Try to identify anything that made you happy or smile, even for a brief moment, over the last few days. Write it down. If possible, write down a few. When you are feeling low in mood, you can easily forget that there were times in your day or week when you did not feel so bad. It is useful for you to remember them, and anything else positive, as that helps your mood in the present. Maybe you can build on those moments by repeating them to help you now or in the future.
Identify any possible supports in your life. Who could you turn to, even if it is just for a distracting chat? Maybe there are friends, family, a neighbour, or a boss at work? Who makes you smile or feel good? Sometimes talking to others, or even listening to others, can make you realise that you are not alone.
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to express your fears and sadness if you feel it. You won't always be heard, but there is always someone who will listen. There is always someone who will give you a smile. Identify what supports you could have in your life, even if you have to develop them now for the future.
Distraction works. Depending on the depth of your stressful thoughts, then any task will do. Start with moving to another location, room or chair. Look out a different window. Note what you see. Or you can choose a task to do, even if you have to push yourself to do it. The task can be as small as making yourself a hot drink or, if you prefer, do something bigger that helps you get a sense of achievement. Maybe there is a book you would have liked to read but haven't been able to make yourself do so. Or a desk or drawer that needs tidying. Even a negative task can help. Sometimes even ordinary tasks such as tidying up your kitchen or bedroom can distract you from dwelling on the negative topic.
It is not just because it is distracting, but sometimes doing something to help others can boost your own mood. Do something that would be helpful to someone else. Even a phone call, sending a joke or giving a smile might be enough.
Be grateful to others but also to yourself. Allow yourself to take credit for any small achievement. Even if you have to tell that to yourself.
Expand your horizons. If you have sunk into habit and feel there is nothing new for you in life then maybe it is time to expand your horizons. Of course there are times in life when that seems impossible. Maybe through ill health or financial difficulty you feel stuck. But even then, finding something novel is a great mood booster. Perhaps it would just involve taking a different route to walk to the shop, looking at a new programme on TV, listening to a different type of music, planning a trip, or trying out a new recipe. Introducing novelty doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate to have the effect of boosting mood. Just doing something different or learning a new skill can help. So what will you try?
Having a duvet day is all very well when you feel good about life. Then it can be a luxurious pleasure. But when mood is low it can make things worse. You ruminate more and doing nothing feeds your well of upset. In those circumstances, creating and sticking to a routine, even for a while can help. Get up, have breakfast, get dressed and so on. Knowing what you do next in the routine, no matter how mundane, helps to focus the mind and empower you. Through action you can lift your mood.
If you don't even feel like starting then perhaps start with improving your motivation. Your first goal is to list anything that you are not currently doing that you would like to do or should do. Now find out how to motivate yourself to do it. Then look at "6 Making Changes Tips" in the Stress Tips section.