Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mood Lifters

Everyone feels a bit lonely or sad at sometime in their lives. Even the great men and women of the Bible experienced feelings of sadness or emotional stress. I have been collecting mood lifting ideas from friends, and have come up with several good things that will not destroy your finances.
There is a tendency to believe that buying something expensive will make a person feel better. This may be true but the feeling soon passes and then the realization that such extravagance has broken the budget can bring on a worse depression. In particular, having something with a label on it seems to make people feel better. However, once you are at home, no one knows what the signature is on your shoes or your sunglasses. It is surprising how boys and girls as young as 12, strongly desire to have a name label on their jeans or their shirts. They do not realize that they are making rich people richer, and making themselves much poorer.
Having lived long before such labels existed, I never desired them. Knowing how to make many things brought a degree of contentment to the older generation, and many of us were never impressed with a signature on a product. When you can make your own things, you can also add your own signature to them, whether it be hand
It is tempting to go out and buy something for a mood lifter, but for those who do not want to harm their bank account or collect too many pairs of shoes, there are alternatives. Calling a friend, if she is of a cheerful nature, is always helpful. Doing something for someone else can help that self-pitying feeling to disappear. If you have a stash of fabric, sewing something new for the home or something new to wear, can lighten a cloudy mood.
If every sense is tested, it is possible to find things that give the mood an instant lift:
Scent: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add a tablespoon of chocolate flavored coffee beans or ground coffee.
Sound: The dollar stores often have very good soothing music on CDs, which make the sad heart smile again. If you can't do that, singing a song does amazing things for the mood.
Sight: Often, just cleaning up a corner of the house and staging it for photographs, can make you feel happier.
Taste: Various flavors, like orange, mint, cinnamon, strawberries or chocolate, can help.
Touch: This is an even more interesting area. Apparently, we deprive ourselves of much pleasure by limiting our choices in life. If we spend all day only doing one thing, we do not receive the good feelings in our sense of touch. Handling fabrics and yarn, kneading bread, preparing food, hanging out clothes and bringing them in when dry, ironing, making the bed with fresh sheets, ---the list is endless--translates the feeling from the touching of the fingers, to the brain. If we only swept the floor all day, or only used the keyboard all day, we would not receive the extraordinary benefits that the touch brings. In the old days before shopping was a popular hobby, women used to lift their moods by visiting a friend, or washing their hair, writing a letter, singing, making cinnamon rolls, or maybe putting on a newly ironed dress. In those days everything was ironed, and each garment felt brand new when we wore it. If clothes were dried in the sun, it seemed to put a special starch in it. These things caused no harm, while making things better than they were before.
I am looking forward to seeing what people can add to this list of mood lifters.


candy said...

Hi Lydia :)
I loved this post! Those were some excellent ideas to lift our moods.

I especially liked what ladies would do back in the day especially "washing your hair"! I can just imagine them taking their time washing it and probably letting the shampoo and conditioner just sit in their hair for some time. Probably some really nice smelling homemade stuff. And then setting their hair in rollers or braiding it or putting pretty ribbons in their hair. Just thinking about it that way made me want to wash my hair and maybe style it in a pretty or new way just for fun and enjoyment. I like that idea! :) Or trying a new shampoo or making a shampoo would be fun too!

I love writing letters or cards. It truly does make me happy.

I like baking homemade bread too because the smell makes me happy, even if I just do one loaf, I still love it.

Going to the library or a flea market to find decorating books or magazines really makes me feel happy too :)

Sewing little heart sachets for gifts makes me happy too.

Thanks for the great ideas!
Candy :)

Lydia said...

We used rain water to wash our hair and in the summer we washed it outside. Some other member of the family helped us rinse with the fresh water by pouring it over our hair.

Anonymous said...

Yes, putting effort into something always makes one happier, more then instant gratification... which wears off very soon. Excercise helps so much, going for a walk is always a mood lifter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding us! I don't ever buy for comfort (I haven't bought anything for myself in years - but's another story =), but still your suggestions gave me great ideas. I do sew and hope to have a garden soon. And BTW, since we only wash our hair once or maybe twice a week, it's a bit like you said - a special occasion =).

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this lovely post.

Lynn said...

I love this post & will come back to see what others add.
For myself I enjoy getting involved in a de-cluttering job - tidying a drawer, adding some scent to it - always cheers me!

I sometimes sit down and watch 10 minutes of BBC Perfect Housewife which I taped - that usually inspires me to tackle a chore I have been putting off - and that cheers me!

Looking through my scrapbooking stash or my fabric stash (both quite small really) but they do cheer me - even if I don't make something!

A wander round my garden - I often get absorbed in birdwatching out there and end up weeding or whatever - that always lifts me!

