I don’t feel like it.
I don’t want to.
I’d rather stay in and do something mindless.
I’m too tired.
I wish everybody would be quiet.
Can I just wish your happy self away?
If you have thoughts like these, you’re not alone. You could be battling the winter blues. Common feelings associated with winter blues are unexplained sadness, emptiness, irritability, anxiety, lethargy, and sometimes just plain numbness.
You know if you’re feeling less like your awesome self this winter, so we’ll focus more on what you can do about it instead of the depressing state you might find yourself in.
There are actions you can take to reclaim your happy place!
- Brighten up your day…literally. Open up those curtains and let natural light in. Sit closer to windows if you can or invest in a lightbox. Getting outside can improve your focus and lower stress levels even when the sun is hiding behind winter clouds. Do what it takes to surround yourself with more light.
- Let the rhythm take control. I know you’re tempted to listen to music that fits your mood but pick out some tunes that command your mood! The scene in the 1994 movie Reality Bites where 3 friends are dancing to My Sharona in the Food Mart is a great example of how music can lead us to happy places.
- Chocolate and exercise! When are you ever going to see these two working together for the greater good again? Chocolate helps enhance your mood and relieve anxiety while exercise helps improve moderate depression. Jumping back to the first point…exercising under bright lights improves general mental health, social functioning, depressive symptoms, and vitality.
- Pamper yourself with a Therapeutic Massage. A massage can unlock tension and stress and wipe away worry and concern leaving you refreshed, rejuvenated, and at peace. The best part, you don’t do any of the work.
All of these tips can prove beneficial when you’re feeling down. Combining them all…exercising to My Sharona, under bright lights while armed with a chocolate bar and then treating yourself to a massage could change a blah day to an invigorating day.
Need a little science for backup? Here are some scientific reasons from Bridges to Recovery to consider massage therapy.
- Massage can decrease cortisol levels (our primary stress hormone) by up to 50% after just a thirty-minute session. Consistently high cortisol levels can negatively alter the brain’s structure and level of functioning and directly contribute to the onset of anxiety by destroying neurons in the hypothalamus.
- Massage simultaneously increases levels of both dopamine and serotonin (our primary feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain) by up to 30% after a thirty-minute session. Dopamine deficiency has been linked to low levels of motivation and an inability to feel pleasure—two of the most common symptoms of depression.
- Massage can boost lower-than-normal blood pressure—a symptom often associated with adrenal fatigue, anxiety, and depression due to poor circulation and blood flow.
- Massage provides a safe and nurturing place for individuals to relax, refocus and find clarity. It can increase awareness of the mind-body connection. Massage can generate confidence and enhance self-image and self-worth.
Next time you find your bed more appealing than your weekly Girls’ Night Out, maybe it’s time to make an appointment with relaxation. Escape Day Spa has 8 types of massage to choose from. Stone Therapy can be added to any of them for a little extra relaxation.