As the festive season is over and we are now all back to work or school, the weather is still cold and daylight hours still fewer – It is common to feel more down and in a low mood at this time of year.
Some may even feel depressed, sad and anxious – symptoms varying from person to person.
Here are 10 ways to help boost your mood and beat the winter blues:-
1. Make the most of the daylight
While it might not always seem appealing due to the cold weather, getting outside in the sunlight and fresh air can make you feel better, improve circulation and give you more energy. Exposure to natural light increases the levels of vitamin D in the body and serotonin in the brain which is associated with improved mood.
If you suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), consider investing in a light therapy box, which may help relieve symptoms by delivering a dose of bright light.
2. Exercise & Yoga Practice
One of the best ways to improve wellbeing and mood is to get some exercise. A brisk walk with friends, your dog if you have one or simply by yourself can be a great way to get some fresh air and release endorphins which will make you feel better.
Starting early at sunrise with a more invigorating yoga asana practice than usual, incorporating mantra, pranayama, and meditation does wonders to improve mood.
3. Eat properly
What we put in our bodies and when can make a huge difference to our mood. When feeling down, you’re more likely to eat poorly, and either eat too much or too little at the wrong times. Having a varied, balanced diet that consists mainly of fresh, seasonal whole foods, at set times can work wonders to improve your mood.
Click here to read my blog article on Winter-time diet, based on principles of Ayurveda –
4. Get enough good quality sleep
Poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to you feeling irritable, anxious and worried.
Click here to read my blog article on tips for a more restful sleep:-
5. Understand yourself better
Try and identify what it is that is making you feel anxious or sad. Know that everything in life is temporary and that this feeling too shall pass. Remember that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sharing how you are feeling with family, friends or somebody you trust can often be the first step towards making things better.
6. Read or a hobby or pursuit you enjoy and can get totally lost in
Reading for pleasure, getting absorbed in an art or other creative project is a great way to bring you into the present moment, enable the mind to empty completely or think of something else. This can also help to bring the mind and energy into a meditative calmer more relaxed as well as focussed state.
7. Be kind to yourself & others
Many people set unrealistic New Year resolutions and then feel a sense of deflation and failure when they can’t keep them. Remember to slow down and make some time for yourself. Focus on all you have achieved so far, and the areas you would like to focus on in the future and set small achievable goals towards them.
Doing something for or helping others, random acts of kindness, even small things, or simply smiling at a stranger can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
8. Be disciplined with your technology & social media
Being constantly connected to technology can negatively impact your mood. Switching phones, tablets, T.V’s, even radios’ off at least 1- 2 hours before you go to bed can help you to relax, feel less anxious and get a good night’s sleep.
9. Learn something new
Do something new. Perhaps signing up for a course you always wanted to do. Taking on a new responsibility. Learn a new language, recipe or how to play an instrument. Learning something new can be fun, connect you with others that have common interests as well as make you feel good and builds your confidence.
10. Mindfulness practices
Learning to be present in each moment, cultivating a deeper sense of awareness of yourself, others and the environment around you.
11. Wear your favourite clothes, accessories, and beauty products
Make an effort even if you don’t plan to do much. Choose bright colours that uplift you and make you feel good. Personal grooming every day is important and affects our energy and mood. Choose natural skincare and bath products and scents that can also promote a sense of calm, balance, peace and wellbeing. I love essential oils – Some of my favoroite mood boosting oils are:- jasmine, rose, geranium, lavender and ylang ylang.
12. Consider taking Ayurvedic herbal supplements
Consider taking Ayurvedic herbal supplements that can help support in boosting mood, reducing stress and anxiety, ease depression and help promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. Some herbal supplements used in Ayurveda for such purposes are Gotu-Kola, Ashwaghanda, Brahmi. Always seek advise first to ensure you understand which is most appropriate to suit your individual needs and mind-body constitution.
Managing Stress & Anxiety Holistically:-
Winter time diet based on principles of Ayurveda:-
Tips for a more restful sleep:-
Please note that the information contained within this article is based on my own experience and principles of healthy living from my knowledge of Ayurveda. The information and recommendations mentioned herein are not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a qualified healthcare physician, psychiatrist or Ayurvedic doctor. If in doubt, or if you may require diagnosis or medical attention, consult your healthcare provider before implementing or adopting any significant diet or lifestyle changes and taking any herbal supplements.