With daylight saving time trailing freshly behind us, shorter days and longer nights are the new norm as we lead up to the winter solstice on December 21.
Gaining an extra hour of snooze time as we fall back an hour is certainly no reason to complain, but darker skies can affect our mood, and for some, even cause a bit of the winter blues. If you’ve begun craving more snuggle time under the covers and home-bound hibernation, here are seven simple ways to boost your inner bear’s mood and beat the blues, naturally.
(Remember, though, if you find this seasonal depression lingering, it’s best to seek professional help and perhaps consider light therapy, also known as phototherapy, as you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder.)
1. Spray Your Way Happy
Bringing home the (vegan) bacon and frying it up in a (toxic-free) pan each day can leave you, well, exhausted. If you’re a gal on the go, be sure you’re boosting your mood with 100 percent natural and organic essential oils. The Mood Boost collection by ADORAtherapy helps you channel your desire to feel awake, balanced, seductive, peaceful, beautiful, inspired, or smart. Just match your mood, spray, breathe, and transform yourself anytime, anywhere. Besides containing zero synthetic fragrance, Mood Boost sprays are vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
2. Soak Your Troubles Away
How does a mineral hot springs getaway sound? But, with holiday stress and lengthy to-do lists, a road trip and added costs may require a miracle on your street, not 34th.
Mineral hot springs have been deemed nature’s healing places for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the majority of the U.S. population is mineral deficient; therefore, soaking in mineral-rich water can help to equalize these minerals while soothing your weary feet and body.
Meet Medicine Springs; they bring the spring to your own home with Skin Formulas to soothe conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and acne; Joint Formulas to assist with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and joint pain; and Sport Formulas to offer sore muscle relief, speeding up recovery time between training sessions.
3. Mantras for Your Mantel
It’s fun to enhance the winter mood by creating a warm glow, but many people are unaware of the dangers traditional candles pose. Most candles are derived from petroleum and include toxic fragrances and dyes that emit chemicals directly into the air we breathe, such as formaldehyde, according to an EPA report.
Instead of forgoing the flame, choose Me&Mats candles with a mantra. Not only will their happiness messages lift your mood, but they encourage you to chase your dreams. Amsterdam-based Me&Mats uses only naturally based wax, carefully selected oils, and lead-free cotton wicks — they’re 100 percent hand poured while spreading 100 percent happiness.
4. Light a Candle, Brighten the World
Feya Candle Co. feeds the world, one candle at a time. With every candle purchased, Feya provides a meal to a child in need by partnering with numerous organizations around the globe, such as Kids Against Hunger. In addition, Feya’s new all-natural soap line provides a bar to a mission or homeless shelter with every soap sold. Scrub-a-dub-dub and spread the love!
5. See the Not-So-Blue Light
If you are one of the 60 percent of Americans who spend six hours a day in front of your digital device (oy!), then you’re risking the moody blues from exposure to blue light and rays. In addition to eye damage, these emissions can lead to insomnia, depression, obesity, and migraines, according to studies by Harvard University and Haifa University.
Meet Prospek eyewear from Spektrum. Their blue-light-blocking lenses stop 50 to 99 percent of all blue light emanating from digital devices. You’ll have a blue Christmas without these!
6. Channel Your Inner Child
As the cold weather sets in and Santa prepares his sleigh, get ready to channel your inner child with Utter Nonsense; a hilarious card game that couples funny phrases with even funnier accents. With two editions, Naughty or Family, you can find the right version for your friends or family game night. Laughter, after all, is the best medicine.
7. Sleep Soundly, Sans the Medication
Our circadian rhythms certainly get off track when we fall back an hour. The decreased levels of sunlight interfere with our own internal clocks and melatonin levels, which play a vital role in our sleep patterns and mood. If you’re tired of counting sheep (or reindeer), say goodbye to drugs and hello to non-habit-forming reBloom. Made from all-natural ingredients that relax your mind and body so you can fall asleep, reBloom’s proprietary blend includes:
- Valerian to improve sleep quality
- Magnesium to lower the stress hormone, cortisol
- Chamomile to act as a mild tranquilizer
- L-theanine to relax your mind and body
- Melatonin to regulate your circadian rhythm
- Lavender to alleviate sleep-disruptive anxiety
During a clinical study with reBloom, 93 percent of people fell asleep faster, 80 percent slept longer, 80 percent woke up feeling refreshed, and 78 percent experienced improved quality of sleep.
With better sleep and a happier mood, I can’t guarantee you’ll embrace the colder, darker days, but I’m fairly confident you’ll enjoy the winter months and all this season has to offer.
Editor’s note: Originally published on November 9, 2017, this article was republished in November 2018.