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The blues: What can you do to put a smile on your face?

What could be more human than to feel a drop in morale from time to time? Depending on the person, who is more or less sensitive to light, this can happen more often in winter than in summer. Whatever the case, there are several ways to regain our enthusiasm and joie de vivre, by following the following tips.

In this article, you will find all our tips on how to find a lasting smile.

A bout of the blues: temporary low spirits or depression

Depending on how you feel and how often you experience these blues, you will not react in the same way. A real depression is very different from the temporary blues.

The difference lies mainly in the duration of the attitudes: lasting loss of interest in any activity, change in weight and sleeping habits, intense sadness most of the time with changing moods, difficulty in concentrating, especially in working.

If these elements persist over time, it is advisable to consult a health professional quickly, without hesitating to mention all the symptoms. In this case of depression, your willpower alone or the good words of those around you are not enough, and this is normal.

If these symptoms are temporary, we speak of depression, which can be overcome alone, with the help of a few ideas.

How to react?

Physical activity

When the dark thoughts become more numerous, it is often a question of getting the body back on track first. Doing sport makes you feel better in your body and therefore in your head. The brain triggers the secretion of endorphins and serotonin (a natural antidepressant) during physical exertion, giving you that pleasant feeling of euphoria when you are in the middle of a sport. Sport also boosts confidence and self-esteem.

Exposure to daylight

It is no coincidence that we often feel more depressed in winter, when the days are shorter. Daylight is essential for a good mood. It is necessary to get more than one hour of exposure per day, otherwise the body functions as if it were night all the time, with its attendant lack of energy and slowed metabolism. Sunlight is more effective in the morning or at noon, and will recharge your batteries with vitamin D, keeping your spirits high.

Eating a balanced diet

Along with physical activity, eating well and taking care of yourself, without forgetting the pleasure of eating, is another essential aspect of keeping a positive state of mind. Give preference to fresh fruit, especially for your snacks, bearing in mind that you should prepare "triangular" plates for your meals, including proteins (fish, meat, eggs, etc.), vegetables and starchy foods. Certain foods are particularly recommended in the event of temporary depression, as they contain large quantities of important minerals for the brain.

Thus, if you are looking to alleviate great fatigue or irritability, make up for your lack of magnesium by eating nuts and dried fruit and chocolate in moderation.

Tryptophan, an amino acid that is largely responsible for our zest for life (because it produces serotonin), can be found in good quantities in bananas.

Oats, wholemeal cereals and legumes are also rich in tryptophan.

Finally, don't forget green vegetables, which are rich in vitamin B (correcting many disorders) and fatty fish oils, rich in omega 3, such as salmon and mackerel. But the main idea here is to enjoy eating in times of depression.

Talk, write and practice gratitude

If you can find a sympathetic and trusting ear, talking about the few worries that are weighing you down can go beyond resolving them to relieving a lot of nervous tension. Talking to a psychologist or other health professional is of course even better, in order to express the emotions that overwhelm us during moments of depression.

If we can't talk, writing down what is bothering us inside often has the same effect, because writing allows us to distance ourselves from our problems. We can even try to write down three things each day for which we feel grateful. If practised regularly, gratitude can help us to feel more joyful and satisfied with our lives.

Do something that makes us feel good

... whether it's reading a good book, watching a series or a film that makes you laugh, having a drink with a friend, taking a hot bubble bath, getting a massage, gardening, drawing or colouring: all ideas to escape and pamper yourself are welcome! It's all about being kind to yourself.

Meditation and yoga

Known for their positive effects on the mind and positivity, meditation and yoga can quickly become an asset in your fight against depression. If you don't have a friend or club nearby, there are many applications on the internet that make it easy to practice, even for beginners.

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