Sometimes I just open my Bible completely randomly and see what the Lord is telling me today.

A great post - thank you.

Anonymous said...

I find this blog a real mood-lifter. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Just sitting in the sunshine for a few minutes is a big mood-lifter for me. These days, there is such a paranoia about taking in too much sun.... we slather ourselves with sunscreen and try not to let even a ray of sun touch our skin.
The sun, in small quantities can be so therapeautic. So take off the sunglasses, refrain from putting on sunscreen for just a wee bit and soak in the sunshine.

THank you for such lovely posts! Coming here is a moodlifter for me!!

Hugs, Hugs!

Mom of Five said...

When I was a young girl my mother used to let me lay on the kitchen counter with my head in the sink, and she would wash my hair using the sprayer and warm water. It was like going to a salon, and we continued to do this occasionally until I was too big to fit on the counter, but my last memory of it was when I was about 12. Then I would sit in the sun outside and let my hair dry while my mother brushed it for me. It felt so good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia, This was a delightful and encouraging post. I cannot begin to tell you how many peaceful hours I have passed with my dollar store cds of hymns and soft music. Also, I find a brisk walk of 2 miles to be uplifting. It is hard to feel blue while you're chugging along! Organizing always lifts my spirits, too. Thank you for all you do. Peggy in Virginia

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. It's so important to remember we have control over our moods.

I find giving tidying the house lifts my spirit. A good cup of coffee. Putting on my favorite set of songs. And sitting outside on the deck in the sun for a few minutes. All quick, easy and free.

~ Ann

Karen said...

Looking at gardens, (if it is winter, look at garden books from the library); doing some gardening, even if it is just pulling up a few weeds.

If your're down because you are ill and can't do much, don't fight it. Just accept that you're getting well and treat yourself to a nice movie that you normally wouldn't have time to watch. Make a cup of tea. If you have a headache and can't enjoy your books, get out your Bible and a pretty bookmark. Try reading just a few psalms every so often during the day. Make a pot of hot tea. Put lemon & honey in it.

If you are well, but "out of sorts", go for a brisk walk outside, at least for a half hour. Try to think of 10 things you are grateful for, and 10 things you are looking forward to (i.e. focus on Gratitude & Hope).

Paula said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
You are such a blessing and I am always so delighted when I read your lovely written entries, see the artwork you share, and your creative ideas. You are such an encouragement and inspiration to homemakers!

I find, when I am feeling down, to make something for our home, or for a gift for someone makes me feel better.

To bake some goodies for my dear husband and sweet son to enjoy.

To cook delicious and nourishing meals.

To go out of doors, and listen to and watch God's beautiful creation that he blessed us with.

To read the Psalms.

To thank the Lord for all He has blessed me with.

To rearrange and tidy up a room.

Looking through my old issues of the beautiful Victoria magazine (A favorite of yours too!) inspires me in my home-making and manners.

Reading a good book, especially with my son.

Playing with our sweet poodle Pearl.

Drawing in my Nature Journal or painting a little watercolor.

Housework and gardening.

There are so many wonderful mood-lifters to enjoy! I believe it is truly the simple things that provide the most joy! As you said, "good things that will not destroy your finances."

Have a lovely day!
The Lord bless you!

Lydia said...

Trace: You can find articles about the dangers of sunscreen at Dr. Apparently the sun is actually more natural and beneficial than the ingredients in the sunscreen. There are natural things you can put on your skin, that are better than sunscreen. And sunscreen has been connected to other things not so good for you.I never use it.

Lydia said...

Candy, I wonder if putting your head down to be rinsed had something to do with improving your mood. These days with everyone using the shower, we don't get the same feeling as we did when we had a bucket of rain water poured over our hair. We then dried it in the sun, an entirely different process. There was a scene on Sense and Sensibility where Eleanor was washing Margaret's hair in a similar fashion.

Elizabeth said...

I never thought about the sense of touch in quite this way before. Thank you for sharing those thoughts and ideas.

Listening to beautiful music while doing my more repetative chores lifts my mood.

Stopping in on my most favorite blogs helps.

During Spring, Summer and early Fall, I also love to sit out on my covered swing in the backyard, listening to cheerful birdies, while reading a book or journaling.

Taking a walk somewhere lovely and holding a prayer in my heart along the way lifts my mood.

Random acts of kindness for others.

Dropping off a plate of homemade cookies with a thoughtful note and then doorbell ditching is fun for the whole family!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful ideas. I almost spend $200 on hair cut and color for a lift. Instead, we dashed off to the amusement park for the day (free, we already had the tickets) and had a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

What I have been doing for 2 years now is wearing perfume for a mood lifter. Had to read up on perfume since there are so many out there.

