdom into our lives. No, the toddler isn’t actually the dance teacher — but there’s something inspiring about the way the people in class rally behind her and allow themselves to benefit from what she has to offer. While you’re moving through your workday, remember to stay open to unexpected lessons from those around you.
Cue up your favorite song
You probably don’t need science to tell you that listening to music you find appealing can trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. And a 2017 study from McGill University found that listening to “happy” or “peaceful” music improves our mood by helping us recall positive memories. So if you’re really dragging on a Monday, cue up a song from a happier time. Need some inspiration? Check out Arianna Huffington’s playlist, curated in honor of World Mental Health Day.
Take a stretch break
One in four Americans sit for more than eight hours a day, a study from JAMA reports — and that lack of mobility affects both our body and our mind. But there are ways to assuage the damage done by sitting, such as engaging in a dynamic, elongating stretch. Instead of reaching for a midday espresso when you start to hit that 4 p.m. slump, trust that a good stretch can also boost your energy while not getting in the way of a restful night’s sleep later.
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