It’s true, the summer came and went with the blink of an eye. And now, the weather is colder in the mornings, sunrise takes longer and darkness comes sooner. For some, fall is a joyous time of year. For others, not so much. But, you don’t have to be stuck in a rut. Here are 5 things you can do now to help get you through those fall blues.

1. Exercise (even if it’s just a little)

Many scientists agree that people who exercise, even for just a short period every day, suffer from depression and melancholy less than people who don’t exercise at all. Studies have shown that exercising releases endorphins and other chemicals that can create a sensation of happiness and help people to cope with stress. So, try to move a little bit more then you do now. Do a short five-minute morning routine (Youtube is great for this sort of thing) or sign up for a gym membership if you can (not a fan of working out around others? Beachbody offers fantastic programs for a great price). You’ll feel better, get healthier, and your mood will surely improve.

2. Smile… no seriously, turn that frown upside down!

Another trick that combats seasonal depression is turning up the corners of your mouth! SMILE! Even if you feel sad, you should make yourself smile (I know it’s difficult, but you’re reading this for a reason). You can change your bad mood drastically with a simple smirk. Scientists have discovered that so-called Duchenne smiles or even fake laughs engage your eye muscles as well as those near your mouth. Facial exercise to improve your mood! When you feel blue, just give it a try. Smiling can turn out to be the best remedy for you!

3. Eat Whole Foods (nutrient density is the way to go)

You can also improve your general mood by eating well and getting essential vitamins from healthy, whole foods meals. Fruits and vegetables are the holy grail in this case, full of many valuable minerals and vitamins that can boost your mood. Fruits and vegetables are also high in nutrients such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene. These antioxidants can help fight free radicals that disturb body functioning and, in turn, improve your health and mood. Gotta help that immune system too.

4. More light. Go get it!

Fall means a lot less sunlight than the summer months. This can have a drastic negative impact on how you view the world and how you feel inside. Open those curtains. Fight the darkness by trying to get as much light as possible whenever you are. Brighten your home or office with a few extra lamps or installed light fixtures. Or light a bunch of candles that really create an inviting atmosphere. Also, be sure to get out more on sunny days. Reap the good days while you still can!

5. Meditate or Journal

When you are feeling sad, try to meditate to relieve some of your sadness. Not only does meditation help you to feel less sad, but science proved that it also reduces stress, increases your sense of well-being, improves your focus and enhances your immune system. If these aren’t reasons to immediately sit down and go into your zen-zone?

Journaling is also another great way to help combat that fall blues or fall funk. You need to Grow through what you Go through. Writing it down is a good start.

In heatlh,

Heather Z the NTP