8 Natural Mood Boosters to Help Battle the Winter Blues
Prioritize your health and wellness with these winter mood boosters, from light therapy lamps to energizing essential oils.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is no joke. It’s estimated that 10 million Americans suffer from seasonal depression every winter, and even if you’re not affected in an extreme way, chilly temps, shorter days and cold and flu season can make anyone feel more tired and irritable. If you're counting down the days until spring, consider these natural mood-boosting and health-promoting items to get you through winter.
Light Therapy Lamp
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, sitting in front of a light therapy lamp first thing in the morning on a daily basis can help replace diminished sunlight during winter. Typically, these lamps filter out the ultraviolet rays and require 20-60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light, an amount that is about 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting.
Aromatherapy is a great way to lift your mood and change your attitude. Certain essential oils, such as citrus and peppermint, have energizing properties and are known to spark creativity and focus. You can dab a drop on your wrists and temples, or use an oil diffuser to fill your home, workspace or car with motivational scents. We love this sleek ceramic diffuser from the brand Paddywax that features continuous and intermittent mist modes, a low setting with a 6.5-hour runtime and a high setting with a 3.5-hour runtime. The diffuser also automatically shuts off when the water runs out.
Getting quality sleep is essential to having the energy to tackle the day, and weighted blankets are a well-researched tool for improving sleep and reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. If you have the heat going full blast or you just run hot at night and are worried about overheating, we love this cooling weighted blanket from Baloo Living. A weighted blanket should be about 10 percent of your body weight, and this one is available in 12, 15, 20 and 25 pounds. It features hooks on the corners so you can buy a duvet cover separately if you prefer a different color than white, and the throw blanket size comes in a variety of colors and the option to add a free monogram.
Himalayan Salt Lamps
While there's not a lot of scientific research, Himalayan salt lamps are believed to help boost mood, improve sleep, ease allergies, purify the air and more. At the very least, they simply look cool and will bring a warm glow to your bedroom or workspace.
Sometimes you just need a chocolate boost. This nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based organic dark chocolate bar is actually good for you. (Yup!) The 85-percent cacao is surprisingly mild and much smoother and lighter than you might expect. Eat up!
Staying hydrated is essential to staying healthy, especially if you drink a lot of tea, coffee or alcohol that can dehydrate you even more, but sometimes it's hard to remember to drink enough water throughout the day. Available in three colors, this smart water bottle actually lights up to remind you to drink more water — how cool is that?! It connects to an app and will also track your water intake.
If you're trying to stick to your yoga practice this year, it might be time to invest in a quality mat like Jade's most popular mat: the Jade Harmony Mat. It's 4.5mm thick and offers great traction and cushion, so you won't slip around during poses but will still feel comfortable and supported during meditative positions. The mats are made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, and Jade gives back to the earth by planting one tree for every mat purchased.
Sunrise Alarm Clock
Our bodies are hardwired to listen to the sun, and during the winter, waking up before the sun can be impossible for some. Instead of hitting snooze on your phone's alarm clock 15 times, invest in a dawn simulator. These alarms gently wake you up by mimicking the gradual increase in light like a sunrise.