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.
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.
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!