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!

Woman's World - - Contents - — Brenda Kearns

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 Be­

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.

Sip co­coa

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.”

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