If you’re like me the cold winter months can make you feel kind of down and not like yourself. This happens worse to me when the days are particularly gloomy and we see very little sunshine for a time. There are some easy steps you can take to lift your mood that might help your days feel a little brighter until Springtime!
A little “smell” therapy…
Diffusing or inhaling essential oils can be a great way to help lift your mood when feeling a little blue. Your sense of smell is one of the easiest ways to get directly to your brain. Some of the oils that have been known to help with depression are lemon, rosemary, peppermint, Jasmine (Oh I love the smell of jasmine tea brewing), ylang ylang and Frankincense. If you don’t have a diffuser you can always put a few drops on a cotton ball and place it in a small bottle (such as a pill bottle) to inhale throughout the day. They also sell inhalers pretty inexpensively if you want to invest in one. I have also just put some drops of essential oils on a Kleenex and placed it by my pillow when sleeping to inhale the scent when I didn’t want to run the diffuser all night.
Get to moving….
I know sometimes when I’m feeling down the last thing I feel like doing is exercising but it’s a great way to raise the serotonin levels in your brain. Just taking a 15 minute walk or putting on some music that you can really get into and dance around the room does wonders for the mood and body. Moving your body and being grateful for the ability to do it is a major mood changer. I grew up dancing and ballet was my passion when I was young. I can’t say that hearing some soul stirring music doesn’t cause me to pirouette around the kitchen sometimes when no one is looking. Oh and being able to laugh at yourself is also pretty mood altering too! Which brings me to my next point….
Laugh…and then laugh some more
It is true what they say that laughter is the best medicine. A good belly laugh does wonders for the soul and the mind. Do you have a favorite movie that no matter how many times you watch it you laugh? Or what about a hilarious video that always makes you chuckle? Laughter incorporates lots of oxygen that stimulates your muscles and organs and can increase ” feel good ” endorphins. It also helps to reduce stress which we all know can bring us down quick! Laughter can also make it easier to cope with a stressful situation. I love being around people that make me laugh! I guess we innately know what is better for our minds and body and gravitate towards that thing or person. I absolutely envy the person that has the ability to bring about laughter in others. It’s a gift that has more benefits then we thought!
But it’s to cold to go outside….this is the typical response in the winter. I’m here to attest to how much this helps me. Maybe it’s because I’m such a nature lover but it turns my day around to go outside. If you own a coat and gloves, bundle up and brave the cold even for a little bit. The sunshine does wonders for the mood and so does hearing the birds and walking along a beaten path by a creek or pond. Vitamin D has been found to be instrumental in helping with depression and people typically get much lower levels of Vitamin D in the winter which can contribute to a low mood. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because absorbing sunshine through the skin creates it within your body. Try to expose as much skin as you are able and spend 30 minutes a day outside. If the sun hardly shines in your area you might want to have your Vitamin D levels checked by your medical practitioner and see if supplementing some Vitamin D would help you. In my research I discovered that liquid vitamin D tends to absorb better then the capsules so that may be something to check into if your levels just won’t budge. There are also special lights that you can ask your doctor about that helps those that suffer with seasonal affective disorder and has been found to be effective in over half the people that have used it.
Spend time with those you love…
Community is so important to beat the blues. Winter time makes me want to hibernate in my home sometimes but I have found that spending time with other like minded people and my family who I adore will uplift my mood for many days. Share a healthy meal, have some good conversation, and make a point to laugh! That is what makes up the happy memories of your life and the things that come back to your mind when you find yourself alone again. If your family is not nearby sometimes just playing fetch with a beloved pet or calling someone on the phone to chat will go a long way in helping you to feel better. The point is to get outside of yourself and spend time interacting with the souls that we share this earth with, even introverted people need this connectedness.
One thing we can always be sure of and that is that the seasons do change. The sun will come out again, the grass will turn green and moods generally change with time.