Well, it’s offically that time of the year again – the days when you wake up well before the sunrise and finish work as the sun has already set. Living a life of darkness, you’re in desperate need of a little vitamin D and a healthy dose of positive energy but unfortunately, your bank account isn’t flush enough for a sunny getaway down South. Womp to the womp.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is something many of us Canucks know all too well – with super short days and cold weather that keeps us cooped up inside all winter, it’s easy to fall into a slump and have our moods plummet quicker than the Canadian dollar (too soon?). Before you hit up the doctor for meds to help with a seasonal bout of sadness or god forbid try to amp up the vitamin D at a tanning bed, why not try these natural mood boosters? Sometimes all we need is a little adrenalin rush, focus and plain ol’ love to get us feeling like ourselves again.
Sweat it Out
When you’re down in the dumps and are slothing around the apartment feeling sorry for yourself (we’ve alllll been there), the best thing to boost your mood is throwing on your sneaks and hitting up the gym. Exercise releases endorphins, the powerful chemical in our brains that energize our spirits and make us feel good. Don’t have time for the gym? Spend 10 minutes in front of the mirror, blasting your fave booty-shakin’ track and just work it.
Play with Pets
The promise of a dog to pet is pretty much the only reason I’ll commit to going anywhere (that and Beyonce), and it’s no surprise that the little lovebugs are now used as emotional therapy for everything from stress to mild depression. If you’re feeling down, just spend some time with your furry friend and reap the rewards of unconditional love. You’ll get an instant hit of the warm fuzzies.
No longer seen as just a bunch of hippie nonsense, meditation has become incresingly more mainstream in our everyday lives, and for good reason – the benefits are endless, improving your emotional, mental and physical being. I find that when my mind is racing from anxiety or there’s something going on in my life that’s overwhelming, just taking 15 minutes to stop and meditate does wonders for my mood. The best part is you can meditate anywhere, from the peacefulness of your own home to your desk at work (just invest in a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones!).
Sing in the Shower
And I mean sing, girl. Like, at the top of your lungs. Hit those high notes like your life depended on it. You will instantly feel better simply by giving your all to a catchy, uplifting song. My fave tunes for belting the blues out? Aint No Mountain High Enough, Like a Prayer and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
There are days where I literally do not speak to a single soul. If Damien is away on business and I’m cooped up inside trying to meet a deadline, my vocal chords don’t even get a stroll around the block. Those are also the days I get totally inside of my head, questioning everything about life and my purpose in this world (it’s amazing how deep shit gets when you’re alone with your thoughts). And sometimes all it takes to boost my mood is just stepping outside, breathing in some fresh air and interacting wth people – even if it’s the barista at the coffee shop or cashier at the grocery store.
Cut the crap
It may taste hella delicious, but that ice cream sandwich is actually killing all your feel-good vibes. Added sugars can actually lead to depression, so you’re better off filling your bod with the good stuff that will improve your mood naturally and continue to over time. Opt for Omega-3 rich foods like fish, and folate dense leafy greens like spinach to take things from womp-womp to woo-hoo.
Reflect on What’s Good
Sometimes all you need to feel better is to put shit into perspective, ya know? When life’s getting you down, take some time to reflect on the positive things in your life and what you’re grateful for. The Five Minute Journal is a great way to start and end your day on a good note, actually writing down the reflections on your day and penning goals for the next.
Burn the (essential) oil
Smell is the strongest of all our senses and is the one most likely to influence brain activity. My fave wellness brand Saje actually carries an entire collection of ‘happiness’ diffusers that include essential oils like lemon, lavender, rosewood and mint, known to boost moods and renew energy. Just add a few drops to your diffuser in the morning and start the day with your spirits lifted.
What do you do to put yourself in a good mood?
Share your feel-good secrets in the comments below!