4 Things We Should Start Making Time for Again

In the hustle and bustle of 2016, people seem just too busy for life. Why is that?

Life seems like a never ending process of tasks, some with soft deadlines, and others with rigid deadlines. And here’s the thing- they just keep piling up. Who even has the time to breathe anymore? What happened to the good old days when people walked outside and savored the crisp air? Or sat down on a park bench and watched the colors of the delicate winter sky? We’re in such a rush these days, that it can actually be unhealthy.

I decided to sit down and think about the things that make me happy. And no- I’m not talking about my IPhone or Ipad or whatever other technological devices we’re glued to. I’m talking about the simple things. Take a look:

 
1. Hard copy books. I’m all for reading on a tablet, but there’s something about flipping through those hard copy books that makes the experience justifiably real. I want to hear the pages turn and I want to be able to scribble notes if I have to.

 

2. Making phone calls just to say hi. For the most part, most people I know simply send over a text message if they want to see how another person is doing. What happened to picking up the phone and hearing an actual voice? Have we strayed so far from human interaction that is seems unheard of?
3. Writing letters. When I was younger, my best friend and I used to hand write letters to each other when we didn’t have time to catch up in-between classes. Until this day, I have a box of her handwritten letters and I cherish them more as the days go on. Just for the hell of it, write a letter to a loved one, scribble down a note for your family member or write down a list of goals for yourself on a piece of paper. We know that technology is useful and very convenient, but having it all down on paper shows a sense of authenticity.

 

4. Savoring silence. When we look at pre-industrialized society, many people took the time to sit and enjoy life when all of their work was done. Make a cup of tea or grab some lemonade and take at least 10 minutes out of your day to sit and unwind. This is the only life we have and if we don’t take the time to enjoy it now- when can we?
If you have any other tips that you would like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a message! Have a great week!

 

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Frigid temps throughout the winter can leave us feeling irritable, agitated, and sometimes depressed. The drastic change in weather and lack of sunlight can lead you to feel lethargic as well. Unfortunately, unless you live in a city with little change of season this pattern is inevitable. However, it is possible to combat these feelings of depression and keep your mood elevated throughout the winter days. Here are our top tips for beating the winter blues:

 

1. Exercise
Exercising on a regular basis has been known as a way to battle depressing or feelings of sadness. Exercising at any intensity provides your body with endorphins, which produce a positive feeling within your body. These help to reduce our anxiety and stress levels. Have you ever overheard a runner talking about their “runners high” after a great run? Well, that feeling is due to endorphins. Exercise also helps us to look and feel our physical best. Feeling inspired, motivated, and having high self esteem also attribute to exercise’s effect on our mental state.

2. Treat Yourself
Treating yourself (within reason) can help improve your mood. Pamper yourself for a day. Get a manicure, go shopping or go out to eat at that restaurant you’ve been dying to go to. These little fun activities can bring you some happiness.

3. Eat the right foods
Eating tons of sweets like candy or desserts might give you temporary feelings of elation but the spike in blood sugar drops quickly along with those euphoric feelings. Eating junk food has shown to increase stress and anxiety levels. Instead, choose 70% dark chocolate as a treat. Dark chocolate has been known to reduce stress hormone levels. Not only does it affect your mood, but it also comes with other benefits like improved cardiovascular health.

 

4. Spend Time With Those You Love
There is no better medicine than laughter. Spending time with your friends and family is the best way to enjoy your time. Laughing and having fun will improve your mood and will help get you out of your rut.

 

 

5. Expose Yourself to More Light
Lack of sunlight is one of the main causes of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Choose to sit near open windows or keep your blinds open throughout the day. If you are unable to be near natural sunlight, use a lamp at your desk to increase the amount of light you’re exposed to. This can help stabilize and improve your mood throughout the day.

 

By: Brittany Ciavarella