Miserable weather, lack of sunlight and Christmas-related stress can all make us feel low during the festive period. Whether you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or you simply feel you need a natural mood boost – try the following tips to keep you smiling from morning through to bedtime.
Eat feel-good foods
The way you fuel your body and mind will make a huge difference to your mood. Start your day off by eating a nutritious breakfast that contains brightly coloured fruit or veg. Throughout the day ensure you’re avoiding high-sugar foods that could cause your energy levels to fluctuate.
Being around people can help you feel less stressed and according to studies may even make you live longer! If something is getting you down, meet up with a friend or family member for a good chat.
Do something of meaning
This could be enjoying nature, spending time with loved ones, or doing something creative. Whatever it is you’re passionate about – try to fit it into your day.
Focus on the present
When things are getting on top of you, take 10 minutes to focus on the present. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and notice all the sensations and sounds around you at this very moment. Often when we’re stressed it’s because we are thinking about the past or the future. Keep your emotions in check by rooting yourself in the present.
Get some natural sunlight
We know in December sunshine is in short supply, but this makes it even more important for us to get our daily dose. Sunlight stimulates the brain chemical serotonin – also known as the happy hormone. If you work indoors, try to get outside during your lunch break and if possible – exercise. Physical activity is another great way to boost mood and is thought to be as effective as antidepressants.
Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep
Being well rested will keep you feeling fresh and alert all day. Ensure you have a wind-down routine to help you feel relaxed and ready for bed. Take a warm bath, turn off any electrical equipment and ensure your bedroom is totally dark as this helps your body feel sleepy.
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