Pass me a Guinness and a big bowl of chilli! I know I have found myself saying that on more than one occasion in the past two months.
Why? Because it is the dead of winter, when the days become shorter and before we know it, we are surrounded by darkness. Most of us wake up in darkness, go to sleep in darkness, or maybe even work in darkness. We can’t help but find ourselves hitting the snooze button, napping on the couch, munching after dinner, and hibernating from the rest of the world.
It’s those “winter blues” that have gotten the best of us! Unfortunately, unlike our fellow living companions in the wild, we do not have the option of calling it quits for a few months and hitting the longest snooze button of our life. So what’s the solution? I’m glad you asked.
- Picture yourself lying on a sandy beach in a sunny destination. Those warm rays hitting your face and you feel on top of the world! That is the power of Vitamin D as sunlight releases neurotransmitters in the brain that elevates our mood. Take a walk outdoors, open your blinds and shades while working from your computer or reading a book, and sit near windows in a restaurant or in class.
- We know exercise and eating clean helps improve our mood, but how do we make it happen? It may not be as difficult as you think. With Valentine’s Day approaching, try eating these aphrodisiac foods such as almonds, asparagus, avocado, bananas, garlic, oysters, berries, and vanilla. What comes next? Grab your partner and get busy! Sex lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immunity, improves self-esteem, and can burn up to 85 or more calories in one half hour. Don’t have a partner to do the horizontal mambo with? Take a raw, vegan cooking class, try a new fitness class or program, hit the dog park with Fido, or whip up a healthy smoothie and explore a local art gallery or museum. The world is your oyster!
- Crank the tunes please! Laundry, dusting, vacuuming, cooking; it is easy to get bogged down by our daily to-do’s. A 2008 review conducted by the international Cochrane Collaboration, concluded that people who participated in music therapy reported a greater reduction of depressive symptoms. My playlist includes Black Eyed Peas, Mumford and Sons, Dallas Green, Alicia Keys, Rascal Flatts, Jessie J, and Florence and the Machine. Nothing like a little “Boom Boom Pow” while you are mashing potatoes or scrubbing the toilet. Stay positive! Spring is just around the corner!
- Lisa P.