5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

A couple weeks ago I found myself stuck on the holiday roller coaster haze. Stressed out about having to get gifts, my disappearing time, and lack of self care, I recognized it was critical for my health and mental well being to implement some simple steps to decompress. 
It was a good reminder that even though seasonal change is inevitable, your mood doesn’t have to be! 

Many people feel more melancholy this time of year, but you don't have to! You can still carry over that peaceful glow you captured in the summer. 

If you are feeling the winter blues or just having an off day, these tips can help you feel better fast: 

1. Take a power nap. 

Taking a mini-snooze in the middle of the day isn't for lazy bones. Take note from the masters like Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and Eleanor Roosevelt. These daytime snoozers got more brilliant work done by rehanging mid-day. Taking a mini nap can enhance performance and help you feel more balanced.

2. Snuggle with a pet. 

When life gets to be overwhelming, I always turn to my furry friend, my dog. Curling up with a fluffy fella has proven to reduce stress, blood pressure and depression. When you reach for a little animal love, your brain says, "this feels awesome," as it releases serotonin, which is the feel good mood stabilizer.

3. Help someone else.

If you are feeling down and out, stop pouting and put down the pity party and help someone else. Research shows that spending money on another person or helping them has greater impact on your own happiness than treating yourself. Next time you are at the coffee shop, buy a latte for your friend or coworker, help a blind person across the street, or simple call your mom and tell her you love her.

(Moms love to hear from their children, and research shows hearing a mother's voice helps us feel safe and secure.) When we turn ME into WE, we collectively feel better about our community and our place in the world.

4. Try something new. 

Getting out of a rut is usually the cure for a bad mood. Try something new and get out of your comfort zone for an easy way to stop worrying about how bad you feel. You can pull out your bucket list, or list of things you want to do before you die, and check off a few that look fun. 

Try a new yoga class, read a new book, volunteer for a community event, go to a cooking class or sky dive. Doing something you have never done before, but have always wanted to do, adds to your life experiences and makes you feel excited in the moment.  

5. Play. 

Must adults think that play is for children or only for indulgence but having fun is a mandatory for a well-balanced life. In fact, it's critical to play daily for mental creativity, health and happiness. When we play we feel a sense of freedom and satisfaction. 

We let down our defenses and we feel alive in the moment. Play can be as simple as playing games with loved ones, cuddling with a furry friend or taking time to meditate or do a yoga class for yourself.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Shannon Kaiser has been labeled a "New Thought leader on the Rise," by Café Truth. She's helped thousands of people worldwide through her private life coaching practice, articles, her bestselling book, meditation albums, workshops, courses, and her award winning website PlayWithTheWorld.com.

She's an inspirational author, speaker, travel journalist, teacher, and life coach who left her successful career in advertising several years ago to follow her heart to be a writer. She is the bestselling author of Find Your Happy, an Inspirational Guide to Loving Life to Its Fullest, and a six-time contributing author to Chicken Soup for The Soul.

Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the world such as Good Morning America, Good Day New York, Inside Edition, HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, and Australian Vogue, and she writes for MindBodyGreen, Huffington Post, Healing Lifestyles & Spas and The Daily Love. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose. She's currently finishing her next book Adventures for Your Soul (Penguin, May 2015). She lives in Portland, OR with her adventure buddy, her dog Tucker.

Visit her online at PlayWithTheWorld.com, Facebook, and Twitter.