Who needs a “summer bod” – I need a “summer brain”

Well it’s January and everywhere gyms are advertising solutions for your resolutions and playing off our programmed desire to be in shape and looking a certain way for winter getaways and the coming summer months.

If only they could advertise a solution for the winter blues, instead.

I mean, it’s true that exercise is a known mood-lifter and promoter of balance for related endorphins. So I suppose in an unintended way they are advertising a way to beat the blues.

Except that it’s really just a side affect of working on your body goals, as far as the ads are concerned.

Don’t get me wrong – I’d love a hot summer bod that matches all those ads but what I need more right now is a happy summer brain.

As many of you will know seasonal affective disorder or S.A.D (perhaps the most appropriately named mental health affliction) comes with depression symptoms throughout these cold months. This happens as a result of short days and less access to sunlight along with a greater tendency to stay indoors due to cold temperatures. Our bodies and brains, accustomed to sunny summer days outdoors, really feel the lack of sunlight, fresh air and movement.

In that spirit, here’s a list of ways you can look after yourself and feel a little less blue:

  • Walk outside (when the temperature is bearable)
  • Go to the Gym (for the happiness, not for unhealthy body goals)
  • Make plans with a friend
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Try something new (like a yoga class, or any kind of class)
  • Go somewhere you’ve never been (even if it’s not far)
  • Watch a new tv show
  • Create something – anything
  • Rewatch a favourite show or movie
  • Read a book

What’s your fave way to boost your mood when you’re feeling down?

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