Saturday, March 31, 2018

Life With Chronic Conditions: What Affects Mood and What to do about it

It’s the last day of March and we’re in the depths of mud season here in Vermont. Rural living can be socially isolating in the best of times, but muddy roads that eat your car are a deterrent to visiting friends. In addition, it’s been incredibly gray, worse than anything we had this winter. It could be that we’re all so desperate for spring that the gray muddy weather is getting to us more than usual.

Various factors affect our moods-what we eat, drink, the amount of sleep (too little or too  much are equally problematic), and even hormones. This post focuses on five ways to improve mood that you may not have thought of.

Let the sunshine in: Research has shown that we need sunlight. If you can get outside, particularly between noon and 2:30, that can definitely decrease depression and mood swings. However, if you need to be indoors, open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Sit by a window whenever possible. Interestingly morning light may be more beneficial to people than afternoon light.

Social Connections: Lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. They improve longevity and quality of life. In fact, social connectedness is the single biggest predictor of longevity. One of the big questions is whether connecting on-line counts. A lot of this depends on whether this is the only form of social connection. It definitely can  helpful in staying connected with those you love who are far away but we all need that important face- to-face and hugging contact. A hug a day might just keep the doctor away. Learn more at Social Connections: They improve longevity and quality of life  and The Health Benefits of Hugging.

Get Moving: Exercise definitely makes us feel better. Even if it’s just walking around the house for a few minutes at a time, the minutes add up and even just 30 minutes a day will make a difference. Take a Stand to Better Health 

Color: Interestingly the colors that surround us impact our mood. Consider the color choices you wear, what's in your office and home.  Red, orange and yellow are warm and boost enthusiasm, fuel passion, and stimulate joy, while nurturing cool colors such as green, blue, and violet offer a sense of peace, hope and contentment.

Clutter Bust: Clutter can damage your health by increasing stress, triggering respiratory issues, and even threatens safety by creating fire hazards and the risk of tripping over something. It can be socially isolating, as well as upsetting to your kids and family. Since this is the time for spring-cleaning, consider using The KonMari Method for Tidying When Affected by a Chronic Condition

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