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Sat Good-bye to the Blues

Everyone gets the doldrums now and then. Here are four guaranteed ways to recharge right now

If you eat the same thing for breakfast every morning or perform the same activities at the same time every day, you may suddenly find yourself in the doldrums. The reason: Senior minds can become sluggish if they’re not engaged. So while routines can be comfortable, changing things up a bit now and then will help keep your brain fit—and keep you happy. Here are four surefire ways to quickly beat the blues.

Listen to Some Tunes

A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks. So call up your favorite tunes on your iPhone or musical device, and play away. Bonus points if you dance or sing along with the beat.

Get Moving!

One of the quickest ways to get out of a funk is to get your body moving. A study from Harvard University shows that walking briskly for about 30 minutes per day dramatically improves symptoms of mild to moderate depression. And exercising under a bright light has been shown to boost general mental health, social functioning, and vitality. If you don’t regularly exercise, speak to your doctor about an exercise plan that is right for you. Even a short walk, or a spontaneous dance break, can make you feel instantly better.

Eat Smarter

Here’s some good news: Chocolate can help enhance your mood and relieve anxiety. (We wish we could say the same thing about other sweets. Unfortunately, other types of candy provide temporary feelings of euphoria, but could ultimately elevate feelings of anxiety and depression.) In general, eating foods that are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, protein, and fatty acids are key to keeping your brain and body in good working order.

Go Outside

It may seem counterintuitive to go outside when the weather is chilly or bleak, but the benefits of being out of doors, even for just a short time, are big. Spending time outside can improve focus, dramatically reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and lower stress levels. If you can’t go outside, open blinds and curtains and sit closer to the window to get an extra dose of natural light.

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