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Now that the holidays are over and the rush of family get-togethers has passed, you’re probably still feeling some anxiety and maybe even a little depression. During the winter months, it’s easy to get depressed because you’re getting less sunshine (a natural dose of vitamin D) and you’re spending more time cooped up inside.
There are things that you can do to help you beat the winter blues. Here are six things that will help lift your mood this winter.
1. Practice mindfulness.
If you’re ready to enjoy this slower-paced portion of the year, using mindfulness will help you. By being more aware of the moment and your feelings, you will be able to control those feelings. By paying attention and noticing when depression is beginning to set in, you can work on the things that help lift you up (like exercising or enjoying a creative hobby).
Even though the stress, anxiety, and even anger (hey, not everyone gets along with their other family members) of the holiday season has passed, these are still feelings that you might experience post-holiday season.
Instead of being angry over the credit card bills you racked up Christmas shopping, you want to notice that feeling and remind yourself that there is time to pay those bills, and those gifts helped your family have a happy holiday season.
2. Eat better.
There’s a good chance that you spent the holidays eating too much food—and too much junk food, too. Now’s a good time to start being a little more conscious of the foods you’re putting into your body.
Studies are out there that have shown that what you eat has a huge effect on your overall health, including your mental health. Increase your vegetable intake and cut down on your meat and dairy. Make healthy snack choices. You don’t have to be strict, but you do want to eat proper portions and make healthy choices.
Make sure you’re getting a good combination of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and zinc will help you keep from getting sick, giving your immune system a boost. If you’re not getting much time in the sun (at least 15 minutes a day), take some vitamin D supplements, and even B-vitamins, to help boost your good mood.
Stop. Shut off the TV and your phone. Shut everyone out. Sit. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Breathe out all of the stress and anxiety. In... out… and keep doing this, focusing only on your breathing and letting go.
Meditation is great for calming and helping with relaxation. You can meditate on your own, doing what I said above, or you can find a guided meditation on YouTube. Meditation not only helps with relieving stress, but it can also help you reduce high blood pressure and ease you out of a panic attack.
4. Do some exercises (especially yoga).
A quick run will get your heart pumping and boost your circulation. Not only does the blood circulating through your body help keep you moving, but it also helps keep your brain working. A good workout can be excellent for boosting your mood and elevating your happiness.
Yoga is also a great option when it comes to exercising for a boost in positivity. Yoga poses stretch both your body and your mind. Yoga is relaxing, it strengthens your muscles, promotes weight loss, promotes meditation, and it can also help boost your immune system.
5. Use positive affirmations.
By saying something positive to yourself every day, you will build a better thought process. You will also boost your confidence and your overall positivity. An affirmation is a positive saying that should always start with “I am.” Some examples may include:
- “I am free of stress. All problems are small things.”
- “I am calm and relaxed.”
- “I am a positive ray of light. My smile is contagious.”
6. Get some fresh air.
I know it’s cold outside, but you still need to get some fresh air. When there is a sunny day, and the temps aren’t terrible, and the wind and snow are MIA, get outside. Even if all you can manage is a walk around the block, do it.
Spend 15 minutes in the sun. Shovel the snow. Take the dog out for a walk. Play in the snow with your kids. Go skiing. A little fresh air, even when it’s crisp, will help clear your mind and give you a moment to breathe easier.
Each of these things has a way of lifting your spirits. Do one of them, or do all of them. Fit them into one day a week, or do them everyday. Just take some time for yourself because self-care is extremely important when it comes to happiness!
Yvonne Glasgow has a Ph.D. in Holistic Life Coaching and a D.Div. in Spiritual Counseling. Yvonne has studied health and wellness, fitness, nutrition, herbal and other alternative therapies, and divination for over a decade. She is passionate about helping other people find health and happiness.
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