Ugh...yet another grey day. I shouldn't complain. I know soon enough that hot Texas sun is going to be beating down and I'm going to be wanting a little of this cloud cover back. I should be looking on the bright side: lots of water in the lakes means less funky tasting water in August; all this spring rain is giving my flowers a fighting chance this year; I'm saving a fortune in sunblock! Am I feeling better yet? Not really. I'd really LOVE to see the sun. But, since that's unlikely, how about a few home remedies for the 'rainy day blues'?
- Chocolate - yeah, now I've got your attention! According to researchers at the University of Arizona consuming chocolate can boost the brain's production of serotonin - our body's own natural antidepressant. So go ahead, eat the chocolate and feel good about it!!
- Peppermint - it's so fresh and invigorating! It's touted by aromatherapists and holistic practitioners for it's fatigue-busting, mood enhancing effects. And now there's some 'real science' to back it up...you know, for you skeptics out there;) The Association of Chemical Reception Scientists reports that peppermint decreases anxiety, stress, fatigue and increases alertness. The study examines the impact of certain smells on drivers. They even found that peppermint reduces road rage. Is this stuff great, or what?! WebMD's got nice synopsis if you're interested. And the next time the weather's got you down, try a little Peppermint Inhalation: 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (available in the baking aisle at your local grocer) in 1 cup of steaming (but not boiling) water. You can drink it if you want - it's great for an upset tummy - but in this application you're just supposed to inhale it. 1/4 teaspoon in your hot cocoa is great too -- but it's already too hot here for that.
- Baking/Cooking - Oh yeah, 'comfort food'. Filling the house with yummy smells and the promise of tasty treats is a great mood enhancer. We'll be baking today...with chocolate and peppermint, of course! Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies.
And if all else fails, a rousing romp in the puddles is always fun!