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4 Tricks to Outsmart the Winter Blues

4 Tricks to Outsmart the Winter Blues

Daylight Savings Time is upon us. That means the holiday season is coming, but that also brings along the cold, dark, shortened days of winter. For many people, this can be a depressing time of year; such little sunlight and the chillier weather can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder. But ’tis the holiday season! Here are 4 tricks you can use to keep your energy and confidence high during the cold, dark days ahead.

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Become interactive. Volunteering in your community can keep your spirits high this winter. It’s a win-win; the people you help are getting the care they need while you get the somber-smashing feeling of worthiness and purpose. Community service not only makes you feel good; it has actually been shown to enhance a whopping 6 aspects of personal wellbeing — self-esteem, life satisfaction, happiness, sense of control, depression relief, and physical health– according to this recent study.

Smell the roses. Aromatherapy can help to invigorate your senses this season. Certain aromas can alter our brains immediately, causing feel-good chemicals to kick those blues out of town. Citrus oils can be reminiscent of warmer climates, which brings about feel-good energy. In this small study, citrus fragrance was found to be more effective at reducing depression than pills! Other sense-awakening aromas include peppermint, ylang-ylang, clary sage, and exotic rose oils. Pamper yourself with a bath or some lotions and decompress from holiday stress with the scent of lavender.

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Have a dance party. Dancing can boost your mood. Think about it, dance is exercise and exercise is a well-documented anti-depressant. Try taking a local class, or even just pumping some tunes and having a dance party in your bedroom. Not the lord of the dance? That’s alright. Simply listening to music with a strong back beat can offer many of the same benefits, including a reduction in anxiety and depression. Music has a strong influence over our emotions, so just be sure to not listen to tear-jerking ballads (ie. Adele) when you’re trying to cheer up!

Detoxify. As it gets colder, our diets tend to get a little less healthy. Perhaps it’s instinctual — most animals tend to eat more as winter draws nearer in order to prepare their bodies for a lack of food and harsh conditions. However, that isn’t really a case for humans. Instead, focus on detoxifying your diet before the upcoming holiday season. Yes, yes, we are all going to indulge a little. But there is no reason to fill your body with junk day in and day out. Try to fill your daily diet with lots of colorful fruits and veggies to beat the blues. Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals can actually lead to, or augment, a depressed state. Additionally, try to get on a steady sleep schedule, don’t overeat, and go for organic foods whenever possible. That way, you and your waistline won’t feel so bad when a generous chunk of holiday cheesecake makes its way to your plate.

There’s no need to feel depressed just because of the season. There are so many wonderful things to do this time of year! Go out, enjoy yourself, and be merry!

 

Read more: Anxiety, Christmas, Community Service, Depression, Diet & Nutrition, Do Good, Fitness, Hanukkah, Health, Holidays, Make a Difference, Mental Wellness, Natural Remedies, New Year, Stress, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

190 comments

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7:37AM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Going outside, rain or shine, boosts our serotonin (happy hormones), gets our circulation going & makes us feel that we have done some exercise. Whats more, it free....

1:16PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

My cats and I like to look out the window on sunny days and watch the squirrels and birds. It's a great way of picking up some Vitamin D.

On rainy, snowy days, we like to cuddle up and read. Winter is the only time I am able to make it through a book. There is always something going on during the rest of the year!

3:31PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

Nobody noticed before this article was printed that daylight saving time was ENDING, not beginning
Anyway, I like winter. It's quiet, it's cozy. I like layering to keep warm. Not happy about the very short days, though, so I try to get out in the little sun that there is. Every season has its ups and downs; not a fan of summer, though, don't like heat nor humidity.

1:57PM PST on Dec 15, 2013

Good to know

10:22PM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Enjoy a cup of tea and despair over all the palava involved in signing in anew to Care2 each time.

8:17PM PST on Nov 23, 2013

thanks. exercise helps me most.. and good books. and crocheting :)

6:24AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

In the wintry months I love spending time indoors with my loved ones, read aplenty, listen to uplifiting music and experiment more with cooking. Imho nothing beats a good homemade meal with a lovely glass of wine. : )

6:05AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

I try to find what's beautiful about the new season and take pictures, or draw. I do find the cold and dark depressing, so I'm always on the lookout for new tricks! I find I get nostalgic for childhood books at this time of year.

12:50PM PST on Nov 21, 2013

Interesting article thanks.

10:43PM PST on Nov 19, 2013

vitamin d & or a full spectrum light help

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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