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5 Things Friday: 5 Mood-Boosting Practices for Busy Parents

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. Everyone, but especially busy parents, needs a mood-boosting pick me up. This week, we present 5 mood-boosting practices you can start today.

The daily grind for a busy parent is real. The cooking, cleaning, picking up, dropping off… and you add a job on top of that? It’s no wonder that up to 30% of parents report burnout. Even for the other 70%, we imagine, some days are tougher than others.

We asked the experts what the research shows we as parents can do on a daily basis to boost our mood and stay ahead of the game.

1) Take your sleep seriously

Too little or disrupted sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and elevated inflammation that can increase the risk for emotional and mental health problems. Feelings of anxiety or depression, or outbursts of anger or sadness, can all be caused by poor sleep. Sometimes we think the world is crashing down when all we need is some really good sleep.

In other words, poor sleep is a mood killer. To boost our mood, we need to pay attention not only to the amount of sleep we get, but its quality and its timing. Our Embody Masterclass has great tips on supporting optimal sleep. These include limiting artificial light at night, not eating after the sun goes down, and cutting out caffeine after 1 pm.

2) Reduce social media. Except for The Family Thrive, of course!

We already know that social media use can be big trouble for teens. But social media use, Facebook especially, has been linked to worsened mood, depression, and anxiety in adults.

Perhaps one of the easiest mood-boosters available is to just take a social media break. Anecdotal reports suggest that people are much happier when they take a break from Facebook and Instagram. Research is mixed with some studies showing quitting platforms like Facebook to improve mood, while others show no effect.

If you just can’t quite FB or the ‘Gram, consider at least removing them from your bedtime routine, as this study showed greater scrolling time is associated with worse mood. Also consider doing less passive scrolling in general and more active engagement. This study showed higher levels of depressive symptoms in people who did more passive scrolling.  

3) Sweat

Exercise is now a standard evidence-based recommendation for patients with depression and anxiety. Good news is that it works to boost the mood of people who don’t suffer from clinical depression or anxiety.

There are many physiological and psychological reasons exercise boosts mood from molecular changes to brain structure changes to positive mental distraction.

Regardless of the reason, the research shows that more exercise = more smiles. And more smiles = more connection with the family.

4) Take your friendships seriously

Research shows that deep, authentic social connection helps us not only manage stress and be more effective parents, spouses, and friends, but it helps us live longer and healthier lives.

By regularly engaging with others we not only build new connections between existing brain cells but we also grow new brain cells and connections as well.

Social support = less stress

Belongingness = less depression

5) Get mindfully emotional

Research suggests that suppressing emotions is linked to worse mood and overall well-being. When we open up to safe and supportive friends and family, we not only get emotional support from others, but, according to many therapists, we’re processing tension and stress in our bodies.

We can also start getting in touch with our emotions through mindfulness practices like the OPEN Method, which we explain in this article, and also demonstrate in our Wednesday Wind-Downs. OPEN stands for:

  • O-observe your emotions in your body
  • P-process your emotions by getting close to them and listening to what they have to say
  • E-express your emotions through stretching, crying, verbalizing, or some other embodied practice
  • N-nurture your connection to your inner wisdom.

5 Things Friday: 5 Mood-Boosting Practices for Busy Parents

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5 Things Friday: 5 Mood-Boosting Practices for Busy Parents

Thriving as a busy parent isn’t easy. Here are five ways to make sure you're feeling good amidst all the chaos, spilled milk, and assorted meltdowns.

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Key takeaways

1

At least 30% of parents report high levels of burnout

2

Research shows that the things that make us healthier (like sleep and exercise) are also huge mood boosters!

3

We can boost our mood through mental health practices like focusing on friendship, mindful emotional processing, and reducing social media, especially at bedtime

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Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. Everyone, but especially busy parents, needs a mood-boosting pick me up. This week, we present 5 mood-boosting practices you can start today.

The daily grind for a busy parent is real. The cooking, cleaning, picking up, dropping off… and you add a job on top of that? It’s no wonder that up to 30% of parents report burnout. Even for the other 70%, we imagine, some days are tougher than others.

We asked the experts what the research shows we as parents can do on a daily basis to boost our mood and stay ahead of the game.

1) Take your sleep seriously

Too little or disrupted sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and elevated inflammation that can increase the risk for emotional and mental health problems. Feelings of anxiety or depression, or outbursts of anger or sadness, can all be caused by poor sleep. Sometimes we think the world is crashing down when all we need is some really good sleep.

