Written by Georgina Mellas, Reiki Master 

It’s November.  The days are shorter, the air is colder, the beautiful leaves are falling and cold and flu season has officially arrived.  The festivities of Thanksgiving and Halloween are behind us and the Holidays are still a few months away.  For some, November can be a difficult month for maintaining not only physical but also mental health.  

Everybody’s looking for a quick fix. Whether it’s to lose weight or achieve their dreams, people are searching for the magic pill or perfect practice to make their lives “better.” There’s a tendency to believe that what we want is outside of who we already are. You want world peace? Ask: How at peace am I with myself, my body, and my life? You want to lose 20 pounds? Ask: how much extra “baggage” am I carrying emotionally?  Most of the time we’re just not aware of the inner turmoil we have going on (or we don’t want to acknowledge it). You have to dive deep to find the answers you’re looking for.

All that being said, there are things you can do right NOW that will help you feel better instantly. Keep in mind that you have to do these things consistently to see and feel real change in your life:

1. Clean and organize your home.  You can start with just one part of one area. For instance, if you determine to tackle the kitchen, start with a messy cupboard or drawer (we all have them!).  Get rid of the clutter and junk and organize it.  A clean, fresh place to live enlivens your spirit and gives you a sense of deep satisfaction.

2.  Finish a task.  Just do it now.  Do you have a pile of laundry that you never get around to folding?  Dishes that you never seem to slip into the dishwasher?  A long email you just have to read and respond to?  Challenge yourself. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can get done in the time allotted. Repeat.

3.  Compliment someone.  Better yet, compliment 3 people. Pick 1 person you love, 1 person you suspect is sad or depressed, and 1 stranger.  Give each person a sincere, genuine compliment and then pause for a moment to listen to their response.  Watch how your kind words affect them.  Reflect on how giving yourself compliments instead of criticism might affect you.

4. Move your body.  You don’t have to join a gym to start taking care of your body.  When we move our bodies, neuro-chemicals get released that change mood. All you have to do is get your heart rate to go up a little. Start with a brisk 10-minute walk. Move a little, mood increases a little. Move a lot, mood increases a lot.  Its that simple.

5.  Breathe more deeply. Breathe deep into your belly, feeling your diaphragm expand. Breathing lowers your stress levels, rids your body of toxins, increases your energy, improves your digestive, immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems, relieves pain and helps you let go of tension. Here is one simple deep breathing technique you can try: breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and slowly exhale for 5 seconds through your mouth. Repeat 5 times.

6.  Go outside.  Going outside for some fresh air makes a huge difference in your overall state. If you work from home or in an office without much access to external light, I know how easy it is to forget there even is an “outside.” We can live without food and water for weeks – oxygen is the most important nutrient we need. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, go outside and get some fresh air. Practice deep breathing (see point #5) and notice how much more calm and happy you feel.

7.  Sing (or Yell).  Whether you’re in the car, the shower or somewhere else where other people can’t hear you, belt out those off-key notes you’ve been keeping inside you all day long.  If you’re angry or frustrated, the simple act of yelling can result in an enormous release and leave you feeling lighter and more calm.

These 7 simple strategies can help you chip away at depression, sadness and a general lack of vitality.  Try them and you’ll see you have the power to alleviate your negative state and move toward a positive one, starting today!

Georgina is a Reiki Master dedicated to helping clients release and heal emotional and physical challenges including childhood trauma, stress, depression, anxiety and chronic pain.

For more information, please visit www.georginamellas.com