5 Winter Pick-You-Up Fixes

Winter pick-me-ups
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Written by Julie Ann Howlett

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a major winter-is-actually here slump.

I’m on board to join a band of hibernators, and frankly I think many of us Chicagoans are experiencing PTSD from Winter 2014. Raise your hand if you are NOT ready to let this winter commence!

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To that effect, I wanted to share five Nurturing Neurons approved winter pick-me-up-points helpful for reinvigorating your mind (and body). Also, I have hooked you up with several affiliated Amazon links for fast finds of what you need for winter pick-me-ups:

1. Roll on Perfume/Cologne: Applying a favorite scent to your wrists (and especially on your scarves) can provide a quick boost of positive mood in your brain. The nose is one of the faster ways to provide a cue to the brain (think about the Alzheimer’s treatment via a nasal spray ;-), and without a doubt a quick sniff of a delightful scent on my wrist has provided a waft of pleasantry for me while driving in 5:00 darkness. To avoid surrounding yourself with more chemicals, stick to something almost based purely on essential oils. Peppermint has great brain boosting effects for alertness, and is a great essential oil to start out with using. Consider the Pacifica brand (USA made, not tested on animals):http://ow.ly/EbyEO  or, even better, mix your own perfume with an essential oil and alcohol solution (more on DIY cosmetics in a future blog post):  http://ow.ly/Ebz9o

2. Verilux Happy Light:  This little guy is my home slice in winter. Cloudy days and early darkness make for more gloom in the day-to-day, and there are certainly demonstrated effects of the decreased exposure to sunlight we all experience. (Ahem, I am referring to you, daylight savings time. Yes you actually create more foes than folly!) This lightbox simulates natural sunlight and can be used morning or evening (just watch the duration and setting you use it for) for a modified sunlight boost. I have used one for years, and find it is one of the best go-to for“I want to go to sleep and its only 6:00 feelings”:  http://ow.ly/EbArc

3.  Power of Tea: Treat yourself to a new flavor twice a month. Tea warms up your body, and offers powerful antioxdiants which benefit mind and body. Currently in my cupboard: Trader Joe’s Mango Black Tea, Beethoven Melange Greek Mountain Tea (http://ow.ly/Equum), Beethoven Melange (tgtea.com), Caffeine Free Chamomile (http://ow.ly/Eqvdu), and Yogi Ginger Tea (omega throat therapy:  http://ow.ly/Eqy90).

4.  Exercise: Yea, yea I know you have heard this oodles of times, but it’s true: exercise can be a highly effective combat of depression and as many know already it releases mood boosting chemicals such as endorphins.

5.  Natural View: Bundle up and go on a nature as a surefire way to combine exercise with serenity. Working with a nature view can also offer similar proactice benefits. Check out some of my former articles for more on the nature +learning connection.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I have accepted that not everyday is perfect, and that challenging myself with that assumption doesn’t help! Rest, patience, and compassion are still most imperative to accept- particularly for yourself.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate my passion, my enthusiasm for life, learning, and cultivating more healing within the world. I need to appreciate my tenacity and creativity more!

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

My most rewarding achievement thus far is that I am conquering what I truly want to be doing, and threw fear to the wind to do so. I want to cultivate empowered learning trainings worldwide!

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

Patience is truly the hardest virtue. I say no more!

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my Eastern European and Irish heritage- for providing the perfect juxtaposition of eclecticism, warmth, and tenacity to be the woman I have come to be!


(photo credit: morguefile.com)

About the author

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Julie Ann Howlett

Julie Ann Howlett is an experienced educator, brain science enthusiast, all-around-science advocate, and nature enthusiast. She has founded Julie Ann Howlett Consulting and Nurturing Neurons, a compassionate education start up offering learning modules for parents, nannies, caretakers, and educators. Follow her on Twitter @nurturingneuron and check out her video blog on YouTube Channel Nurturing Neurons

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