Was it a coincidence that when I started wearing perfume 2 yrs ago I had breast cancer? I must have known I needed a mood lifter even though a whole year and a half went by before I was diagnosed.

I'm wearing Happy heart from Clinique today and it's so refreshing- it's the papaya and grapefruit in it. You have to have at least 4 different ones on your vanity- a floral, a spicy one, a favorite scent too. Samples go a long way. I'm thankful for perfume.
Elizabeth from the Elizabethian tea

Anonymous said...

"If every sense is tested, it is possible to find things that give the mood an instant lift:"

I like that! It really is so true! How many times have I made myself a cup of tea & just allowed myself to appreciate the scent of it, the warmth of it to my hands around the cup or mug. It's so pleasurable, so comforting.

The sound of beautiful music, either played by a machine, or something I'm playing myself on the piano, always has a therapeutic effect on my mood.

Warm water, in the shower or bath, feels wonderful, & the feeling of a good scrub to the skin is invigorating.

I also think a walk (maybe a mile or so) is a great tonic for our mood. Really, exercise of almost any sort, especially some type of housekeeping, is one of my favorite ways to get rid of the "blahs", & I like that I have something extra to show for my efforts. The residual effects of exerting myself that way go far beyond the immediate nice feeling.

I'll enjoy checking back on this post to see what other suggestions your readers have, Mrs. Sherman.

thanks for a great post!

Alexandra said...

Wearing fragrance always helps lift my spirits.

I also like to give myself a home pedicure with a foot spa. It always makes me feel better knowing my feet look neat and clean in summer shoes. Feet are often neglected, and it's not attractive having those terrible dry spots on the edges of your heels.

JKaye said...

Gardening for me is a great way to become absorbed in a task, and in the process I forget about any troubles for awhile. But, I admit, sometimes I become too busy to really enjoy the results of my efforts. So, something my husband and I have started doing is to go out in our yard several times a week, doing what we call "walking and pointing." We take our cups of coffee with us, and walk around and see what is blooming, check to see how much certain plants have grown, watch the antics of birds, squirrels, butterflies, etc. We find ourselves pointing and saying, Oh, look at this! or Wow, look at that! We get so much more pleasure out of the plants when we make an effort to really look closely at them. When we are doing this activity, we can't help but be in a cheerful mood. We always make a point to say a little prayer of thanks for being so blessed with our lovely home and yard.

Deborah Swinson said...

I love to sit out in the sun on my deck. I just put my feet up and close my eyes and thank the Lord for the beautiful day. I did this just the other day after a trying morning. First I had a hard time with milking my new goat, she wouldn't have any of it and it was very frustrating. Then I had to resort to threatening to call the police to have some door to door soliciters leave my home, when my dh wasn't home. So I was pretty upset that morning. In the afternoon I just sat on the deck most of the rest of that day and enjoyed looking at my garden, the orchard and enjoying the warm breeze and sun.

The other thing I do, is sit down to the computer and look at lovely things or read uplifting articles. I have found myself clicking on Homeliving Helper and saying to myself I need something soothing and uplifting to look at today. : ) Thank you so much for having this blog such a blessed and refreshing place to visit. It is like seeing a good friend.


Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lydia, like you, I *love* visiting stores with pretty things for the home when I'm a bit nervous, depressed or moody - sheets, towels, dishes, tea sets, etc. I also love visiting antique shops or shops for sewing/knitting supplies.

Other things that lift my mood: cooking or baking something delicious and sweet-smelling; browsing through knitting or crochet journals or websites, thinking of new projects to make; writing letters.

texasmcvays said...

I put on my favorite Cd "Peace all over me" and I am a candle lighting fool! I love scents that smell like baking especially on days like today when we are at the end of our groceries and I cannot bake. I also love to bake something and let that tasty smell linger in the house. I make aprons for my girls and friends. The other day while making jam I found myself singing. I love how simple things have come to dominate my life.
(ex-brand name addict & Current Thrift store junkie!)

Thespia said...

Labels have always existed. You probably just weren't aware of them.

Example: In the 60s, Coco Chanel was a huge name. Even if you only had the perfume, that's subscribing to a "name" brand. It's not a bad thing...the question we need to ask is how far are we willing to go to satisfy the want for that name brand. I personally find the trend to buy 800 dollar Coach purses to be superfluous. Trends change all the time.

Anonymous said...

Great post!
Listening to my CD's, browsing thrift stores, taking pictures, scrapbooking, reading a good book, taking a hot bath- all mood lifters.

Another one is redecorating and decluttering. Very often I find that I'm feeling down because my environment is in chaos.