Winter is upon us and many people want to beat the winter blues. With it comes colder days and darker, longer nights. The occasional down mood can accompany the season for some people. Others struggle with full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Whether you feel blue when a day feels hard or you are stuck in a SAD pattern you can use these tips to feel better each day and get yourself back on track.

  1. Brighten Up

Lights can really help your mood. When the sun comes up your brain starts to make Serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone that your system needs to feel well. If you need more serotonin you can trick your brain into thinking it is getting it by using lights. By turning the lights back down in the evening you can replicate the Circadian rhythm to help you feel best the next day. What happens is Serotonin slows down and your brain begins to make Melatonin to help you get a great night sleep to be at your best the next day.

  1. Listen to Music

At certain times of the day, I have music playing throughout my home. It is very deliberate. Music has been proven to improve your mood and to help people feel better about others, improving relationships. With 6 kids in the house, keeping my mood and that of the kids is essential. I usually play Michael Buble radio for a relaxing, jazzy mix of old and new songs that help to chill out the nervous system. Pick music that feels good to you, put it on, and reap the benefits.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness

Helping others has been proven to boost your mood more than anything else. A little game that I play with myself is saying yes as much as possible. It goes something like this. “Mom, can I wear you new cool red converse sneakers?” Thinking to myself, those are my new sneakers, No. My reply, “Sure”. No attitude, no harboring of bad feelings. This goes beyond my children too. I can now find actual delight in being able to help others because I have been practicing so long. Start today to build the habit for daily feel-good boosts.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself

When you are down or depressed it is easy to beat yourself up. I use the trick all the time. If I mess something up, I don’t sweat the small stuff. When you accomplish something that you wanted to celebrate it. My parents used to say that Cosmas and I would “celebrate a new pair of shoes”. We have taught ourselves to do so. It is so much better than being unhappy. I know that might feel easier said than done but you MUST start.

If you stay in don’t worry, it’s OK. Don’t tell yourself negative thoughts. If you go for a walk. Celebrate it. Tell yourself that you rock. The more you celebrate your wins and the less you beat yourself up, you are re-wiring your brain to feel and perform better. And guess what you will begin to feel and perform even better. It is a positive feedback loop and it is proven to help you sustain a better mood. This is especially important when you are fighting the winter blues.

Not able to use these tips? Keep reading.

Use these 4 simple tips to keep yourself feeling better during the colder winter months. If you are unable to use tips like this then you might need some help in re-booting your nervous system to beat depression or seasonal affective disorder. The first might be finding out how your brain is performing that is creating or making your depression worse. qEEG Brain Mapping can show you how you can address the underlying issue. At Leigh Brain & Spine the doctors offer a variety of services that can help you from traditional psychotherapy to state-of-the-art Neurofeedback Therapy. If you want more information on the services that can help you beat depression, call now 919-401-9933.

Not ready to make changes but want more information? Dr. Trish Leigh provides weekly inspiration on her personal website at Read her stories and brain tips to start moving yourself in the right direction.

Follow Dr. Trish Leigh on social media @drtrishleigh #controlyourbrainoritwillcontrolyou