The things you do and your mood
The activities you do can have a big impact on your head space. When you spend time doing things you enjoy (or used to enjoy), it can give you relief from hard times, and build some fun in your life. Likewise, when you set and complete small tasks (like homework, staying active or giving back to your community) it can help to create a sense of accomplishment and meaning.
- give you a sense of achievement and purpose
- build your confidence
- lift your energy
- improve your motivation to achieve your goals, ie., work, study, or staying active goals
- get you out of a rut - if you’re feeling flat.
Ask an expert: How can I do more stuff?
Here’s how our headspace experts suggest you get started:
- Set small goals. Setting and achieving goals helps build confidence and self-worth. Think of a small task you want to do every day (maybe it’s making your bed, going for a 15 minute walk or calling a friend for a chat). It can be anything, the important thing is to set the goal and follow through.
- Find activities you enjoy. If you’re going through a hard time, you may not feel excited about doing anything. But think back – what did you used to enjoy? This can be a good place to start.
- Make a schedule. When you think of an activity, make time for it. Look ahead at your week and block out some time.
- Persist. Find ways to follow through with your scheduled activity, even when you don’t feel like it. You may not feel like doing anything, so it might help to learn new ways to handle this.
- Reflect. Once you begin achieving your goals, take some time to reflect on how it makes you feel. Did you enjoy it? Did you feel a sense of accomplishment? If you did, that’s great. If not, that’s OK. You could try something else.
- Be kind to yourself. Maybe you try a new hobby that you’re not great at, but think of it as making time with yourself to learn and grow. Keep persisting and enjoy the journey of learning.
‘Making time for the things that matter to me most is so important to my mental health journey. Finding meaning in every day and enjoyment in the little things, makes it easier to get out of bed and face the good and bad of each day.
Regularly doing the things I enjoy not only helps me feel better when I’m overwhelmed but helps prevent those feelings from taking control to begin with. When I’m busy or down, it can be harder to get into life. The harder it is though, the more important!
I have a list of activities and things I enjoy – from going to a café to creating something new – and I make sure to schedule time into every day to do these! When I’m feeling flat or alone, these things can feel like a chore, but encouraging myself to get into life again by taking small steps and being patient with myself can get me out of a funk and back on track.’
When you’re feeling low or stressed it’s important to put healthy habits in place – to give yourself a better chance of coping with life’s challenges.
Doing stuff and achieving little things every day is an important healthy habit, but it’s not the only one. Things like exercise, eating well, and spending time on your relationships are also important for good mental health.
The headspace Clinical Reference Group oversee and approve clinical resources made available on this website.
Last reviewed 21 September 2021