Posts Tagged ‘serotinin’

lazy day

Do you ever feel like covering your head and just staying in bed?  This seems to be more common for many people during those long, cold, dark winter months.  So, before you decide to barricade yourself in the house and hide under the blankets let’s examine some hints that may help.

One of the best ways to beat those winter blues is with exercise.  According to Pamela Hatch, a licensed professional counselor and life coach, when you exercise you produce serotonin.  Serotonin is a feel-good chemical.  This is a powerful chemical in helping you feel better throughout the day.  Another important way to increase serotonin is spending time outside.  The sunlight will increase Vitamin D levels as well as serotonin, so a combination of exercising outdoors is really effective for increasing energy and feeling better.   At least 20 minutes of sun daily is best for improved health and mood.  Even if the sun is not shining, any light outdoors is better than none at all.  This could be as simple as walking the dog or going for a lunch time walk.exercising in the snow

Exercising is dreaded by many, so finding something you enjoy and making it a habit is important. Finding a comfortable place to exercise is a good place to start.  Some people prefer a class while others are happy on the treadmill or exercising alone.  Whatever you decide, make sure to set some short-term and long-term goals that you can realistically obtain.

Stretching ourselves to be more social is also important.  It is tempting to stay in the warm, comfortable, house, but being with others will help with positive thinking.  Be kinder to yourself– get out and interact with others.

Source:  Get  Up, Get Out, Pamela Hatch, Licensed Professional Counselor, Columbus, Ohio, December, 2011.

Author:  Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension.

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