March 1, 2016

We get sad when the weather changes for a number of reasons. Especially pre-holiday time, when the weather gets cold, life gets hectic, and there is nothing yet to celebrate or look forward to. Scientists have dubbed this “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and it affects 20% of people every winter. Many mild cases go undiagnosed and untreated, but there is no need to suffer. With these comforting tricks, you can ease your mind and warm your mood, no matter how cold it is outside.

  1. Aromatherapy

    Bring your favorite scent of a fonder season into your home with scented candles and oils. Those partial to seascapes may take comfort in an ocean breeze candle. Scientists have also boasted the soothing qualities of lavender oil. Other relaxing scents include eucalyptus, sandalwood and vanilla, while lemon and spearmint scents are thought to energize.
    Image courtesy of Alternativ Z.

  2. Food

    The food you eat directly affects your mood. Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, amino acids, and lean protein have all been linked to brain functions that elevate your mood. Nuts, fruits, turkey, salmon, and dark chocolate are all good options for a pick-me-up, further validating the existence of “chocolate therapy”. You’re welcome.
    Dark Chocolate
    Image courtesy of AARP.

  3. Write

    Even if you have never been a modern day Shakespeare, medical experts preach the effectiveness of writing as a coping mechanism. Verbalizing your negative feelings can help compartmentalize your stress, and keeping a journal can help you manage the chemical changes in your brain that are lowering your mood.
    Writing in a Journal
    Image courtesy of Daring To Live.

  4. Get Outside

    You may have seen this on our website before. The health benefits of fresh air are exponential. Both physically and psychologically, outdoor air relieves tension and anxiety, and provides greater balance and stability. Natural light also works wonders for combating depression. In fact, many medical treatments of SAD primarily involve light therapy. Get outside more often during your busy schedule by taking a walk during lunch, exercising outdoors, or sitting outside to read, talk on the phone or do any other household activity.
    Go Outside
    Image courtesy of Favim.

  5. Maintain A Reasonable Intake of Alcohol and Caffeine

    Alcohol is a depressant, and can further exacerbate the affects of the chemical imbalance in your brain. Caffeine provides instant gratification in the middle of a tired day, but too much can cause anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, and muscle tension. If you are an all-day sipper, herbal tea is always a safe alternative.
    Herbal Tea
    Image courtesy of Snacking Squirrel.

  6. Quit Smoking

    Smoking, in addition to its obvious health concerns, can cause anxiety, depression, muscle tension, and fluctuations in mood and appetite. Although the habit may feel like a guilty pleasure in the moment, it is actually digging you into a deeper hole. Former smokers report feeling more stable respiration, elevated mood, greater motivation, and less anxiety after quitting, all leading to a better you.
    Quit Smoking
    Image courtesy of iVillage.

  7. Talk It Out

    Everyone feels pressure from somewhere, and everyone reacts differently to it. Chances are your loved ones already know something’s up. Knock down the wall and confide in them about whatever is dampening your spirits. They would rather help you than watch you suffer, and there is no shame in needing support. You will feel much better after talking to them, even if they cannot offer a solution. Simply verbalizing your concerns can help you work through your emotions, and think from a new perspective, allowing you to move forward feeling refreshed and re-inspired.
    Confide in Someone
    Image courtesy of Live Science.

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