Blues Busters for the Winter Blahs

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Everyone gets the blues occasionally. However, simple lifestyle and dietary modifications can naturally lift your mood on dreary, bad days.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, severe depressive disorder affects around 7% of adult Americans each year. However, mild depression affects only 2%. That means you may not need medicines to beat the blues.

Of course, if you’re depressed for weeks on end, you should consult a doctor. On the other hand, simple lifestyle and dietary modifications can naturally lift your mood on bad days.

Here are some suggestions to help you beat the winter blahs and bust out of the blues.

Get moving…and so will the blues!

Regular exercise helps relieve the early symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Recent research has found that modest aerobic exercise three times a week is as effective as a typical antidepressant prescription treatment. While no one knows why exercise helps, others suggest it boosts brain chemistry and blood flow.

Researchers believe that moderate exercise — at least 30 minutes three times a week — helps lift your mood. In addition, exercise has other great health benefits that make it a really good way to start on the path to feeling better.

Eat well to lift your mood.

Your diet impacts your mood.

According to researchers, low levels or a real shortage of such nutrients as fatty acids, omega-3, selenium, vitamin D, zinc, and the B vitamins folic acid and B12 are all connected with depression.

There is no proof that specific meals or nutrients improve one’s mood under normal conditions. However, moderation is crucial to maintaining a good balance in life. A healthy diet is essential for sustaining a regular mood.

Eat more fish.

Fish, fish oils, and flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve mood. EPA, an omega-3 present in fatty fish, appears to be particularly beneficial against depression.

Though the jury is still out on omega-3s’ potential health advantages, many experts agree it’s worth trying. If not for a better mood, consider adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet for better cardiovascular health. Eating more fish, such as salmon or herring helps. Fish oil supplements are also available.

Yoga is a fabulous way to get to the root of the problem.

Relaxation often helps you perceive the world in a more positive light.

Yoga, an increasingly popular form of relaxation, is one option. An Indian research institute has found that yoga-related breathing techniques help reduce cortisol, an adrenal hormone linked to stress.

Another study indicated that after an hour of yoga, participants’ levels of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid increased (GABA). GABA deficiency has been linked to anxiety and depression. Yoga also offers various other health benefits worth looking into.

Try St. John’s Wort to boost your mood.

Some people receive relief from depression by using St. John’s Wort. However, others find no effect.

According to some naturopaths, it’s worth a try to see if St. John’s wort helps your mild to moderate depression. It’s not recommended to use this herb if you’re already using antidepressants.

In addition,  St. John’s Wort can reduce the effectiveness of several prescription medicines, including birth control pills. Generally, it’s best to check a doctor before using any nutritional supplement.

Get it on paper to get it out of yourself.

Writing about your feelings, whether in a letter, journal, or creative piece, often helps you understand them. In addition, it helps you let go of toxic emotions.

According to recent research, regular recording of emotional upheavals benefits both physical and mental health. It is suggested that you write for 15 minutes per day, on paper or computer, for three or four days in a row. Make sure you write continuously without worrying at all about any spelling or grammar.

Find the light and bask in it for a while. Light banishes the blues!

Lack of sunlight during the dark winter months sometimes causes seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or the winter blues.

Mood swings are common during this time of year, according to researchers. Increasing exposure to natural sunlight and using a full-spectrum light box helps overcome this issue.

According to recent research, the lightbox has value even in healthy persons without SAD. It is suggested that you use the lightbox first thing in the morning (7 a.m. or earlier).

Get a massage from a professional. It will boost your mood like nothing else.

A competent massage may not only rejuvenate your muscles but also relieve stress and anxiety.

According to recent research, massage therapy consistently reduced the stress hormone cortisol in patients with varied medical and psychological disorders. In addition, it enhanced pleasure-related molecules in the brain. A good massage has the ability to relieve muscle and mental strain.

Be mindful and practice positive thoughts to gently lift yourself out of the blues.

Even in bad times, trying to be cheerful helps lift your mood. Begin by writing a list of all the things you value in your life.

In addition, according to recent research, mindfulness (being present) helps boost your mood. To begin, pay attention to your ideas, emotions, and physiological sensations.

Make a nonjudgmental inventory of these mental occurrences. This helps in the detection of negative patterns that lead to depression symptoms. Studies show that mindfulness reduces stress and improves emotional regulation in the brain.

Reach out to a friend. Their strength + yours = a better mood.

Perhaps you prefer to avoid people when you’re sad. This increases feelings of loneliness and despair.

A simple “hello” helps reverse the downward trend. Positive social ties have been shown to greatly improve health and well-being. Therefore, plan social dates. Get in touch with friends.

Additionally, look into volunteer possibilities, or enroll in a new class. If you find it impossible to do any of these tasks because of your depression, seek help from a doctor or therapist. Above all, believe in yourself.  You are amazing!

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