In other words, poor sleep is a mood killer. To boost our mood, we need to pay attention not only to the amount of sleep we get, but its quality and its timing. Our Embody Masterclass has great tips on supporting optimal sleep. These include limiting artificial light at night, not eating after the sun goes down, and cutting out caffeine after 1 pm.

2) Reduce social media. Except for The Family Thrive, of course!

We already know that social media use can be big trouble for teens. But social media use, Facebook especially, has been linked to worsened mood, depression, and anxiety in adults.

Perhaps one of the easiest mood-boosters available is to just take a social media break. Anecdotal reports suggest that people are much happier when they take a break from Facebook and Instagram. Research is mixed with some studies showing quitting platforms like Facebook to improve mood, while others show no effect.

If you just can’t quite FB or the ‘Gram, consider at least removing them from your bedtime routine, as this study showed greater scrolling time is associated with worse mood. Also consider doing less passive scrolling in general and more active engagement. This study showed higher levels of depressive symptoms in people who did more passive scrolling.  

3) Sweat

Exercise is now a standard evidence-based recommendation for patients with depression and anxiety. Good news is that it works to boost the mood of people who don’t suffer from clinical depression or anxiety.

There are many physiological and psychological reasons exercise boosts mood from molecular changes to brain structure changes to positive mental distraction.

Regardless of the reason, the research shows that more exercise = more smiles. And more smiles = more connection with the family.

4) Take your friendships seriously

Research shows that deep, authentic social connection helps us not only manage stress and be more effective parents, spouses, and friends, but it helps us live longer and healthier lives.

By regularly engaging with others we not only build new connections between existing brain cells but we also grow new brain cells and connections as well.

Social support = less stress

Belongingness = less depression

5) Get mindfully emotional

Research suggests that suppressing emotions is linked to worse mood and overall well-being. When we open up to safe and supportive friends and family, we not only get emotional support from others, but, according to many therapists, we’re processing tension and stress in our bodies.

We can also start getting in touch with our emotions through mindfulness practices like the OPEN Method, which we explain in this article, and also demonstrate in our Wednesday Wind-Downs. OPEN stands for:

  • O-observe your emotions in your body
  • P-process your emotions by getting close to them and listening to what they have to say
  • E-express your emotions through stretching, crying, verbalizing, or some other embodied practice
  • N-nurture your connection to your inner wisdom.

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. Everyone, but especially busy parents, needs a mood-boosting pick me up. This week, we present 5 mood-boosting practices you can start today.

The daily grind for a busy parent is real. The cooking, cleaning, picking up, dropping off… and you add a job on top of that? It’s no wonder that up to 30% of parents report burnout. Even for the other 70%, we imagine, some days are tougher than others.

We asked the experts what the research shows we as parents can do on a daily basis to boost our mood and stay ahead of the game.

1) Take your sleep seriously

Too little or disrupted sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and elevated inflammation that can increase the risk for emotional and mental health problems. Feelings of anxiety or depression, or outbursts of anger or sadness, can all be caused by poor sleep. Sometimes we think the world is crashing down when all we need is some really good sleep.

In other words, poor sleep is a mood killer. To boost our mood, we need to pay attention not only to the amount of sleep we get, but its quality and its timing. Our Embody Masterclass has great tips on supporting optimal sleep. These include limiting artificial light at night, not eating after the sun goes down, and cutting out caffeine after 1 pm.

2) Reduce social media. Except for The Family Thrive, of course!

We already know that social media use can be big trouble for teens. But social media use, Facebook especially, has been linked to worsened mood, depression, and anxiety in adults.

Perhaps one of the easiest mood-boosters available is to just take a social media break. Anecdotal reports suggest that people are much happier when they take a break from Facebook and Instagram. Research is mixed with some studies showing quitting platforms like Facebook to improve mood, while others show no effect.

If you just can’t quite FB or the ‘Gram, consider at least removing them from your bedtime routine, as this study showed greater scrolling time is associated with worse mood. Also consider doing less passive scrolling in general and more active engagement. This study showed higher levels of depressive symptoms in people who did more passive scrolling.  

3) Sweat

Exercise is now a standard evidence-based recommendation for patients with depression and anxiety. Good news is that it works to boost the mood of people who don’t suffer from clinical depression or anxiety.

