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Achieving small tasks and doing things you enjoy can boost your confidence and lift your mood – helping you keep a healthy headspace.
Ally Finnis, hyNRG
“Whenever I'm going through a difficult time, I know that doing things I enjoy – such as reading, listening to music, going out in nature – helps to lift my mood. It is a distraction from issues that may be weighing me down. It gives me a chance to get out”
- Alessandra Finnis hY NRG

Download our factsheet on The things you do and your mood

Achieving small tasks and doing things you enjoy can boost your confidence and lift your mood – helping you keep a healthy headspace.


The things you do and your mood

The activities you make time for 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 or giving back to your community) it can help to create a sense of accomplishment and meaning.

Photographer at sea.
In a nutshell, doing ‘stuff’ matters. Yet, if you’re going through a difficult time, doing anything can seem like a lot of effort. And if you’re feeling low you may lose interest in things you once enjoyed.
So, what can you do? The key is to focus on doing – even if you don’t want to or feel like it. As you set and achieve even small tasks you will learn more about yourself, build confidence and improve your wellbeing.
Here’s how ‘doing stuff’ can help your headspace. It can:
  • Give you a sense of achievement and purpose

  • Build your confidence

  • Lift your energy

  • Improve your motivation

  • 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 builds 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 for it.

  • 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.
Ally Finnis, hyNRG

Alessandra Finnis

“When you're going through a difficult time, it can take a lot of effort to do the things you usually enjoy. When you feel like this, it’s important to view even basic things – like going out, getting dressed or doing household chores – as achievements. 

It's also important to spend time doing the things you enjoy even if it feels like a lot of effort – because the benefits are worth it. 

I have a terrible memory and I do a lot of different things so I keep it all in a calendar. It helps me keep track of what I'm doing and plan out my day. It also helps me make sure I have sufficient periods for rest and relaxation. 

You may find it weird to schedule time for yourself, but don't be weirded out by that! Any strategy that you can use to take better care of yourself is going to be beneficial. It's going to be worth it.”

Alessandra - hY NRG member


Healthy habits

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.

The headspace Clinical Reference Group oversee and approve clinical resources made available on this website.

Last reviewed 18 July 2018

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