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Moody blues? 7 quick ways to help brighten your day

Don’t let skimpy daylight get you down — count on these little mood boosters

As the days get a little shorter, do your moods tend to dip too?

This time of year — when there’s less natural light to be had — many people notice a mild slump. If you’re one of them, here are some ideas to help perk up your days all fall and winter long.

1. Get outdoors daily

Seek out the sun for at least 10 minutes a day. Even better: Take a quick walk. Exercise also increases the body’s natural happy chemicals. If you enjoy some sunlight in the morning, it can help set you up for a better day.

2. Let in the light.
For a pick-me-up indoors, try sitting by a sunny window — or in a brightly lit part of your home.

3. Reach out.

Social time is a great way to cheer yourself up. It may be tempting to lie low this time of year. But give yourself a nudge. Make a date to meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Call a loved one to chat. Or volunteer to help someone — that’s a proven mood booster.

4. Do your happy dance!

Let music give you feel-good moments. Create an upbeat playlist. Or stream or dial in a radio station that plays lively pop tunes or toe-tapping classics you enjoy.

5. Make your space a cheerier place.

Keep items that make you happy in sight, such as joyful pictures or fresh flowers. Clearing the clutter might do wonders for your mindset too!

6. Find comfort in healthy foods.

Balanced eating is always in season. As a bonus, research suggests that nutritious fruits and veggies — along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid, such as salmon, walnuts and olive oil — may provide a positive mood boost.

7. Smile frequently — and just because.

This simple act can lift your spirits — and help others around you lighten up too.

Is it SAD?

If your blues don’t let up, you may want to see a doctor. Some people have a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Treatment can include daily light therapy, along with lifestyle changes.* Also see “When the sadness doesn’t go away.” 

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