Whatever the reason you’re looking for ways to improve your mood naturally, we get it. Winter is hard and takes a toll on our body and mind. We live in an age where we are finally recognizing the many factors that affect our moods positively and negatively, every day. For most of us, even during the best times of our lives, we get down in the dumps every once in a while. If you’re having a blue day, week, or year, here are some tips to improve your mood naturally, to get you back to feeling like your best and brightest self.
#1: Boost Your Vitamin C & D Intake
Food has the ability to bring us such pleasure, comfort, and joy. Generally, healthy foods do the best job of consistently improving our mood naturally because they keep us feeling energized, light, and not feeling guilty. However, focusing on foods with certain vitamins can make a real difference. Studies have found that increased consumption of Vitamin C and Vitamin D increase moods naturally and decrease psychological distress .
Foods that are high in Vitamin C include lemons, papaya, strawberries, yellow bell peppers, guava, thyme, oranges, parsley, kale, kiwi, broccoli, brussel sprouts and more!
Foods high in Vitamin D are fatty fish like tuna, mackerel & salmon, egg yolks, cheese, oysters, mushrooms. shrimp, orange juice, and others!
#2: Bask In the Sunshine
Now that spring is starting, this one is becoming a bit easier. Days are longer and brighter and we should all be spending more time outside. Getting plenty of sunshine on your skin is a really simple and wonderful way to boost your mood naturally. Remember that the earlier in the day that you can take advantage of sunlight, the better. Bright light first thing in the morning helps set your circadian rhythm on track to keep you awake and alert all day. Open your blinds wide and wake up naturally with the sun. Sunlight is said to increase serotonin levels and also helps your skin produce vitamin D, which most people are deficient in, an issue that has been correlated with depression.
If you really can’t swing 15 min of sunlight a day, consider supplementing with alternatives. Vitamin D supplements will help you reach your daily dose, along with compact fluorescent lightbulbs to literally brighten your day. These lights mimic sunlight more effectively than incandescents and work well in high traffic areas of your home like the kitchen and living spaces.
#3: Find a Furry Friend
We’re not suggesting you should buy a pet just to lift your mood every now and again. However, as little as 25 minutes of petting a dog or cat can release more of that stuff we love to talk about… serotonin. But unlike other natural remedies, it produces many mood-boosting hormones like prolactin and oxytocin which helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol!
If you aren’t keen on the responsibilities of having a pet, consider visiting with a friend who is. Take their dog for a walk, or sit inside and have a drink cozied up next to their fur baby. Or take a trip to the local animal shelter where you can volunteer or just visit with the animals.
#4: Take a Walk (Run, Lift, Climb, or Skip)
You’ve probably heard it before, but exercise can improve symptoms of depression over time as well as improve your mood in the short term. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to improve your mood naturally because it’s positive effects can last up to 12 hours! Plus, it’s great for your physical health as well! If you haven’t experienced those famous feel-good endorphins from a killer workout, you will love this quick fix mood booster. It’s just a matter of making yourself do it.
If running isn’t your thing, try a different form of exercise. Even a brisk walk is great for your mental health (especially if you go outside). But maybe try branching out to something new. Ever tried rock climbing? Kickboxing? Barre, aerial yoga, Krav Maga… the options are endless. Anything that you can do for 30 minutes straight and helps you break a sweat during at least one section of vigorous activity will do the trick.
#5: Improve Your Day-to-Day Lighting
We talked earlier about your circadian rhythm. Lighting affects your alertness throughout the day as it tells your body when it should be tired and when it should work at full speed. Because of this, it’s important that the lights you encounter daily are optimized to keep your circadian rhythm from becoming confused. Lighting is an easy way to improve your mood naturally, as well as improve other areas of your life like efficiency at work, relaxation at the end of the day, productivity around the house, etc.
Use bright lights and light colored paint to brighten up areas that you spend a lot of time in. Add dimmers to your lighting so that at the end of the day you can still wind down. Set your lights on a timer that allow you to keep a consistent schedule or change it up when necessary. This will keep your body from becoming confused and allow you to make the most out of the lights around your home.
There is also a lot of discussion on what type of lighting should be used in offices as a way to create the most positive and productive work environment. Optimizing your work lighting minimizes the risk of migraines from strained eyes and increases employee satisfaction. Try maximizing healthy blue lighting during the day to improve efficiency, but minimize it at night so it doesn’t keep you from sleeping.
Surprisingly to many people, lighting has been found to contribute to cases of depression when insufficient. On the contrary, effective lighting can improve moods and energy levels naturally. High-quality flexible lighting can allow you to work with your changing schedule to improve your mood in different areas of your life.
The more we look into the effects of lighting on our everyday activities, the more we are realizing its deep impact on our lives. Biological, mental, and emotional effects are felt from the lighting or lack thereof that we surround ourselves with regularly. For this reason, it’s crucial that we take time to optimize the healthy lighting in our lives when looking to improve our mood naturally. Look to a professional to help you find the lighting solutions that are right for you and your family. At Ellen Lighting, we are excited to show you how lighting can genuinely improve your mood, mental and physical health, and daily efficiency.
About Ellen Lighting:
We operate under the Danish Hygge philosophy of maximizing coziness and joy in our lives, by improving home lighting. With simple lighting solutions that many people would never think of, we can bring positive energy into every corner of your home, simplify your daily activities, and improve the health and happiness of your family.