7 simple suggestions*

With winter right here at our backdoors, you might want to take a look at a few tips on how to shake those winter blues! You’re feeling a little blah, nothing seriously wrong, just a little less than enthusiastic about well, everything. A bit irritable and feeling less than 100 percent with no obvious cause, you wonder what’s going on. Daylight shows up later and fades away earlier. The evenings are cooler and leaves are a bit scant or nowhere to be found. Believe it or not, all of us get a little affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). So here are some simple ways to help you out of that “blah” time of year.
Go outside. Natural light, even when it is cloudy, helps reset our circadian rhythm and hormonal balances; both are factors in our moods. Take a walk at lunchtime; go outside in the morning to do a little stretching or exercising. Being outside will give you more exposure to natural light, even when it seems rather dark. This is also a metaphor for life — there is light and hope even when we can only see the gloomier aspects of the current situation.
Exercise. Physical activity, especially when done outside several times a week gets the body and mind working together to shift any negative mindset. Exercise has many benefits; it helps us get in touch with our bodies and makes us more aware of the natural flow of life. When we are more conscious of our body, we are more awake and energized too. Exercise reduces depression, anxiety, and stress, improves your memory and boosts your overall mood. Ready to up your exercise schedule now?
Eat healthier. Eat more vegetables and less simple carbohydrates like breads, pastas and sweets. People feeling the effects of SAD have a tendency to eat sugary and starchy foods; be aware of this craving and you will prevent the sugar highs and lows. When your body is functioning well, you will feel better.

Give gratitude. Express appreciation to the people and to those who have given you opportunities and much to be thankful for. When we express appreciation for what we have, it triggers positive endorphins, which makes us feel stronger both emotionally and physically. A less known benefit of gratitude is that you’ll sleep better too.
Help others. When we are doing good things for others, we are also positively transformed. Their happiness and improved situation in many ways are transferred to us energetically. Our resilience is enhanced and the stress level is reduced.

Use light therapy. If getting outside isn’t going to happen, get a full-spectrum bright light box and exposure yourself to it indirectly to get more natural light. Start with as little as 15 minutes — please check with the provider for specific instructions.
Spend time with people you care about. Camaraderie and emotional support from loved ones help us regain our equilibrium and boost positive energy. A suggestion, exercise outside with people you care about and you will get a triple dose of goodness. Spending time with loved ones also strengthens your immune system, when you’re healthier you’re going to feel happier too.
There you have it, seven easy ways for you to regain your good humor and productivity, look on the bright side!
*Article excerpts reprinted from: www.huffingtonpost.com by Marilyn Tam