7 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

Happy holidays? Bah, humbug. For some, 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 to the Gym

Woman at gym touches a guy's biceps during his workout.© Gilaxia/Getty Images Woman at gym touches a guy's biceps during his workout.

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

Woman practicing yoga in downward facing dog pose© Hero Images/Getty Images Woman practicing yoga in downward facing dog 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

Mature woman wearing sunglasses and sunhat smiling towards camera© Image Source/Getty Images Mature woman wearing sunglasses and sunhat smiling towards camera

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.

5.) Step Into the Light

two people running by eachother by river© Getty Images two people running by each other by river

Soak in as much bright light during the day as possible. Or invest in a light-therapy box, which mimics natural outdoor light, causing a biochemical change that lifts your mood.

6.) Go Fish

Grilled cutlet (open steak cut) of mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) with rice and green beans on the side© NightAndDayImages/Getty Images Grilled cutlet (open steak cut) of mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) with rice and green beans on the side Depressed patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are primarily found in fish. Weil says just 2 to 3 grams of fish oil a day can leave you happier.

7.) Hold Tight to Your Wallet

7 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues© AMI 7 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues Even if you're counting on a big holiday bonus—or you're just happy you have a job—this isn't the time to splurge. Watch your spending for the rest of the month, or you may feel anxious about that monstrous credit card bill coming in January. So while you may not want to be a Grinch, a little bit of Scrooge can't hurt.

Story by MSN.com