As the summer months come to an end, it is natural for people to feel a little bit “down”. The days grow shorter, the temperatures cool and a condition known as seasonal blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sets in. If you’ve noticed a dip in your mood lately, try one or more of these all-natural mood boosters to help you feel better.
• Get outside. Sunlight and fresh air will do wonders for your mental state. Sunlight, even on a cloudy day, is beneficial and there’s nothing quite as rejuvenating as the crisp autumn air. So bundle up and take a brisk walk, if only for a short while.
• Laugh often. Laughter is invigorating. It is good for your mood as well as your health. Read a light-hearted book, watch a comedy and find humor in yourself, your family and friends. Pets can be especially funny so try spending some time with Fido. The key is to take a few moments every day to find the humor in your life.
• Eat healthy snacks. Snacks such as cookies, candy or soft drinks are packed with refined sugar. These may give you temporary energy soon after consuming them, but you will also likely experience an energy ”crash” later a few hours later. This crash can actually make you feel worse than you did before you had the snack. Instead of high-sugar snacks, opt for healthy versions such as nuts, fruit, cheese, whole grains.
• Stay active. People often become less active as the days become shorter and the temperatures cool down. Instead, it is important to maintain or increase your activity levels. Not only will you burn calories and fat, your body will produce endorphins while you’re active that improves your mood and gives you extra energy.
• Sing and dance. You may have heard that “music soothes the savage beast.” It can also greatly affect your mood. Listen to music you love, music that makes you want to sing along and dance across the room. When you hear songs that affect you in this way, whether you actually sing and dance or not, you can’t help but to feel more positive about life.
• Tap into your sense of smell. Aromas can also greatly affect your mood. When you think about fresh baked cookies, homemade bread, hot apple cider and heartwarming stews, chances are you feel warm and secure. You can use these same aromas as well as other fragrances to bring you joy and boost your mood.
Fragrances like cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, jasmine and sandalwood are excellent mood boosters and you can find them in essential oils as well as candles. Other feel-good scents include peppermint, citrus, coffee, rosemary, roses, irises and geraniums. You might also like simple things that remind you of years past such as baby lotion, old leather, fresh cut wood, grandma’s perfume or even the scent of a farm. These things you might have to look a little harder for, but the wonderful memories they hold are well worth the trouble.
• Snuggle with Fido. There really isn’t anything better to help brighten your mood than the love of a pet. In fact, scientists have proven that petting and being close to pets can greatly improve your mood. They love and accept unconditionally, what could be better than that?
These are but a few all natural things you can do to improve your mood this fall.