If there were ever a time to succumb to the winter blues, mid- to late March is it. After riding the wave of holiday cheer through December, subsisting on self-improvement in January, and entering a state of denial in February, your positivity reserves have likely run dry come March. Not only that, but those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) actually experience decreased serotonin production, which sets the stage for depression during this time of year.
But rather than cursing the weather channel as you pad around your apartment in your pajamas, social worker and psychotherapist Amy Morin, LCSW, has offered up her expertise in the areas of health, happiness, and positivity. "You have an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day," she writes for Psychology Today. "That's 70,000 chances to build yourself up or tear yourself down."
Her go-to strategy for dealing with negativity and refocusing on the positives? Practicing gratitude. "Gratitude has been linked to a host of physical and psychological benefits, including happiness. One study even found that grateful people are 25 percent happier" than those who pity themselves, she explains.
Morin recommends making a habit of talking about what you're grateful for over breakfast every morning, or writing in a gratitude journal before bed. "[You can] train your brain to look for the good in life," she adds. "It could be the simplest, yet most effective way to boost your well-being." Coupled with light therapy and a drop or two of bergamot essential oil, which has been lauded for its mood-lifting scent, you'll have moved on to spring scot-free before you know it.
How do you deal with the last stretch of winter? Share your go-to strategies with us below!