There are many physiological and psychological reasons exercise boosts mood from molecular changes to brain structure changes to positive mental distraction.

Regardless of the reason, the research shows that more exercise = more smiles. And more smiles = more connection with the family.

4) Take your friendships seriously

Research shows that deep, authentic social connection helps us not only manage stress and be more effective parents, spouses, and friends, but it helps us live longer and healthier lives.

By regularly engaging with others we not only build new connections between existing brain cells but we also grow new brain cells and connections as well.

Social support = less stress

Belongingness = less depression

5) Get mindfully emotional

Research suggests that suppressing emotions is linked to worse mood and overall well-being. When we open up to safe and supportive friends and family, we not only get emotional support from others, but, according to many therapists, we’re processing tension and stress in our bodies.

We can also start getting in touch with our emotions through mindfulness practices like the OPEN Method, which we explain in this article, and also demonstrate in our Wednesday Wind-Downs. OPEN stands for:

  • O-observe your emotions in your body
  • P-process your emotions by getting close to them and listening to what they have to say
  • E-express your emotions through stretching, crying, verbalizing, or some other embodied practice
  • N-nurture your connection to your inner wisdom.

Every Friday, we bring you five related things, ideas, facts, or practices that we hope will make your parenting journey a little easier. Everyone, but especially busy parents, needs a mood-boosting pick me up. This week, we present 5 mood-boosting practices you can start today.

The daily grind for a busy parent is real. The cooking, cleaning, picking up, dropping off… and you add a job on top of that? It’s no wonder that up to 30% of parents report burnout. Even for the other 70%, we imagine, some days are tougher than others.

We asked the experts what the research shows we as parents can do on a daily basis to boost our mood and stay ahead of the game.

1) Take your sleep seriously

Too little or disrupted sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and elevated inflammation that can increase the risk for emotional and mental health problems. Feelings of anxiety or depression, or outbursts of anger or sadness, can all be caused by poor sleep. Sometimes we think the world is crashing down when all we need is some really good sleep.

In other words, poor sleep is a mood killer. To boost our mood, we need to pay attention not only to the amount of sleep we get, but its quality and its timing. Our Embody Masterclass has great tips on supporting optimal sleep. These include limiting artificial light at night, not eating after the sun goes down, and cutting out caffeine after 1 pm.

2) Reduce social media. Except for The Family Thrive, of course!

We already know that social media use can be big trouble for teens. But social media use, Facebook especially, has been linked to worsened mood, depression, and anxiety in adults.

Perhaps one of the easiest mood-boosters available is to just take a social media break. Anecdotal reports suggest that people are much happier when they take a break from Facebook and Instagram. Research is mixed with some studies showing quitting platforms like Facebook to improve mood, while others show no effect.

If you just can’t quite FB or the ‘Gram, consider at least removing them from your bedtime routine, as this study showed greater scrolling time is associated with worse mood. Also consider doing less passive scrolling in general and more active engagement. This study showed higher levels of depressive symptoms in people who did more passive scrolling.  

3) Sweat

Exercise is now a standard evidence-based recommendation for patients with depression and anxiety. Good news is that it works to boost the mood of people who don’t suffer from clinical depression or anxiety.

There are many physiological and psychological reasons exercise boosts mood from molecular changes to brain structure changes to positive mental distraction.

Regardless of the reason, the research shows that more exercise = more smiles. And more smiles = more connection with the family.

4) Take your friendships seriously

Research shows that deep, authentic social connection helps us not only manage stress and be more effective parents, spouses, and friends, but it helps us live longer and healthier lives.

By regularly engaging with others we not only build new connections between existing brain cells but we also grow new brain cells and connections as well.

Social support = less stress

Belongingness = less depression

5) Get mindfully emotional

Research suggests that suppressing emotions is linked to worse mood and overall well-being. When we open up to safe and supportive friends and family, we not only get emotional support from others, but, according to many therapists, we’re processing tension and stress in our bodies.

We can also start getting in touch with our emotions through mindfulness practices like the OPEN Method, which we explain in this article, and also demonstrate in our Wednesday Wind-Downs. OPEN stands for:

  • O-observe your emotions in your body
  • P-process your emotions by getting close to them and listening to what they have to say
  • E-express your emotions through stretching, crying, verbalizing, or some other embodied practice
  • N-nurture your connection to your inner wisdom.

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