Sometimes your coffee is either too strong or not strong enough to get you out of bed. Or if you’re anything like me, it’s the children on your back that are just too loud. If you feel anything close to these, then welcome to the club. Summer is taking a bow and there’s this emotional roller coaster that comes with back-to-school. The feeling is real even if you’re practically not going back to school.
So before the leaves start to fall, I would say it’s time to lift your mood out of the blues and feel good even when the nights get longer and the temperature begins to fall.
Here are nine scientifically-proven methods to help you beat the fall and winter blues.
- Get More Daylight
When you feel so low and demotivated to do anything, a little act of TLC can do lots of magic. Your down-low syndrome may be your body’s way of telling you to get more daylight. In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, it was stated that bright light treatment is very effective in reducing depression both in people who are affected by seasonal change and people who feel down all the time. So why don’t you sit next to an artificial light or a light box for at least 30 minutes per day. You can also open blinds or curtains and sit closer to windows to get some extra dose of sunshine. Taking a walk during the day will give you a few short measures of sunshine. This has been scientifically proven to be as effective as anti-depressant medications.
- Take in Some Good Scents
Never underestimate the mood-enhancing power of sensational smell. For thousands of years, aromatherapy has been used to regulate mood and relieve stress. According to Prevention, Essential oils such as citrus and Mandarin have been proven to be naturally calming. So why don’t you get an aromatherapy massage? You can also light up a scented candle while you relax over a good book. What’s more? Burning incense made from cedar wood is just the perfect way to lift up your spirit.
- Drink One to Two Cups of Coffee Each Morning
According to Edward J. Cumella, a professor of graduate psychology with Purdue University Global in the Phoenix, taking a modest amount of caffeine daily decreases the risk of depression and mood swings by more than 50 per cent. So why don’t you indulge in the therapeutic aroma and taste that a good cup of coffee has to offer? It will not only invigorate your senses, it will also set you up for the day.
- Get More Omega-3s
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are scientifically associated with fighting depression. The Harvard Medical School states that two types of Omega-3 fatty acids are very effective against mood disorders. The first is eicosapenteanoic acid and the other is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Foods such as Kidney beans, walnuts and flaxseeds are rich in these Omega-3 fatty acids. This may also be the perfect time to stock up on Salmon and Mackerel as they can help to enhance your mood and relieve anxiety.
- Break Out of Your Routine
Do you sometimes get that humdrum feeling of having to do the same things every day? This is your body’s way of telling you “enough of doing what you’ve always done. You have to do something awe-inspiringly different and better” Isn’t it time to get out of your same old routine and try something different? Why don’t you take a day off from work and do something fun. You can go on a hike with your camera or go shopping at a mall you haven’t visited before. You can try out a totally new dish or wear something that is so “not you”. This may also be the perfect time to consider taking a vacation with your friends or your significant other.
- Sing a Little Tune
How do you feel when you hum a little tune as you go about your daily activities?
Most likely, you must have found out that it had a profound impact on your mood. Singing brings joy to the soul. Whether you do it in the car, at work, in the kitchen or with a friend, actively engaging with a song instantly boosts your mood. According to Music therapist Kat Fulton, singing has the power to reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being. And it works for everyone, even if you are not a great singer!
- Take Your Vitamins
Taking the right vitamins is a sure way to boost your mood. According to the Mayo Clinic, low levels of vitamin B-12 and other B-Vitamins such as B-6 and folate could be a cause for depression. Although, vitamins alone are just one of the many ways to alleviate depression, they are very important especially for improved brain function. So why don’t you take your vitamins quite religiously during these blue months? They will set you up for more productive days.
- Go Easy on Yourself
When things don’t go as planned, always resist the urge to weep mentally or beat yourself up. And whenever you fall into the pit of mentally berating yourself for some supposed failure, try to replace your negative thoughts with more positive ones like “I have done the best I can” or “I’ll seek out alternative ways to go about it.” You can also exercise positivity by looking back on what went well and feeling good about it. This will help to keep your mood from going down.
- Practice Gratitude
When you feel so low, you often find yourself constantly focusing on what needs to be done instead of appreciating the beauty around you. According to Robert Emmons, in his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, “Gratitude is the acknowledgment of goodness in one’s life. In gratitude, we say yes to life. We affirm that all things taken together, life is good and has elements that make it worth living.” The simple act of writing down three things you’re grateful for everyday intensifies positive feelings and gives your mood a big boost. So isn’t it time to start a gratitude journal?.