Stress and the absence of sunlight can put us at risk for feeling the seasonal blues; with the winter months on the way, and the hectic lifestyle that falls brings back with it, we could all use a little “pick me up”. When they are feeling down, many people will turn to their favorite comfort food, sugary treats, caffeine or alcohol to help boost their spirits. The longer term implication of turning to such things is the inevitable “crash” they all bring with them. There are, however, healthier ways to go about boosting your mood in a natural way.
There is no way around it; exercise is necessary for maximum health and vitality. It is no secret that exercise releases endorphins, which can aid in boosting mood. Exercise is also a great, natural stress relief and may aid in helping one sleep better at night. Ironically, however, there is evidence that exercise can help give one more net energy throughout the day, so it basically works a modulator, providing both better rest and more available energy when you are awake.
Choose something you enjoy that you can participate in year round. As winter approaches, it is important to emphasize that one need not go outside, which can be prohibitively cold or icy. Gyms are a great option, as are at-home work out programs. Hot yoga may be a warm, welcoming exercise to the falling temperatures outside.
Most of us do not get enough omega 3s, DHA or EPA from our diet. To that end, we can supplement with fish oil. Fish oil brings with it a variety of health benefits, but did you know among them is an ability to boost mood? Some studies have indicated it can help combat minor episodes of depression. (Never use in lieu of doctor prescribed depression medication.) Fish oil is a supplement that is always good to have on hand––it benefits the cardiovascular, circulatory and brain systems.
Feeling sluggish? Try a B Vitamin complex to help aid in energy production and availability. Also, Vitamin D may be a good option for those that experience very little sunlight. Check with your doctor, particularly if you are on other medications, before starting a new supplement regimen.
Daily Prayer/Meditation/Quiet Time
Having a daily quiet time has been shown to aid in stress reduction. This, obviously, can be difficult balancing a family, jobs and other obligations, but it is possible when it is made a priority. Put away the smart phone, the tablet, or anything with a screen.
We’ve talked about depression and how fungi may be able to influence it. Diet can have a profound effect on many areas of health, mood included. If you have not already, give the Phase One Diet a try. Gone are the sugars, grains, potatoes, corn, starches, peanuts, pistachios and alcohol in favor of lean meats, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds and health fats. You may find, after a few weeks on the program, your mood has improved and you have more energy than you’ve ever had.