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Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

Combating Monday Blues: 5 Ways To Naturally Elevate Your Mood

Monday’s are the worst. They’re the beginning to a long, stressful week of work and responsibility when we’d love nothing more than to spend a few more days living a couch-potato life. Begrudgingly, we force ourselves up and out, heading to work or school to suffer through another week, dreaming of the next weekend.

It’s what we’ve come to accept and expect, right? That’s what it means to be an adult, isn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 ways to naturally elevate your mood and combat those Monday blues.

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Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

    Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

    I get it — we’re all busy adults! Sometimes, in order to accomplish everything we need to get done, we have to sacrifice sleep. An hour here or there may seem like it’s nothing, but consistently losing sleep can have some real consequences: health problems like migraines, high blood pressure, and worsening of pre-existing conditions. Lack of sleep also has definite connections to our moods and can contribute directly to the development of mood disorders.

    So how much sleep should you be getting? If you listen to classic suggestions, we should all be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. That seems to be a solid rule of thumb, though experts have suggested between 6 and 9 hours of sleep for proper recharging. Find what works for you and commit to it!

    Get Out of The Office and Into the Sunshine!

      Get Out Of The Office And Into The Sunshine

      So you’re stuck in an office for eight hours a day, staring at a computer screen. Music can help. So can some wall art or plants. Or, you could go outside for some much-needed sunshine! Not only does the warmth and light help you stay awake and feel refreshed, but it boosts your body’s natural production of Vitamin D and endorphins, lifting your mood.

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      Can’t take a trip outside? Consider changing the filter on your fluorescent lights! Filters which mimic natural lighting brighten the room and help you maintain your energy throughout the day. Other options include painting your office a color which promotes energy, happiness, and creativity. Consider these colors:

      • Orange: expands your thinking, boosts confidence
      • Deep Blue: encourages efficiency
      • Green: promotes wealth, encourages healing, and promotes emotional well-being
      • Light Blue: creates a sense of peace, aids in communication
      • Yellow: increases focus, mental agility, and intelligence

      Play with Your Pet

        Play With Your Pet

        Puppies, kittens, and other adorable pets! Who doesn’t love playing with their favorite furry (or feathery, or scaly) animals? Spend a few minutes in the morning enjoying your most loyal companion, and repeat the process in the evenings when you return home. Not only will this enhance your bond, but studies have shown that contact with animals helps lower stress levels and boost your natural production of dopamine.

        Don’t have a pet? Well, guess what? Those adorable puppy and kitten videos online have the same effect — no wonder they’re so popular! Take a few minutes to watch a couple — just make sure you don’t get too carried away!

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        Have Some Chocolate!

          Enjoy Some Chocolate

          Need an excuse to get that chocolate bar from the grocery store? Well, not only does it have antioxidants, but eating chocolate boosts dopamine naturally, too! Keep a bar on hand for those especially grueling days. Or, you can stock up on a hot cocoa stash in your desk — just make sure your friends and co-workers don’t turn you into the office candy supplier!

          Not a huge fan of chocolate? Trying to watch your caloric intake? That’s okay — these foods have the same effect!

          • Fish
          • Eggs
          • Apples
          • Kale
          • Red beets
          • Bananas
          • Strawberries
          • Blueberries
          • Green tea

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          Get Moving!

            Get Moving

            This one is something I struggle with myself: having a 9-to-5 desk job can severely limit how active we can be throughout the week. That inactivity can contribute to our sour moods and subconsciously lead us to dread Mondays even more than we already do. How do we combat that? Get up and get moving! Even something as simple as taking a quick lap around the office or jogging in place can lift your spirits and re-energize you.

            Now, understandably, if you share office space or work in a cubicle, you may not be able to do 20 jumping jacks. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything! Get a couple small dumbbells and pump iron while you’re on that business call, or do some stretching once an hour. Simple things like that re-engage your muscles and can improve your mood quickly!

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2019

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

            But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

            I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

            Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

            1. Nuts

            The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

            Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

            Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

            Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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            2. Blueberries

            Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

            When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

            3. Tomatoes

            Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

            4. Broccoli

            While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

            Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

            Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

            5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

            Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

            The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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            Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

            6. Soy

            Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

            Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

            Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

            7. Dark Chocolate

            When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

            Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

            8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

            Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

            B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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            Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

            Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

            To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

            9. Foods Rich in Zinc

            Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

            Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

            Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

            10. Gingko Biloba

            This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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            However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

            11. Green and Black Tea

            Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

            Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

            Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

            12. Sage and Rosemary

            Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

            Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

            When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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