By Sunny Simon

     While having a phone conversation with my friend Amanda I noticed she had a case of the January blahs. Normally Amanda is one of those “glass half-full” individuals. Of course, it didn’t help that my friend is a Michigander who makes her home in the Upper Peninsula. As I listened to her listless monologue a quick check on the weather in  Marquette revealed the current temperature at -2ºF, skies mostly cloudy. Ugh!

     Actually you don’t have to live in the North Country to experience a dose of the blues. January can have a dulling effect on even the most energetic of us. Individuals living in warm, sunny climates also sometimes succumb to low points after the joy and frivolity of the holiday season.

     Fear not, there are multiple remedies to pull us out of that blanket of blahs. You can be like a my friend mine and shake up your world by doing something completely out of your comfort zone. Ellen kicked the doldrums to the curb by signing up for an acting class. Too scary? Try a Dale Carnegie course, or join Toastmasters.

     I think you’ll love this next suggestion. Insert a fun mood booster into your daily schedule by savoring a piece of luscious dark chocolate. (I’m betting the mere thought of it is making you smile.) Some experts tout chocolate as an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory “superfood” for the brain and body. Remember everything in moderation. Indulge in a piece of a chocolate bar labeled 70 percent which is mostly ground cacao and only 30 percent sugar. You can also boost your mood with Vitamin D. Make sure your diet includes more dairy, eggs and salmon.

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     How about planning a vacation? Whether your getaway budget is slim or abundant, now is a great time to research fun places to go and exciting things to do. Researchers point out that simply planning and looking forward to a holiday gets your endorphins flowing triggering a happiness bounce.

     Tap into your own wisdom. There is a reason you put “exercise daily in 2019” in your goal journal. Scientists tell us repeatedly that exercise is not only beneficial to our bodies, but releases those feel-good hormones we love. So right now, turn off the TV, get off the couch and get moving. If the gym is too crowded, go mall walking.

     Starting to feel better? Put these strategies in motion and make it a point to move into February feeling renewed and positive about the year ahead. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com