It has been raining, hailing, tornados, and just simply bad weather all over the northern hemisphere for the past few weeks. I thought I would give you some tips to stay positive on “Bad Weather Days.” I know I would not want to be a weathergirl these days. Everyone is tired of bad, unpredictable weather. Most of us simply need a break so we can feel the energy of what a good weather day feels like again! Well, here are some tips to do just that even when outside looks not so good. I started seeing a counselor to help me through a few stressful months and she told me I needed to do some “Extreme Self Care,” which I have found to be odd to think about. I did what most of us do, I went online and looked up some solutions to my issues. I found Sparkpeople and fell in love with their suggestions and articles. I hope you will try some of these “Extreme Self Care Tips” along with me!
- Eat often and eat light. you will prevent dips in your blood sugar that can negatively affect your mood.
- Limit refined carbohydrates such as soda, candy, cookies, and white flour, which are concentrated sources of sugar. These foods may give you an immediate rush of energy, but they will cause you to crash and fatigue soon after.
- Include a small amount of lean protein at every meal and snack. Protein will leave you feeling alert and productive for hours.
- Eat foods high in Omega-3 fats. These foods have been shown to lift moods and can possibly alleviate depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon or sardines, canola and olive oils, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Ramp up your B-12 and folate (folic acid). Scientists believe these nutrients help the body produce a neurotransmitter called serotonin—a known mood stabilizer. Shellfish, fortified cereal, oatmeal, wheat germ, and vegetables are some of the many foods rich in these nutrients.
- Get your daily dose of exercise. Whether it’s a formal session at the gym, a walk with the dog, engaging in a sport or just playing with your kids, getting up and moving will boost your mood and energy level.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule—even on the weekends. Although most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, you might need slightly more or less to function optimally. The important thing is that you consistently get the sleep you need.
- Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a break from your home or office to get some air and sunshine. Even stepping out into cold weather will wake you up and refresh your mind.
- Listen to music you love. When your mood is spiraling downhill and the little voice in your head is anything but positive, turn on your favorite tunes and sing along. Soon, sweet music will fill your mind instead of negative thoughts.
- Indulge your senses. Sights, smells, sounds, tastes and tactile sensations can quickly change your mood. Light a scented candle that evokes memories of the holidays, bake cookies to remind you of happy times at your grandmother’s, buy your favorite flowers and revel in the smell (and sight) of them, or soak in a scented bubble bath while listening to soothing music.
- Do something that brings you joy. Whether it’s going to a movie, reading a novel or having lunch with your best friend, take a well-deserved break from work or stressful situations and do something you love. The change in mood will lead to better concentration and efficiency once you return to the task at hand.
- Play or cuddle up with your furry friend. Just petting your dog or cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and evoke a sense of calmness, happiness and well-being. If you don’t own a pet, visit a pet store or volunteer at an animal shelter to get your furry fix.
- Volunteer. There is nothing like the act of giving to those in need to make you feel appreciative of the life you lead. Walk dogs at an animal shelter, feed the homeless at a food shelter, teach English at a literacy program, or assist in programs for special needs children. Do your research and you will surely find a group that can use your talents and skills. If time is an issue for you, contribute through donations and you could evoke the same feelings of happiness.
- Fake it till you make it. Researchers have found that the simple act of smiling seems to activate happiness centers in the brain. Keep smiling and in time, your mood will match your facial expression.
- Create a list of natural mood enhancers that will work for you. Feeling angry? Write in your journal. Stressed? Try a yoga class. If you’re exhausted, take a 20-minute nap. And if you need a laugh, watch a funny movie!
It’s quite natural for all of us to wake up on the wrong side of the bed now and again. If your self-care skills are optimal and you try some tips listed above, your pleasant disposition will shine through. However, if you still find yourself moody, angry, excessively tired or unhappy for an extended period of time, talk with your doctor. He or she will want to rule out any medical or nutritional causes before considering treatment for depression
Comment your tips on lifting moods, I will start our own “Extreme Self Care” Tips list right here on my blog.
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