Winter doesn't technically start for another 23 days, but the early sunsets and chilly air call for a mental-health game plan ASAP.More
We know, we know—at the end of a long, dark day, sweet treats like chocolate can provide an instant mood boost. FYI, that's because sugar activates serotonin, the chemical in your brain that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But just like one-hit wonders, thunderstorms, and Tinder dates, serotonin leaves just as quickly as it arrives, leaving what's known as a sugar crash in its wake.
Constant serotonin spikes and plummets harm the parts of your brain dedicated to mood stabilization, leading to—you guessed it—depression. Protect your brain from the moodiest season of all by not only checking your sugar habit, but also by including more whole grains and organic produce in your daily diet.
Yes, it's chilly outside, and it's only getting worse over the next two months, but hear us out. Science has proven over and over that we really ought to embrace nature more often. It helps us immediately escape our busy brains and alleviates stress in the long run. But you don't have to spend hours in a frigid forest to reap the benefits of the outdoors. Dedicating even a few minutes of your day to being outside is far better than staying slouched at your desk or on your couch until dark. You'll find yourself feeling refreshed, focused, and happier after taking a five-minute outdoor break while the sun's still up. Go for a walk around the block while you're out there—the movement will keep you warm.