As we move closer to winter, the days are becoming shorter and shorter. The subsequent decrease in hours of daylight can lead to low moods and depressed feelings. If you are looking for ways to improve your mood here are 10 naturopathic suggestions:
1. Eats raw nuts and seeds such as walnuts and ground flax seeds. These foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve mood.
2. Eat foods rich in vitamin B12. This vitamin is found mainly in seafoods, meats, dairy products, and fortified grains. If you are vegetarian or vegan, your diet may be lacking in this vitamin. Speak to your naturopathic doctor to assess whether or not you should be taking a B12 supplement.
4. Consider taking a good quality fish oil that is high in EPA. This type of omega 3 fatty acid has a positive effect on mood. Speak to your naturopathic doctor so that you can find a suitable product and dose.
5. Start a gratitude journal. Write down 1-3 things each day that your are thankful for. This activity helps to reframe negative thoughts and can improve your outlook on life.
6. Read or watch some comedy! I just finished reading “Seriously…I’m Kidding” by Ellen Degeneres. It will surely make even the toughest of critics laugh!
7. Get outside! You will reap benefits both from exposure to natural light, and nature itself! Read my earlier post called “Forest Bathing” for more information.
8. Drink green tea or herbal teas such as passion flower, lemon balm, and skullcap. These teas can help decrease anxiety and improve mood.
9. Get some physical activity and listen to some upbeat music to help get yourself moving. Walk, run, swim, or dance! Even vigorous housework gets your body moving!
10. Do at least one thing each day that you LOVE doing and want to do. It might be as simple as taking a bath, talking on the phone, or might be something bigger, like planning a trip that you have always wanted to go on.
Be kind to yourself and remember that as humans, we have natural ebbs and flows in our moods. It is normal to go through periods of low moods or sadness, but if these feelings persist and/or you start experiencing thoughts of self-harm, please speak to your naturopathic doctor, health care provider or a close family member or friend immediately.