Winter blues getting you down? Find your own natural happy “pill”

Daylight savings has hit us. Sure, we technically got another hour to sleep for one day, but that extra sleep high only lasted a day. And now we are stuck with darkness starting in the afternoon.

For many this is just a nuisance or something to grip about to co-workers, but the lack of sun can actually be categorized as a disorder. You might have SAD, seasonal affective disorder. This disorder generally rears its ugly head in the winter when their is less sun and depression sets in.

If you find yourself a bit, well, sad during the winter, you might be affected by SAD. You can pony up for some Cigna Health insurance to help pay for the doctor’s visit for an antidepressant, or you can try and find yourself on cloud nine all on your own.

Relax. Some stress can be good. It can motivate you, keep you on your toes and help keep things exciting. But consistent and burdening stress can easily turn into depression. While you can’t control or avoid all of the stresses in your life, you can avoid burn out by relaxing. Figure out what relaxes you: soothing music, a massage, a nap or a playing with a pet. When you feel like you are reaching your stress level, take a moment and relax. No time for any of those? Just turn down your thermostat. Studies have shown that cooler temps can actually give you a much needed mood boost.

Become selfless. There is no better way to forget your troubles than to get lost in service. And when you give of yourself to a cause you believe in you are in an instant mood boost that can last for a while. Studies have also shown that cash donations can also help boost your mood. Take your niece out for ice cream or donate to the Salvation Army Santa. You can know full well that was money well spent.

Stop worrying and dwelling on the past. Have you ever heard the phrase, “worrying is like being on a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere!” So if you want to knock off some anxiety and stress, ditch those worrying thoughts that are preventing you from happiness. And do not dwell on past regrets or failures. Before you know it you are in too deep to realize what you really have going for you. Start to freak out about your past failures? Make a list of all of your accomplishments until you start to feel better. Or ask a loved one to give you a confidence boost. (Just don’t take it to Facebook. No one likes public compliment fishing.)

Work out. Trust me. I know how it feels to try and convince yourself to work out in the winter. Put on gym clothes or stay inside and drink hot chocolate? It seems like a no brainer. But don’t skimp on your work outs. They are an instant and long term mood booster and keep your overall health in check.