Working on creating a positive outlook on life can combat depression ... photo by CC user Andrew Mason on wikimedia commons

Whether it’s the culmination of the holidays, a cold winter or just feeling blah, climbing out of a rut can be difficult to do. Fortunately, the following suggestions can help you cultivate a positive outlook on life, while making you feel better about yourself.

Do Something for Others

Everyone suffers a case of the Mondays on occasion. However, if you’re having difficulties getting out of a funk, you may need to get proactive. While it may only be for selfish purposes, doing something good for someone else can boost your life’s outlook just as much as it will benefit the person in need. If you’re feeling low, push yourself to help others. If you’re an animal lover, volunteer to walk dogs or play with the cats from a shelter. Are you handy? You could sign up to build houses for Veterans who were left handicapped or homeless after serving their country. If you lack friends or are feeling lonely, try volunteering at a senior center. Here you can spend time playing games or listening to those who have a lot of wisdom to impart on the younger generation.

Change Your Appearance

In addition to being happy with who you are as a person, feeling good can also come with an improved appearance. If you’ve kept the same hairstyle for years, it’s time for a new color or cut. For those who have always worn eye glasses, a simple change to contact lenses can totally change your look. Even better, quality contact lenses may not be as expensive as you would think, especially when you buy contacts online.

Be a Good Citizen

Whether you want to help your local community or improve the environment, simple gestures of good citizenship can improve your spirits. Recycling old magazines or repurposing the furniture and goods in your home can be excellent ways to help save the planet. If you’re looking to help others, you could also sign up with your state driver’s license facility to be put on the organ donor list.

Keep Your Resolutions Small

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions to become a millionaire or to quit consuming sugar in the coming year, you may be setting yourself to fail before you’ve begun. Setting smaller goals will make you happier and allow you to feel like you’re accomplishing something. Small tasks can include items such as cleaning the garage, going through your old clothing, working out for 10 minutes each day or limiting yourself to ice cream once each week instead of daily.

Find Something You Enjoy

Everyone has tasks to do that they are less pleased to take part in. However, if you enjoy reading, cooking, spending time with your family or pet, make it a point to do it every day. By spending time doing the things that you love most, you’ll become a happier and healthier you.

Stay Active

Losing your zest for life can make you lethargic, dull and instill feelings of unworthiness. If you’re looking to kick start your outlook on life, find things that can get you off the couch and moving. For an energetic boost, try taking a brisk walk outdoors. Even on a cold winter’s day, the scenery, sunlight and fresh air can be exhilarating. Encourage a friend or family member to join you on your trek.

Challenge Yourself

One of the best ways to get out of a rut is to challenge yourself. If you favor amusement parks, take a ride on the tallest roller coaster. You can also take up a sport such as surfing or white-water rafting. Whatever gets you out of your comfort zone may help lift your mood. You can also challenge yourself by facing a fear. If you’ve always been leery of speaking in public, push yourself to do less intimidating feats such as joining a club where you can make new acquaintances or asking someone on a date that you’ve always been fond of.