Shake off the fall blues
October’s shorter days cause the brain’s production of happiness-boosting chemicals to drop, making 65% of us feel draggy right now. Here’s help!
Greet the sun
True, the sun rises later, but that makes it easier to greet! According to British researchers, spending 10 minutes each morning exposed to sunlight can cut the risk of seasonal blahs by 33%. That’s because early light causes your brain to release mood-boosting serotonin. Bad weather? Bright-light therapy also lifts mood. Researchers suggest spending 30 minutes every morning exposed to a 10,000 lux light. Try: Verilux Happy Light Energy Lamp (Bedbathand Beyond.com).
Soak in citrus
Relaxing in a steamy bath for 20 minutes three times weekly helps 67% of women shake off fall blues—and if you add citrus slices to the tub, you’ll feel sunnier from the very first soak, suggests research in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. As study coauthor Matt Hoenen, PH.D., explains, combining the relaxing sensation of warm water with the sweet smell of citrus tamps down the adrenal glands’ production of the stress hormone cortisol. Plus, a citrus scent boosts feel-good hormones. To do: Sprinkle 1⁄ cup of baking soda into the 2 bottom of your tub, then add one thinly sliced orange (or other citrus) and fill with the warmest water you find comfortable.
Hot cocoa may seem like a snow-day treat, but studies suggest sipping 8 oz. a day can cut your risk of blue moods and fatigue by 45%. Says psychiatrist Hyla Cass, M.D., author of Supplement
Your Prescription, “Cocoa’s blend of magnesium, theobromine and phenylethyl
amine boosts your brain’s production of dopamine — a hormone that helps you feel more upbeat.”