Beating Those Midwinter Moody Blues
7 Tips to Combat the Winter Blues
There is something about mid-January that is a bit challenging. The credit card bills are coming in, the excitement of New Years resolutions has died away, everyone else is going somewhere warm, and the days are still short. How do you cope?
7 Tips to Combat the Midwinter Blues
- Make your environment a little brighter. Get outside as much as you can during daylight hours, open your blinds, keep your house brightly lit, turn your lights on as soon as possible when you wake up. Experts say that increasing both the natural and artificial light in your day can help stave off some of the mood that is caused by the shorter days.
- Eat smarter. Certain foods, like dark chocolate, can help to enhance your mood and relieve anxiety. Other foods, like candy and carbohydrates, provide temporary feelings of euphoria, but could ultimately increase feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Exercise. A 2005 study from Harvard suggests walking fast for about 35 minutes per day 5 times per week, or 60 minutes per day 3 times per week, improved symptoms of mild to moderate depression. If you can walk during daylight hours, even better!
- Turn on the tunes. In a 2013 study, researchers showed that listening to upbeat or cheery music significantly improved participant’s mood in both the short and long term. Make a playlist of songs that you can sing or dance to!
- Keep a list of the ways you positively impacted others. Helping others has been known to improve mental health and life satisfaction. Chances are, you are helping others every day at work, but the stresses of the job might be overwhelming you. Each day, list a few things that you did that did have a positive impact on someone else.
- Say no to something you don’t want to do. It’s possible that you are saying yes to too many demands and it’s getting you down. Boundaries are healthy and you can get a happiness boost from kindly speaking your mind and choosing what’s right for you.
- Clear the clutter. Yes, your environment has an impact on your mood. Piles of mail and counters filled with clutter contribute to overwhelm and fatigue. A nice, neat space can be surprisingly helpful when you’re feeling down. If you’re lacking the motivation and energy to clean, just spend five minutes tidying up to get started.
Sources: realsimple.com, psychecentral.com