It’s winter, cold, and snowy. Schools are closing all over the country because of snow days, which are fun for just about a minute. Winter brings less sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Is it any wonder that it is common to feel the blues this time of year?
But you can wipe those blues out with some easy-to-do actions that don’t take you much time but have a powerful result. “You can change habits, behavior, and attitudes one inch at a time. Just be persistent,” says Philip H. Friedman, PhD, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., who is director of the Foundation for Well Being and an adjunct assistant professor at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology.
Research shows that there are a number of simple things you can do to transform grumpiness into happiness and fairly quickly. Give one of these a try:
Take a Power Nap
A recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that nap-deprived toddlers exhibited lower levels of joy and increased levels of anxiety, the emotional benefits of a mid-afternoon snooze may extend to all ages: The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says that short naps can help improve mood, alertness, and performance in adults.
I recommend taking no more than a 20-30 minute power nap in the mid to late afternoon. It is just long enough to help you feel refreshed and not drowsy.
Crank Up the Tunes
A recent study from the British Journal of Psychiatry found that depressed individuals who participated in musical therapy (as well as traditional standard care) had a greater level of improvement than those in traditional therapy only — they exhibited less anxiety and lower levels of depression.
That is reason enough to turn on the radio, pound a tune out on the piano, or sing at the top of your lungs in your car.
Hug It Out
When you’re feeling gloomy, sometimes all it takes to cheer up is a hug from someone you love or trust. In fact, a recent Australian study of more than 60,000 people (as part of the Nestlé Happily Healthy Project) found that men who hugged more often were happier than those who didn’t.
Did you know that most people hug for less than 3 seconds? But that it takes an 8 second or longer hug to trigger the feel-good hormone oxytocin? So find your partner and hug it out for 8 seconds.
One of the easiest ways to lift your mood is to use doTERRA’s Elevation Joyful Blend. Just diffuse in the mornings to start the day with a positive, uplifted mood. Works like a charm every time. Moms will often diffuse this when waking their kids in the morning to make sure everyone is in a good mood as they get up. If it is good enough for moms with waking kids, it is good enough for all of us.
BONUS IDEA: Some Super Self-Care
Giving yourself some TLC is necessary! A pedicure, downtime to read a book, or even a facial can absolutely boost your mood. Take a look at this video on how to make a super easy, 3-ingredient, sugar scrub for your face. It is a dream!