4 Ways to Brighten Up Your February

February can be a tough month. The sparkle of the holidays is over, the difficulty of reaching our New Year's resolutions is settling in, and it's still mostly cloudy, cold days. Not exactly a recipe for having a perk in your step. But we are all in this together, and there are ways we can combat some of thes less-than-desirable feelings around this time of year.

  1. The exercise effect

    Exercise is a powerful weapon against the blues. Exercise engages the neurons of the brain, which raises the brain's stress threshold. In fact, physical activity gives you a natural mood boost because chemicals called endorphins are released into your system. The psychological benefits of exercise cannot be understated.

    • Find an accountability partner and meet up at the gym
    • Sign up to work with a personal trainer
    • Try a new group exercise classes
    • Set a goal that involves something active such as running a race or doing a hike with a loved one or friend
  2. Focus on others

    It seems counter intuitive, but when we put our focus externally, we often reap numerous benefits and feel better ourselves.

    • Attend group exercise classes and get to know those attending
    • Volunteer for a cause you feel strongly about
    • Adopt a cat or dog from a local shelter or rescue
    • Make a goal of doing one act of kindness for someone each day
  3. Shift your thinking

    While reducing stressors in your life would be great; this is not always possible. And as the saying goes, “It's not what happens to you that matters, it's how you respond.” Our thoughts are extremely powerful, so find what works for you.

    • Read an inspirational book
    • Do yoga classes or meditation
    • Attend a support group
    • Utilize a Wellness Coach to get your health and fitness on track Schedule a meeting with a counselor to help you through a difficult time
  4. Enjoy the little things

    Take time to do small things that make you happy. These little treats sprinkled throughout your week/month will give you something to look forward to.

    • Schedule a massage
    • Meet up with a friend
    • Enjoy your favorite meal or indulge in sweet treat
    • Schedule a fun outing with family and friends