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Some years ago, a phony study concluded that the third Monday of January was “the most depressing day of the year” and dubbed it “Blue Monday.” Though the formula was faked, the conclusion seems to have caught on; the sheer plausibility of it seems to have people convinced. After all: the holidays are over, bills are setting in, it’s the coldest time of the year, and there are no vacation days until February; it makes sense that the most depressing day of the year would fall somewhere in January.

Well, don’t believe it! Believing in Blue Monday creates a prophecy that easily becomes self-fulfilling. There is no formula to suggest when and how people will feel; it’s up to you! Think of your body and mind as machines that work in unison; there are proven inputs that these machines need to run optimally. Take your mood into your own hands with these sure-fire tips for beating the Winter Blues:

Get Active

Historically, our ancestors were active all the time. As our species evolved, exercise was a regular part of day-to-day life; humans are meant to be active. It may be sustainable to not exercise for some time, but this ensures that the machines are not running at full potential. To get those endorphins pumping, get active. It doesn’t take much either; start off slow and build up—the important part is to start. Keep with it and you’ll feel the mood-boosting effects.

Eat Healthy

Your diet represents the fuel your machines run on, and again, our bodies are attuned to what our ancestors ate. I’m not touting the benefits of the paleo diet, but it is true that fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds are contributors to a healthy diet, while excessive trans fats and highly-processed foods are not. Everyone’s diet is unique, so decide what changes might be most effective for you. A healthy diet alone isn’t a cure for the doldrums, but it is the best way to give your body the materials it needs to run well.

Stay Connected

Humans are social animals, and our communal ancestors carved out neural pathways to which our bodies still respond. This means that our interactions with other people actually have tangible effects. Our brains need social interaction for stimulation. Although it may be difficult, staying in touch with others is more important than ever. Voice and video calls may not be the most favourable way to connect, but they certainly provide some degree of the social interaction that we all need.

The Hamlets at Deer Park is an independent-living senior village in Red Deer, Alberta. With a warm and caring atmosphere based on tenets of Christianity, generous amenities, and a calendar full of activities, The Hamlets at Deer Park is the go-to independent-living community of central Alberta.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community, please don’t hesitate to call us at (403) 309-6333.