For Every Season, Turn, Turn, Turn…Your Clocks

“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!”

From “4 Tricks to Outsmart the Winter Blues” By Jordyn Cormier

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