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Tips for Winter Blues


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10 Tips for Winter Blues

We’ve all been there before. Struggling to get out of bed, feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Here are some tips I’ve recommended to my patients over the years.

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  1. Create movement. Run. Dance. Treadmill. Walk up and down the stairs in your building. Even some light stretching or yoga at home will help clear out stagnation in your system. The physical and emotional body are interwoven. You may have noticed when you are really upset or really happy how it effects how your body feels. The principle holds true for changing your mood or mindset by moving your body.
  2. Go outside. Being outside in nature will lift your mood even if its yucky out. Look upward toward the sky and roll your shoulders back to a comfortable posture, rolling your hands/ thumbs outward. You’ll change the alignment of your body to a more open relaxed state-a much needed reprieve from the hunched forward texting pose.
  3. Eat well. Choosing leafy greens will provide nutrients and also cleanse stagnation. The bitterness of the greens improves digestion and will provide clean nutrition without a heavy feeling.
  4. Listen to vigorous uplifting music. Feel free to move or jump while listening. Avoid dismal sounding music.
  5. Treat yourself. Self care is crucial. This includes getting extra sleep if you need it.
  6. Brighten up your environment. Make sure you have adequate lighting at home and work, especially when the days are shorter. While natural sunlight is better, any light will stimulate your brain’s photoreceptors. If you are lying in bed, trying to find the motivation to get up, you can place your cell phone over your forehead/eyebrows (third eye center/Ajna chakra) and use that forbidden blue light that keeps us awake at night to help wake us up in the morning.
  7. Have a glass of water. An Ayurvedic hack to help someone feel better is to give them a glass of water. This works well whether its irritability or depression. We are all a little dehydrated and its easy to forget to drink water in the colder months. Water helps us recenter. You may also add just a pinch of sea salt to your water to help with electrolyte balance. Check with your physician first if you were told to avoid salt for any reason.
  8. Help others. Taking a moment to focus on something outside yourself will lighten your mood. Hold open doors for others, smile (see tip #9 if this bugs you), let people in during heavy traffic, send a note to someone.
  9. Smile. This is contraversial for some as being told to smile and be nice isn’t always in your best interest. In this case though, I am suggesting you smile for yourself first. There is a neurological connection between your facial expression and your mood. Smiling makes you feel and look better too.
  10. Come in for a tune-up. Acupuncture can lift your mood and boost your metabolism.