Improving your mental health can sometimes take time, planning, and often money. There are twelve-step plans, three-month goals, therapy bills, and emotionally-exhausting hours spent examining childhood memories. Sometimes you just want to feel better ASAP and don’t have a lot of money to spend doing it. Here are seven things you can do right now to improve your mood that require little to no planning, effort, or money.
1. Go outside.
We’ve known for a while that being in nature is essential for mental and physical well-being, but recently researchers have quantified exactly how much fresh air we need: 120 minutes a week. You can spend two hours in nature once a week or 15 to 20 minutes in nature every day. What matters is that by the end of the week you’ve spent 120 minutes enjoying the natural world. It might require some Googling and a short drive or trip on public transportation to get to your closest park or beach, but longer life and improved mental health are worth it.