The shopping and crowds. The back-to-back diet-busting parties. The interminable chats with the in-laws. We understand how easy it is to feel not so wonderful at this most wonderful time of the year.
That’s why we’ve rounded up these 25 expert-endorsed ways to help you dodge the seasonal blues and stay happy, healthy, and energized.
From quick stress-survival strategies to mood-brightening foods, here’s your cheat sheet to holiday cheer.
Hike your mood with sunlight
It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder(SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year, says Judith Orloff, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles.
To ease SAD symptoms, spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days, or ask your doc about phototherapy (a treatment using a box that emits full-spectrum light).
Take a whiff of citrus
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.