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Mood-Boosting tips with Katarina Rayburn

Written by Emily, Plant Lover

Mental health and wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do. While we’re big believers that plants can really help to boost your mood, we’re also massive advocates for finding wellness across all other aspects of life. We spoke to yoga instructor, Katarina Rayburn, to find out her best mood-boosting tips that help her feel happy.

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It’s so important to take time each day to find things to help boost your mood and keep you on the right track. So many factors can influence how you’re feeling (including sleep, the weather and so much more ), but we all have our routines and habits that help us feel a little bit better and more like ourselves.

A good day for me involves going to a yoga class with a friend, catching up over coffee/food and making sure I get to spend some time outside. When I break down what it is about these that boosts my mood, I have these five tips I'd love to share with The Stem:

Katarina Rayburn's Mood-Boosting Tips:

1. Move your body in a way that feels good

As a yoga teacher and practitioner, I would recommend incorporating the six movements of the spine. They are a daily non-negotiable for me and a great mood-boosting tip that I have learnt.

Try this little sequence of spinal movements, it can be done in less than two minutes and will help towards a healthy and mobile spine. Focusing on linking movements with your breath also helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

Add it to your daily routine in the mornings, on your lunch break or even whilst working at your desk for a revitalising mood-boosting tip!

Side stretch left & right:

Inhale reach both arms up, exhale side stretch to the right (releasing the right hand down), inhale both arms up, exhale side stretch to the left (releasing the left hand down). Repeat as many times as desired or hold the stretch for multiple breaths.

Twist left & right:

Inhale reach both arms up, exhale twist to the right (left hand on right knee, right hand behind), inhale both arms up, exhale twist to the left (right hand on left knee, left hand behind). Repeat as many times as desired or hold twist for multiple breaths.

Spinal extension & flexion (cat cow seated or in tabletop pose):

Place the palms of your hands on your knees (if seated). Inhale, arch your back, lift your gaze, opening up through the chest (extension). Exhale round your back, creating space between the shoulder blades and let your chin drop (flexion). Repeat this movement at least three times.

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2. Go outside & get some daylight on your skin

Natural sunlight increases the release of serotonin, which is known as the happy hormone. This helps you to have a better mood, as well as feel focused and calm. Add to that some fresh air and you are bound to feel better for it!

3. Talk to a friend or loved one

Saying things aloud helps me to process what I’m feeling. Communicating your mood/feeling to someone can do you the world of good and you never know they must just say something that ends up being exactly what you needed to hear.

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4. Write it down

Whether it’s a to-do list, your diary/calendar or journal. In the same way as hearing it out loud, seeing it there in front of you in an organised way rather than in your head can make it so much easier to process. I love a to-do list, and is a great mood-boosting tip that I have incorporated into my everyday! My new thing for 2022 is an app called Trello, the ultimate ‘to-do list’ (sorry if I’m slow to the party with this one).

5. Nourish Yourself

Eat something delicious that makes you feel good and make sure you stay hydrated. Not only will this boost your energy levels, but things that taste good also promote the production of serotonin.

Katarina Rayburn @katarinarayburnyoga, yoga teacher & founder of @kindredyogalife, yoga studio, retreats and trainings. Next 200hr yoga teacher training starts this April.

Register for the YTT virtual open day on Jan 28th:

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