31 Ways to Boost Your Mood—and Health This Month

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happy female in the winter

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31 Ways to Feel Better: Healthy Habits to do Everyday

31 Ways to Boost Your Mood—and Health This Month-2

11. Get a flu shotIt’s not too late—flu season doesn’t peak until January or February, and it only takes two weeks to build up immunity. All CVS stores offer the vaccine every day. Go to cvs.com to find a location near you.

 
12. Trim the tree with garlands of popcorn
Repetitive actions like threading popcorn are very calming. And because you know you’ll eat some too, opt for the air-popped version, which contains 1 gram of fiber and only 31 calories per cup.
 
13. Stand under the stars
On the nights of December 13 and 14, look up to the heavens and renew your sense of awe as you view the year’s last meteor shower.
 
14. Fight right
Are you and your spouse at odds about what to bring the in-laws? Avoid making your case with sarcasm, insults, or put-downs, which research suggests may weaken your immune system.
 
15. Go hear Handel’s Messiah 
Attending cultural events—the cinema, concerts, or art exhibits—is significantly associated with good health and life satisfaction.
 
16. Celebrate your cravings
Enjoy some dark chocolate–covered cherries ($9 for 1-lb bag; nutsonline.com) on December 16, national Chocolate-Covered anything day!
 
17. Eat a clementine (or two)
One of these tiny oranges, which are in season now, packs half your daily requirement of vitamin C. Bonus: The scent provides calming aromatherapy and, in one study, even reduced anxiety in dental patients.
 
18. Put flowers on your wish list
No matter the variety or color, a few blooms always brighten the mood. The positive effect of receiving a bouquet lasts three full days, according to a Rutgers University study.
 
19. Get moving!
Start your morning by marching in place while doing the “YMCA” dance with your arms, suggests Scott Danberg of Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami.
 
20. Rethink your holiday menu
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you’ll find the recipes in Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays ($25; amazon.com) utterly delectable. Purple potato latkes, anyone?
 

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