WHEN THE DAYS GET SHORT

If you live in a more northern location, you are noticing that the days are getting short.  Where I live, they’re down to about 9 hours and shrinking.
Not only that, they are cold, sometimes damp and uncomfortable.
The bummer is, these conditions foster depression, illness and increases in pain.
So, here are some really simple things you can do that will help you feel better:

*Take a hot bath, preferably with some nice bath salts or bubble bath.  The hot water helps us feel better all over, even mentally.
*Chicken soup is lovingly called “Jewish penicillin,” and for good reasons:  With all that nice chicken, herbs, spices and vegetables, it is loaded with antimicrobials, vitamins, minerals, protein  and goodness.  Besides, it’s hot and tastes yummy, so eat up.
*Bundle up and go outside, even if it is just for a little while.  Daylight and fresh air have a way of picking us up; movement keeps our immune systems strong and our moods happier.
*If you can’t go outside to get daylight, spend some time under a 100 watt bulb, or my favorite, sit so that you get sunshine through a window.  Light is vital in keeping the depression monster at bay.
*did I mention movement?  I can’t say that too many times.  Put some music on and dance around the house; do some stretches, go to the gym, mall walk…  One half hour of exercise relieves pain, improves mood, builds resistance to illness, lowers blood pressure, helps with blood sugar management and keeps weight gain in check.  Take a friend with you; don’t stop to window shop and you’ll get some nice social time in as well.
*Eat your breakfast; include a protein.  Your body uses protein to make serotonin, which is normally higher in the morning.  It also gives us long-term energy.
*Take your vitamins.  Yes, Mom was right.  Be sure the supplement you take has a nice dose of B complex and Vitamin D:  Good mood food.
*Laugh.  Get together with friends, tell jokes and stories; watch some comedies; whatever gets you to giggling.
*Have some interesting projects:  Books, art, music, woodworking, knitting… You get the idea.
*Remember in just a little over a month, the days will start to lengthen; then, before you know it, spring will be here and things will warm up again.
Happy, cozy winter to you.

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