‘Tis the season. You wake-up when it’s dark out and get off work after the sun has set. Autumn days become progressively shorter and shorter, which can leave many folks wondering how to beat the blues that a decrease in light can trigger. Fall gives way to even shorter days in winter. Don’t let it get you down. Try these 10 tips to boost your attitude when your mood goes dark:
10 Ways to Boost Your Mood When Seasonal Change Brings Shorter Days
1) Move It, Don’t Lose It!
Keep it together by getting up and moving. If you don’t have time or space for a serious workout, that’s OK. Just standing up and restoring your posture for a few minutes can improve your outlook according to Psychology Today. If possible take a short walk, climb some stairs or dance!
2) Get Outside.
Even if the skies are grey, a bit of fresh air and natural light can enhance mood. Research shows 5-minutes of movement outdoors can increase happiness.
3) Pet a Dog.
Or better yet, combine hints one, two and three and walk a dog! Mental health experts note several advantages to dog ownership, including the increased potential that you’ll get regular mood-boosting exercise with your pup. But, just petting a dog (or any pet that pleases you) can boost your mood by relieving stress and lowering your blood pressure.
4) Don’t Have a Dog? No Problem. Get Your Downward Dog On.
Do some yoga to increase happiness. While you might be able to hop into Happy Baby and Downward Dog at home, Mountain and Tree Pose might be more doable at work!
5) Take a Whiff.
Try aromatherapy by sniffing a sachet, candle or anything that is scented with pine, citrus, rosemary or mint.
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6) Face It.
Spritz an herbal mist on your face and neck. The mist can provide a tactile way to reset your mood. In addition, if you choose your scent wisely, you can experience the benefits of aromatherapy mentioned above.
7) Express Gratitude.
Take a couple of minutes to record a gratitude list. Studies show that composing gratitude lists leads to more optimistic thinking.
8) Write a Thank You Note (and Deliver It).
Showing gratitude to others and writing thank you notes has a positive effect on feelings of well-being and happiness, according to the experts.
9) Just Breathe.
If there’s no space for yoga poses, practice yogic breathing. The Bhastrika technique, which involves quick breaths, can wash away the blues. But any deep breathing can lead to better oxygenation for your brain and body and decreased feelings of stress.
10) Arm Yourself with Laughter Yoga!
It’s time to go all in and not only smile but learn the ins and outs of laughter yoga. Whether you practice by yourself or with a group, laughter exercises can get you out of a funk. It is the essence of the fake it ‘til you make it strategy!