If short days have you feeling blue, getting more sunshine and exercise can help, says Mark Rapaport, MD, chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. These strategies also might help.
- Look ahead. Plan and focus on something positive in your future, Dr. Rapaport suggests, like a vacation or a night out with friends.
- Get crafty. Knitting yourself a scarf could do more than protect you from the cold. A study of 3,545 knitters worldwide found a link between knitting and happiness. The greatest impact was among those who knitted in a group.
- Say “om.” Easy on painful joints, yoga is also tough on the blues, according to a review article in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Yoga appears to influence brain chemicals and inflammation in the body similarly to antidepressants and psychotherapy.
- Get enough zzz’s. It’s hard to feel good when you are sleep-deprived. Research shows that increasing sleep time by treating insomnia may improve mood. If your blues don’t go away and you feel helpless, hopeless, guilty or despairing, see a professional.