Well it's officially the most depressing day of the year! A newly coined term, blue Monday gets its name from the perfect storm of circumstances that may have you feeling less than chipper today. The combination of cold weather, short days, credit card debt from the holidays and overall lack of motivation for fulfilling those New Year's resolutions has many people a little down-and-out. The good news is that things can only get better from here and to help you out I'm sharing several tips that will help you beat the winter blues.
Exercise: Everyone knows that exercise releases endorphins, but did you know that studies show, that exercise can be more effective in treating depression than Pharmaceuticals? Now, I’m not advising anyone to go off their medication by any means, but I want to illustrate the power of simply moving your body!
Get outdoors: Being outside releases the feel good hormone serotonin, which also helps to prevent depression. Be aware that getting enough light is more difficult in the winter months, since our days are shorted. Make sure you’re taking at least 10 minutes to be outside everyday, whether it’s during a lunch break or walking your dog, just make sure to get some time outside.
Spend time with loved ones: As humans we crave attention and affection. With our busy schedules we sometimes go through the motions with our spouse or loved ones. A simple hug releases the feel good hormone called oxytocin, which is also know as the cuddle hormone. Don’t underestimate the power of getting affection from loved ones, or even from your pet. Make sure you're spending quality time with people you love and that you’re getting the affection and attention you need.
Keep a gratitude journal: There's no more powerful tool for beating the blues, than being thankful for what you have. No matter how bad your day may seem, most of us live charmed lives by comparison to others around the world. The added benefit to this daily practice is that overtime you'll notice that you have more and more to be thankful for, because what you put your attention on tends to grow.
Embrace the season: The winter months are meant to be the season for rest. The long cold nights are a perfect time to give your body a break from the hustle bustle of the rest of the year, so allow yourself this time to relax. Spend more evenings at home reading a good book and catching up on your Netflix without any guilt.
The good news is there's only 48 days until daylight savings time kicks in. Until then I hope these suggestions will help you beat the winter blues!