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February 29, 2016
We are now well into the winter months and perhaps feeling a little sluggish, moody or even depressed. Less sunlight and shorter daytime hours often keep our melatonin production higher and our serotonin levels low. So it’s natural to feel a little more tired and less energetic, but there are definitely things that we can do to increase our energy, lift our spirits and keep our inner spark going so that we can enjoy the season to the fullest.
Get your sunshine vitamin.
Research shows that low vitamin D levels are correlated with depression. Considering that we’re not getting much direct sun exposure in the winter months, it just makes sense to boost your levels with a natural vitamin D supplement daily.
Omega 3 to the rescue!
Omega 3 from fish oil is rich in both EPA and DHA. These fatty acids play a big role in both cognitive function and mood; in fact, they’ve been proven to be essential for a healthy functioning brain as we age. If you’re looking for mood support this winter or any time of the year, choose a high potency, cold water fish oil supplement with an approximate 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA.
Consider mood-boosting herbs.
St.John’s wort is well-known, and often recommended for depression, but other lesser-known herbs are also favorites among herbalists, such as Rhodiola and Holy Basil. These herbs work as adaptogens, and help the body better deal with the effects of stress. They lower levels of cortisol, the key stress hormone, while naturally raising levels of serotonin, which improves mood. These herbs work best in tincture or liquid softgel form to get the full spectrum plant compounds into your system quickly.
Here’s a fun one; eat your chocolate!
Dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of magnesium, which keeps our energy cycles going and our stress levels down. It also contains a super antioxidant called reservatrol, proven to raise endorphins (feel good chemicals in the brain) and boost serotonin levels. After all, can you think of a more enjoyable way to boost your mood?
Warm bath essentials.
There’s nothing like a few drops of essential oils in a warm bath. Rose and lavender are two of my absolute favorites when it comes to elevating mood and relaxing the body. They have both been used for centuries as anti-depressants and for reducing anxiety. Rose may even work as an aphrodisiac for some, and is certainly a nice fragrance to sit with in a hot bath after a hard day’s work.
So I hope that you treat yourself with at least a couple of these mood boosting tips this winter. Since life improves as our mood and perspective improves, the results are priceless!