Enduring the dark times

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Despite the shortest day now past and gone, we should see the days lengthening. This still means months of cold and dark, and often time, this is the hardest for those dealing with depression.

Unfortunately, we can’t hibernate through the winter, so we must endure instead. Here are some ideas to help;

Listen to Music. Studies show that listening to music impacts our mood and attitude. Another study showed that what you listen to can impact moods in many ways from provoking anger or sadness, or being uplifting.

Eat the right food. Humans tend to be forages by nature. This doesn’t mean to continually eat, but to eat regularly, but small meals, through the day. This keeps the metabolism up and running, and you’re less likely to ‘crash’. Doctors suggest Omega 3’s, and refined carbs (not the ‘white’ carbs) should be consumed.

Be mindful of what you eat, but also how you eat. Eat slowly and mindfully, to enjoy the flavor and texture of the food.

Get enough rest. This one is a tough one for me because I’m an insomniac. I use the supplement Melatonin to help, which lets me go to sleep and stay asleep. There’s no drowsy effect in the morning either. Try also herbs (pill or tea) such as Valerian, Chamomile, and Mint. Be sure to get enough hours of sleep. For some people this might mean anywhere from 6-10 hours. Listen to your body.

Meditate daily. Take some time every day to meditate. There are different methods to calm the mind, but all forms help improve mood and relieve stress levels.

Change your thinking. You might think this is impossible, but the way we think, our attitude, is often learned or a bad habit. Instead of seeing the dark cloud, try to see the silver lining. Don’t see problems as blocks, but obstacles to be overcome (or challenges, or as I like to think of them as ‘quests’ like in a video game). With practice, you can improve your mood.

Keep pictures and photos of people (or animals) who are smiling. The human brain perks up when seeing a genuine smile, and often boosts the mood. Its almost as if we need to respond by smiling back.

What do you do to keep happy?

Post in comments.

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