Are you one of those people who impatiently wait for spring to arrive? The gloom of winter months and cloudy days depress you and sap your energy? Many Americans suffer from that condition aptly named Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are many ways of fighting SAD and they all can be effective in treating depression and stress at any time of the year. Here are a few tips to make your day a little brighter, happier, and healthier.
1. Spend 15 minutes longer in the shower and use an expensive soap or body wash. Or, take a relaxing, soothing bubble bath with mood lighting and a soothing scent in your bath. Vanilla and lavender scents are excellent for easing tension and relieving depression.
2. Sing! Yes sing, with the radio, your iPod, or your favorite record, tape, or CD. Sing at the top of your lungs with gusto and enjoyment. Sing for at least five minutes and dont worry about the neighbors. If you sound great, you will entertain them and make them smile, if you are terrible or just think you are, you could give them a good laugh, which can help ease their stress and depression.
3. If you are a grandparent, take one of your grandchildren for a walk. Let them spend the night, or just let them sit on your lap and listen to them talk. Warm hugs, happy chatter, and the warmth of a child in your lap will cheer up nearly everyone. If they are small, look into their eyes and feel the miracle of life. If they are older, let them help you make cookies or bake a cake.
4. Sleep in! If you are not working, sleep in instead of setting the alarm. If you are still working, choose one of the weekend days and turn the alarm clock off and enjoy a little extra time in bed. It sometimes feels good to ignore habits and allow yourself an indulgence.
5. Speaking of indulgence, eat a little dark chocolate. New research has proven dark chocolate is actually good for us. Break off a piece and allow it to dissolve slowly in your mouth. Enjoy the flavor, experience the feel and taste of it on your tongue. Allow yourself to be in the moment! Remind yourself that a small amount of dark chocolate is now considered good for you!
6. Watch a comedy, or play your favorite movie. Be sure to choose a happy one, a movie that will make you smile or laugh out loud will do wonders for stress and depression. Watch reruns of I Love Lucy, Full House, or Threes Company, they will take you back to a happier time and lift depression.
7. Make yourself a cup of tea with lots of lemon. Sit in your favorite chair and enjoy the warmth of a sunny spot in your home. Smell the wonderful aroma of the lemon and tea, tasted it, sip it slowly and savor the taste of it on your tongue.
8. Send flowers to a special friend or to yourself! The flowers will remind you of spring, new growth and remind you winter and depression will both pass with time.
Have fun, indulge yourself, and laugh. All of these suggestions will help you age healthier and keep your body young.