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With Chinese New Year celebrations and balmy holiday escapes now behind us, the post-festive season blues have a tendency to start creeping in.

Along with taking comfort in the knowledge that we’re all in this together, fight back against your gloomy mindset with three expert-approved natural solutions — you’ve got this.

Indulge in scent therapy

‘In the highly visual world we live in, it’s easy to forget how incredibly powerful our sense of smell is,’ shares Asia-based scent expert Johanna Monange. ‘Vanilla is widely used as a scent for comfort — there aren’t many people that don’t get pleasure from the scent. This is actually because a mother’s milk contains a hint of vanilla, so as humans we feel a connection to the smell, unconsciously. It’s also why if you’re having trouble putting a baby to sleep, a spritz of vanilla around their bed will usually do the trick,’ explains Monange. ‘Citrus is another scent that boosts one’s mood, particularly in winter. We link the scent of citrus with summer, the sun and antioxidants, so in gloomy months a spritz of citrus can provide an instant pick-me-up.’

Experts say vanilla or citrus scents can provide an instant mood boost. Image by Fabio Issao

Feast on ‘good mood’ foods

While you’re stocking up on scents, you might want to know that there are also many foods that help with depression. ‘Maintaining a healthy digestive tract is a key driver in affecting one’s mood. This is because a number of important hormones are produced in the gut, including our “happy hormone” serotonin,’ shares dietitian Alexandra Hardie. ‘Boost your gut health by eating a balanced diet rich in fibrous foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Serotonin production in the body also relies heavily on having adequate levels of B vitamins, particularly B6, so be sure to consume foods rich in this essential vitamin every day such as avocado, chicken, turkey, beans and lentils, eggs, pistachios, sunflower and sesame seeds.’ 

Help fight depression with a diet rich in mood-boosting B6 and fibre. Image by Joseph Gonzalez

Liberate your mind with yoga

Yoga for depression? Absolutely! Pure Yoga's  founding teacher Patrick Creelman shares how yoga might just be the answer to pressing reset on your mindset. ‘Yoga is all about doing the thing that you don’t want to do, whether it’s Warrior Two pose during class or a tough task you’ve been putting off. Yoga helps you build a resistance to the natural tendencies we have to buffer from stress both in and out of the studio. You don’t want to do the pose, but you do it and get through it. That in itself liberates the mind and helps you complete things in life too.

Liberate your mind with a resistance-building yoga session. Image by bady qb
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