7 ways to beat the holiday blues

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    HAPPY HOLIDAYS? Bah, humbug. For some guys, December—ordinarily a time of family, friends, and more holiday parties than you could possibly attend—is actually the darkest month. “There’s a contradiction between expectations of joy and reality,” says Andrew Weil, M.D.

    So if you’re feeling especially Grinchy lately, then conquer the problem with these simple, all-natural mood boosters.

    1. Get your ass to the gym

    It’s still the best way to prevent the holiday funk. A 2008 study backs this up: Subjects who were the most fit were also the least likely to experience depression. Now that’s “lifting” your spirits.

    2. Strike a pose

    Who knew “downward dog” would do more than simply make you think of sexy time? Yoga is also an effective treatment for depression because it helps hike up levels of the same chemicals in the brain that are targeted by many antidepressants.

    3. “Wort” off the blues

    Although St. John’s wort has not yet been proven effective against major depression, the over-the-counter herb can help minor depression. It’s sold as a capsule, tea, or liquid extract.

    4. Let her tickle you

    Maybe laughter is the best medicine. According to a recent study, watching a funny flick may increase your body’s production of beta-endorphins, the family of chemicals that alleviate depression.