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The Three Things I Did That Helped My Mood

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

As a College Senior, it is challenging to not be consumed by the existential fear of graduating and entering what everybody calls the “Real World.” This combination of fear and excitement can begin to be labelled as anxiety, anguish, and a need to matter to the Job Market. In addition to this universal feeling, I am also struggling with the death of my father, and the foundation of the relationships surrounding me slipping through my fingers. I was desperate for almost any coping mechanism that would prove successful.

While the World was giving me a run for its money, I would skim and click through every listicle I came across to find a way to brighten my day. I tried every bath remedy, recipe, and Spotify playlist that was thrown at me. Some of these tips were reassuring for a little while, but never truly satisfied my need for a better mood. It was gratifying for a moment, but then left me a little disappointed.

Over the course of a few weeks, I began to notice that I had found a few things that actually improved my mood for quite some time, all things considering. It was reassuring to find these little tips for when life gets me down, but also left me hopeful that things could improve. These were the things I did that made my mood better for a substantial amount of time.

I bought a succulent.

Around finals time, I made the decision to take a final of mine a day early, to create a day for myself to finish some errands and complete my Christmas shopping list. While Christmas shopping, I ended up at Home Depot, where there was a sale in the Garden section. I came across some small succulents, and along with some plants for my friends, I impulse bought a small succulent for myself and placed it by my windowsill. When I look at it, I think back to that great day I had, and it introduces me daily to the sunlight coming out of my window. It really helped my mood that day, and the memory of that day has helped my mood long term.

I listened to music from my culture, and my childhood.

Since returning from Winter Break and adapting to change, my mood stability has been anything but consistent. On a day when I was truly down, I put on a Latin Pandora station I have not listened to in months. The station, equipped with Salsa classics from my childhood and songs I have danced to during amazing nights, made me sing and dance out loud in the most energetic way since my father had died. Now, whenever I feel the slightest bit of anxiety or sadness, I refer back to this station. Listening to music from my Latin roots, as well as music that connected me to my childhood, connected me back to the people I was truly missing at that time.

I took advice from people important to me.

While Buzzfeed and Bustle may offer great tips and tricks for daily living, sometimes this advice may not be personal enough. I started to really listen during this time to my mother, and my mother’s mentor. When my mother called me and told me to take a walk, I did. When she told me to buy specific things from the grocery store, I did. When her mentor called me to light a candle for my father, I did so every time. For some reason, the advice from someone who knew what I was going through meant something to me, and made me feel really special.

With these tips in mind, my mood has improved a decent amount, considering all the obstacles in my path. What is great about these tips, however, is that they can personalized. If times are tough, call a close friend or family member who gives great advice that you can hold in your heart. Listen to a soundtrack from a childhood favorite artist, or in a Language that hits close to home. Impulse buy something small that will allow good memories to arise. In this fragile, yet exciting parts of life, sometimes we need these small moments to truly ground us.


Photo credit: Main Image, Image 2, Image 3. (Succulent photo taken by writer.) 

Natalia is a proud latina, and a Senior at the University of Central Florida. Majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a double minor in Mass Communication and Mass Collective and Culture Behavior, she hopes to eternally study the World for all its' features. An old soul and a child at heart, some of her favorite things include flowers, her 3DS, cheap paperbacks, 80's sitcoms, drag queens, and nifty scarves. Always practicing mindfulness and balance, Natalia dreams of a picturesque beach, with no clouds in the sky and a perfected Spotify playlist. Keep on Keepin' on. 
UCF Contributor