BY BRITTANY CORDEIRO
1. Eat a healthy diet. Feeling blue can make you desire foods high in fat, carbohydrates and sugar. But try to resist temptation. A carbohydrate- and sugar-rich diet will spike your blood sugar and then it will drop. So, you may feel more energized initially. But in the long run, your feelings of tiredness and moodiness can intensify.
Instead, eat more plant proteins, like vegetables, nuts and beans, fruits and whole grains. You'll get the vitamins, minerals and protein to restore your energy levels. Plus, it'll help you maintain a healthy weight to lower your cancer risks.
2. Get regular exercise. Exercise might be the first thing to go when you'd rather stay snuggled in bed. Don't let it. The feel-good chemicals released during exercise can help ease anxiety and improve your mental health.
And, exercise strengthens the immune system, helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduces your risks for colon, breast and endometrial cancers. You should aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate physical activity or an hour and 15 minutes of more vigorous physical activity each week.
3. Try sun therapy. Winter typically means less light and more darkness, making you want to hibernate. Instead, get outside when the sun is shining.
Being exposed to sunlight wakes up your body and allows it to adjust back to its normal sleep-wake cycle. A midday walk outside can do the trick.
4. Increase social interactions. Being around family and friends can boost your mood and help motivate you to do the things you enjoy. Ask a friend to go to the movies or grab a cup of green tea with a co-worker.
And, don't be shy, a phone call or email to ask for encouragement can go a long way. You may laugh more, worry less and gain a positive outlook. Plus, the person you call may benefit just as much as you from your contact.
5. Get enough sleep. Sleep is restorative. It's a time for your body and mind to heal. Getting too little or too much can cause moodiness, memory troubles and problems with thinking and focusing.
You should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. It will help you wake up feeling refreshed.
6. Practice relaxation techniques. Anxiety and stress often accompany a winter slump. And both are damaging to your health. To boost your energy and mood, try to relax. Just five minutes of meditation can help you manage stress. And, more is better. Other relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, massage or self-hypnosis.
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