Self-Care: Boosting your mood

 This fact sheet helps you to know what you can do to maintain and improve your mood. 

Useful facts

Everyone copes and responds differently when times are tough. So be gentle with yourself and those around you. Just because others seem to cope, there is no right or wrong way to manage or be in any situation.

Many things can impact on our lives: local or family situations, national and international events, global issues, such as wars, financial pressures and wider political unrest. Don’t expect to feel okay all the time or to be perfect at everything. You are doing the best you can.


Get financial and employment help: Financial and employment concerns can have a major impact on your mood and morale. If you experience problems, don’t ignore them. Instead, talk to people and get all the help you can, for example talk to; those responsible for your mortgage or rent, utility companies and any other loan companies that you owe money.

The Citizens Advice agency have lots of advice and resources to help with things such as the cost of living crisis.  
If you have not already done so, you might want to talk with your employer and, to understand your sick pay and benefits’ rights, see Moneyhelper.

Look after your body

Look after your physical health by eating healthily, drinking enough water, and moving your body. 

Stay active and move regularly: Choose activities you enjoy and that suit your level of fitness and mobility; join others for sports, or try yoga, Pilates, cycling, running or go for a brisk walk.

Get a good sleep: New routines and situations can cause sleep problems, and sleep is important for wellbeing. Avoid looking at screens as well as coffee, tea, energy drinks and alcohol before bedtime. Create an environment that promotes sleep. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and tidy at night. Temperatures between 18C and 24C tend to promote good sleep. Remove electronic gadgets and use an alarm clock instead of your smartphone. 

Alcohol: Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Having no alcohol days and staying within the recommended limits often improves sleep, helps you feel better in the mornings and prevents you feeling tired during the day. 

Take time to relax: This can help with difficult emotions and worries; it can help improve wellbeing.

Plan and stay connected

Structure and plan your dayGet into a routine, even doing small things like keeping on top of household chores 1 or 2 jobs a day can help you feel better and more in control. A ‘to do list’ can help identify the sort of things you want to do and how to achieve them. Have a plan and set boundaries with yourself.

Stay connected with others: Stay in touch with family, friends and work colleagues.

Talk about your worries: Speak with someone you trust about how you are feeling. If you find this hard, there are many reputable websites that have tips on what to do, see the section ‘where to find out more’ further down this page. 

What can I do to help myself now and in the future?

Stay on top of difficult feelings: Many people will feel anxious and worried as a result of different things. There are a number of steps that you can take to help reduce feelings of worry, stress and anxiety.

Do not stay glued to the news: Limit the time you spend watching or reading the news (perhaps to once a day) so you’re not constantly exposed to upsetting stories. Don’t have the radio on all the time, constant news on things outside your control can be challenging and upsetting.

Limit the time you spend on the internet or tracking social media: Spending a significant amount of time on social media can increase anxiety and decrease self-esteem. Set boundaries and limit the time you spend on social media, this can help you focus on other things.

Try to find things to do that you enjoy: Have something to look forward to such as meeting up with a friend or going for a walk; try to avoid staying in all the time.

Take notice: Be interested and take a fresh look at the world around you. There can be beauty in the most unusual or mundane things. Try to enjoy the moment, whatever you’re doing. Reflect on your experiences, so you become more aware of what matters to you.

Connect with nature:  Where possible, try to connect with the outdoors, even if it’s simply by watching through a window, looking at trees or watching birds flying past.

Keep learning: Learning new skills can help, learning to cook, using online apps and tools for exercise, a new language? Setting yourself goals can help you become more confident and happier without putting pressure on yourself. Focus on succeeding with small challenges, which can feel great while you work through them and when you see the result.

Give to others: Supporting others can have a big impact on people’s lives and improve your own wellbeing too. Consider joining community groups this can help increase understanding and accepting of other people’s worries, concerns and behaviours.

When should I seek medical attention?

Contact your surgery for help and advice if:

  • you have had a low mood for more than 2 weeks
  • in the last month you have been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless
  • you are struggling to cope with a low mood
  • in the last month you have been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • things you’re trying yourself are not helping
  • you would prefer to get a referral from a GP

Where can I find out more?

We review our health information every two years and this information is due to be updated in October 2026.  Here are details about how we develop and review our self-care aware fact sheets.