It’s the last week of February. The weather is cooperating, and March is in your sights! Still, while you can glimpse the end of winter, this can also be the toughest part of the marathon, especially if you are more susceptible to seasonal mood challenges.
Here are our best tips for cultivating a good mood in the late winter.
Get outside and move your body
This is a two-for-one deal! Countless research papers have shown how much exercise can positively impact mood.
Coupling exercise with time outside brings the added benefit of exposure to sunlight, which helps combat symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
To get even more for your effort, do your outdoor movement with others. People and nature are great mood enhancers!
Use the power of the internet for good. Watch a cat video that always makes you laugh, get a book of jokes, talk to a funny friend. Watch a silly movie. Make sure you laugh at least once a day.
Do something nice for someone else
This is easier than it sounds. Small acts of generosity can pay big dividends. Offer a compliment to a stranger, make a tea for your roommate, hold a door open for someone, or send a quick text of affection or appreciation.
Practice daily gratitude
This can be done by writing in a gratitude journal or simply by saying aloud three things you are grateful for. You can do it in the shower, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or while driving to work.
Another way to practice daily gratitude is by saying a genuine thank you to someone you interact with during your day. A real thank you to the grocery clerk. A real thank you to a co-worker who helped you with something. A real thank you to your spouse for shovelling the driveway. These little words of thanks are cultivating positive thoughts in two ways. Practicing being grateful AND doing something nice for someone
Take an Omega 3 supplement
There is some decent research on the effect of omega 3’s and mood. You’ll find a good meta-analysis here.
Omega 3’s give you added benefit of managing cardiovascular risk factors and increasing skin health!