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Getting Through the Dark Winter Months

There are times in winter when it’s dark when you leave for work in the morning and dark when you leave work at the end of the day. This combined with the cold can be a real downer. Many of us long for the spring and summer days to come back around. But don’t wish your days away. There’s plenty to enjoy in the winter! Here are some ways to boost your mood if you find it difficult during the winter months.

Sadness and SAD during winter

It’s only natural to feel a little down when it’s always dark and cold outside. Sunlight energizes our bodies, making us feel more awake and alert. When there’s a lack of sunlight, the natural effect on our energy levels can affect our mood. This is usually nothing to worry about.

However, there is a condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which is a form of depression. People with SAD experience depressive symptoms mostly during the winter when there is less sunlight and warmth. If you consistently feel low during winter, then it’s advisable to see a doctor to determine whether you have SAD and how it can be treated.

Ways to boost your mood

If the winter blues are getting to you, here are some simple, natural ways to help boost your mood.

  • Exercise – Going for a run in the cold might not sound appealing, but exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. Whether you exercise at home, outside, in a gym, or elsewhere, get moving this winter.
  • Massage – Massage is another activity that releases endorphins, and you don’t have to break a sweat for this one. Human contact naturally elevates your mood, plus all the other amazing benefits of getting a massage.
  • Warm up – The best thing about a cold winter’s day is wrapping up warm in front of a fire with a cup of hot chocolate. There’s something about being warm and cozy inside when it’s bitterly cold outside that seems to warm the soul.
  • Good company – Don’t isolate yourself in the winter. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and family members you enjoy spending time with. Animals also make great company with guaranteed mood-boosting effects.

What works for you when cheering yourself up during the winter? If you want to book a massage for yourself or a loved one, then contact Moonstone Massage or go online to book an appointment.

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How to Improve Your Posture

Back, shoulder and neck pain is becoming increasingly common in our modern society. A lot of it is down to our posture. We spend a lot of time sitting at desks and staring down at our phones as we walk or watch television, and we have poor posture while doing it.

As well as muscle and joint pain, bad posture can lead to lots of other negative effects, like frequent headaches, a misaligned spine, pinched nerves, and poor circulation. If you want to improve your posture, and your health as a result, then read on for our tips.

Correcting your posture

To improve your posture, it helps to first know what proper posture looks like. Once you know how you should be sitting or standing, you can make corrections to your own posture. At first, this will take some effort to remember your correct posture. But, after a while, you’ll do it without even thinking about it.

Take a look at these guidelines for how your posture should be while sitting at a desk and while standing or walking.

Here are a few simple corrections for common posture mistakes:

  • Tuck your backside in – many people stick their bottom out while standing, causing their lower back to curve. Tuck your tail in for a proper alignment.
  • Keep your chin up – We spend a lot of time looking down at our phones, which creates a rounding of our shoulders and neck. Look ahead and keep your chin parallel to the ground for good posture.
  • Relax your shoulders – When we’re stressed, we tend to carry a lot of tension in our bodies. Relax your shoulders to prevent back and shoulder pain.

Stretches and exercises for good posture

Sometimes, poor posture results from a lack of strength or flexibility, so performing certain stretches and exercises can make it easier to maintain good posture. Here are a few simple ones to try…

Plank

Having a strong core helps you maintain good posture. A plank is a simple exercise you can do every day to help strengthen your core. Try to build up the time you hold it for each day.

How to do a plank

Cat/cow poses

A lot of yoga poses can help you stretch and strengthen your body for good posture. These two poses stretch out your spine in both directions.

How to do cat/cow pose

Chest opener

Chest openers help to stretch out your chest, helping you maintain a balanced posture between your chest and back.

How to do chest openers

As well as being aware of your posture and performing exercises like these, getting regular massages will help to keep your muscles and tendons nice and supple. This helps you maintain good posture more easily. Get in touch with Moonstone Massage to find out the best types of massage to improve your posture, or book a massage with us online.