Health Habits to Boost Mood
When we are in the peak of winter, the lack of daylight, sun exposure, cold weather, dampness can all have a big impact on our mood. The good news is though, there are many simple little health habits we can add into our day to counteract some of this and boost our mood. Check them out below and feel free to comment and tell us what you use to elevate your mood.
Get day light, ideally in the morning and sunlight (but we know that's not always possible). Even just 10 min of daylight in the AM can keep you in tune with circadian rhythms and release serotonin to elevate mood.
Practice breathing exercises. Again just a few minutes of focused breathing can help put you into the state you desire. If you need a pick me up breathe in for longer than you breathe out and if you need to calm the mind down, breathe out for longer than you breathe in. Keep it controlled and comfortable.
Exercise. I don't think I need to get into the benefits of exercise here, I'm sure you all know it. Commit to even just 10 min of walking (ideally you would longer or sets of 10 min but do what you can as always) and watch your mood lift instantly.
Have a cold shower. I know, not everyone is keen on this, especially in winter but it is energising and mood lifting as it releases adrenaline (in a positive way), endorphins and serotonin. It provides a natural high just like exercise does and incredibly good for health and the immune system also.
Get into nature. Research has shown that even just looking at pictures of nature can help stress levels and engage the sensory part of our brain that makes us feel more present, content and attached. So a walk or run in the park and you are releasing all of the 'happy hormones'- dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin. Force yourself to get around nature when you can, even just a small grass space with a tree can help.
No screen time after 10pm (ideally by 9pm if possible). You may need to be really disciplined here but it is an important one that will help you sleep better, feel better and help improve focus and concentration overall. Let's not have the screens take over our lives and control us!
Don't over do the caffeine. Caffeine can help elevate the mood but over do it and we can become irritable and 'edgy'. 2-3 cups of caffeine per day is plenty and when we go over that we are over stimulating our systems.
Hopefully these help and they are easy enough to integrate into your day, even if it's just 2 or 3 of them.
if you would like to elevate mood and overall wellbeing then you may want to join us for the wellbeing retreat at Dalkeith country park on 28th and 29th January. You can find out more here: https://www.themindfulenterprise.org/product/wellbeing-weekend-retreat-weekend-ticket/
To your health, Craig