Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects about 10 million Americans every winter season, with an additional 10-20% of the population that feel mild SAD. It's reported, people feel trapped inside with low energy and no motivation to get out and do something during the winter months.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps this winter, we have good news for you! There are so many ways you can beat your winter blues, boost your mood, and get back to feeling like yourself again.
Have you ever been having a rough day and then a coworker walking by mentions that your outfit looks especially nice? Then suddenly, you notice a lift in your mood. Your workflow improves and your day just seems to go smoother. It’s easy to pay it forward and make someone feel good. However, complimenting someone and watching their face light up, as a result, doesn’t just make them happy. The compliment also activates the reward center of your brain, increasing chemicals that make you feel happy too. Plus, a compliment is quick to give but lasts longer than you can imagine.
Although feeling down can decrease your motivation or want to do something, push that feeling aside and make it happen. Working out releases endorphins and “happy chemicals” in your brain called dopamine and serotonin. Just taking a 20-minute walk will give you more energy, a boost of happiness, and a kick of self-confidence, just when you need it most.
Social interaction increases your ability to cope with the stresses of life and improves your overall wellness. Hosting a family dinner, getting coffee with a friend, even just popping in to visit a relative can manufacture laughter, make you feel connected, and can significantly boost your mood. One study shows that when people feel emotionally supported by their family and friends, they experience less psychological distress in their lives. So, surround yourself with family and friends when you’re feeling down!
Get your spring clean started early this year! Surely we’re not the only ones who feel less stressed with a clean house. Getting rid of a few shirts here or there that you haven’t worn in ages, finally filing those important papers, the list goes on. Decluttering your home will help you focus, reduce your stress, and allow you to be more organized.
Have you ever looked back on memories and experienced a flood of emotion? Throughout life, you absorb experiences as a way to learn and guide you moving forward. Reflecting on your life allows you to evaluate and find the areas you’d like to improve upon. Spend some time by yourself reflecting and brainstorming ways to improve your life, then set forth a plan to achieve your goals.
Not only does cuddling with your pet strengthen your bond, it has psychological benefits as well. A study done by Washington State University showed that college students that interacted with a dog or cat experienced lower cortisol levels in their body. So there you have it! Cuddling a pet will make you feel less stressed and more relaxed, and we’re sure the effects will be mutually beneficial!
Are you in a rut with your meal planning? There are thousands of recipes out there that you haven’t tried making yet. Whether you open to a new recipe in a cookbook, find one on Pinterest, or hear about one from your mother-in-law, challenge yourself by trying something new. Trying out new recipes will spark your creativity and give you something to learn, which produces dopamine and forms new connections in your brain. Not to mention, it will make your stomach happy as well! As they say, “variety is the spice of life.”
Creating a list of winter activities to do with friends or family, will increase your sense of productivity and give you something to look forward to all season long. Each time you cross something off your bucket list, try to plan for another activity on your list. Here are some potential suggestions to get you started:
With all of the chaos that life can sometimes be, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. Scheduling time for you is so important! Whether it be a morning yoga class or a weekly at-home spa night, set aside time for yourself and make sure it happens.
Studies show that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to feeling down in the dumps. It is recommended that we get 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL of Vitamin D to avoid having a deficiency in the vitamin. Doctors may recommend multivitamins to give your body a boost of Vitamin D. You can also adopt a diet that focuses on increasing foods that are rich in Vitamin D, including salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and broccoli.
Xen is designed to stimulate your vagus nerve through gentle electrical signals. Vagus nerve stimulation sends a message to the brain to generate calming sensations in the body, resulting in many wellness benefits. Xen may provide better sleep, less stress, more tranquility, a brighter mood, enhanced focus, and reduced negative cravings.
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