All Posts tagged Mood boosters

Eight Mood Boosters for the Winter Blues

When the Days are Darker, Shorter, and Colder, What Can You Do to Boost Your Mood?

Little boy enjoying playing with his young mom and dad. Toddler kid holding hands with parents. Children play outdoors in snow. Kids sled in winter park. Outdoor active fun for family vacation.On December 21, the day of the Winter Solstice, Buffalo will receive only about nine hours of daylight. The average high temperature in December is about 36 degrees, with a low of 24, and we accumulate about 27 inches of snow. In a month that brings such dark, cold, snowy days that it can be easy to sigh, sit on the couch, and adopt the mantra of, “I’ll be inside binge watching Netflix until Spring.”

Winter months don’t have to result in your seasonal hibernation, however. If cold, dark days leave you feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and unhappy, it’s time to change your perspective on winter and learn how to become the master of your mood. Here are eight tips to help you beat the winter blues this year.

  1. Stay Active. It may not feel as motivating to go for a long walk on a winter day as it does during the summer, but bundle up and head outside when the sun’s out, and you’ll benefit from exposure to much-needed sunlight, and endorphin-boosting exercise. Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen. Winter sun can damage your skin too.
  2. Start a Project or a New Hobby. Once the holidays are over, your calendar may be pretty open, and without weekend trips to the lake to look forward to, you may find you have extra time on your hands. Rather than spend that time watching Netflix or college basketball all winter, try a new hobby or start a project. Maybe it’s finally time to try skiing (which gets you active, outdoors, and exposed to sunlight), or repaint your guest room.
  3. Stay Warm. Being warm is a mood booster. While you may not have much control over the office thermostat, keep your home heated to a comfortable temperature, and warm your body from the inside out with warm foods and beverages, like healthy soups and decaffeinated teas.
  4. Don’t Let Your Diet Suffer. You may naturally feel more motivated to eat healthy during the summer when weekly trips to your local farmer’s market send you home with fresh fruits and veggies, but you have to keep the diet drive alive in winter too. While you may be more tempted to reach for high-calorie comfort food on cold days, make sure you’re fueling your body with healthy foods to keep your energy up.
  5. Sing a Song. Music has been proven to help improve one’s mood. On days when you’re just not feeling motivated, or when your daily commute through the snow has you on edge, pump your favorite tunes and sing along.
  6. Seek Exposure to Artificial Light. A light box or UV lamp that is designed to produce mood-boosting vitamin D rays has been scientifically proven to help boost your mood. These devices are inexpensive and are particularly helpful for those who work long hours indoors, or who experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood disorder often triggered in the winter.
  7. Stay Social. A simple way to boost your mood in the winter is to surround yourself with people who make you happy. Make sure you’re spending time with family and friends during the winter. When winter driving can be unpredictable, it can be easy to cancel plans, or not make them in the first place. Make an effort to get out of the house and spend time with your loved ones. You’ll all benefit from time together doing activities you enjoy. Volunteering is another way to stay active, interact with your community, and give you a reason to smile.
  8. Get Out of Town. It may seem like cheating, but planning a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny during winter months can give you a temporary break from the monotony of winter and help you push through the rest of the season when you come home.

Talk to Your Doctor.

If you feel like nothing you’ve tried helps you improve your mood or keep you motivated during the winter, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with more complex forms of SAD and depression. Make an appointment to talk to your doctor. He/she can diagnose a more serious condition, and put a treatment plan in place to help you conquer your mood once and for all.

And remember depression might be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or postpartum depression or a Vitamin D deficiency. The team of physicians at Chouchani, Sayegh and Robinson MD are here to help diagnose any conditions and discuss treatment options. Give us a call today.


5 Powerful & Natural Mood Boosters For Women

Beautiful girl enjoying music in parkHave you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? Your car won’t start, it starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella, you forget your coffee or your lunch or you can’t find your keys… of course you have. We all do! But next time your day starts to go wrong, try one or more of these proven ways to boost your mood and make you feel better instantly.

  1. Turn on Some Tunes. Whether on your car radio or your iPod, put on some music and dance or sing along! (yes, you can dance in the car. Carefully.) A 2003 study in the journal Psychology and Education found that people who listened to music of any kind were instantly happier, calmer and more relaxed. If you’re stressed, music can calm your nerves—literally! It’s the music itself—not the lyrics—that affects mood. So listen to something with an upbeat rhythm and melody.
  2. Do Unto Others. Try doing something nice for others. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-through, donate to a cause or volunteer your time. Spending as little as $5 on someone else can help you experience increased feelings of satisfaction, according to a 2008 study in the journal Science. And when researchers analyzed 37 studies on volunteering, they found that people who offered their time had a better sense of well-being, were happier with their lives and were less likely to feel sad and anxious.
  3. Get Outside. Even when the weather is lousy, spend at least five minutes outdoors to help chase your blues away. Appreciate the sun, the snow, the rain or wind, whichever you’re experiencing. And if at all possible, take a quick walk. Research has proved that performing a low-intensity workout outside for even just five minutes can raise your self-esteem and mood levels. Take a walk around the block to calm down and get a positive outlook on life.
  4. Look Through Pictures That Will Make You Smile. Believe it or not, researchers from the United Kingdom found that looking at happy photos beat out chocolate, wine and watching TV when it comes to lifting your mood. Go through your Facebook feed or go through old photo albums to reminisce over happy times in your life.
  5. Take a Break From the World. Have you ever meditated or done yoga? If not, try! Sometimes, to boost your mood, you just need a quiet place to breathe. And study after study has shown that meditation can ease anxiety and increase positivity in your mood. Regular yoga practitioners have been found to have higher levels of depression-fighting neurotransmitters. Both practices require you to turn off the outside world to focus on your breaths and your thoughts, which may help you rationalize and rebalance after something has thrown you for a loop.

Chouchani, Sayega and Bagnarello MD cares about your overall health including your mental health. If something feels off or not right, please discuss it with us at your next appointment or make an appointment today.