Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mix it up to beat the winter blahs

Yesterday I was hit with the winter blues.  The days are so short right now that it's dark when I go to work, and it's dark when I get home.  It's easy to feel depressed when each day is cut short, and it seems like there's not enough light to live your life.

So I decided to change it up and give my day a blast of energy.  I went for a run with my dog in the dark drizzle anyway.  It felt so good to get sweaty underneath my 4 layers even though it's freezing outside.  Little changes go a long way to enhance mood and vitality.  This morning I did yoga in a different place in the house- by the fireplace.  My body is craving heat and warmth.  My next stop... my local sauna.  It's common to get physically stiff and emotionally stuck during the holidays when we naturally move less, eat more and stress is at an all time high.  Here are some tips to help you boost happiness and energy during this crazy season:

1. Amp up your self-love.  We can only give our best to others when we have tended to ourselves first.  Carve out a little time for a luxurious bath, a yoga class or a massage.  You're worth it!

2.  Breathe.  When we're stressed, we have a tendency to hold our breath, clench our shoulders and brace for impact.  Instead roll your shoulders back and take 3 slow breaths, extending the exhale.  Imagine that you can clean and clear your mind with each breath.

3. Exercise.  This is the number one way to beat depression during the dark months.  Whether it's a walk outside, yoga class, spin class or even a solo dance party at home, just getting your heart rate up with do wonders for your mood, focus and confidence.

4. Meditate.  When there is no light outside, it's the best time to tap into the light within you.  Take 5-15 minutes to close your eyes, breathe and visualize.  Imagine a light inside your heart that expands with each breath.  Let it grow and surround you like a warm halo.  Feel insolated and protected by your own inner light.  Sit in this light as you breathe and feel comforted and connected.

Use these tips to beat to winter blahs.  They will ensure a happy and calm you in the New Year!

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