Beating The Wintertime Blues
We all get the blues. But when the weather’s colder, the days are shorter and we’re stuck inside, the effects of the season are that much more intense. Our bodies crave sunlight, vitamin D and outdoor experiences-and they rebel when they don’t get enough of those precious things.
While only a small portion of the population suffers from the more extreme seasonal affective disorder (SAD), most of us experience a little sadness of our own sometime throughout winter. But just knowing that you’re not alone is the first step to beating the seasonal blues. Here are some other ways to stay in your happy place this winter:
1. Keep exercising. Yes, you might have to go to the gym, work out with a video or invest in some heavier outdoor gear, but continuing to move will ward off extra pounds-and the depression that sometimes comes along side them. Plus exercising is shown to release serotonin, the brain’s feel-good chemical, which can help you get through the day. Try for at least 30 minutes five times a week. Or start with a few 10-minute walks outside. Even under cloud cover, the natural light will give you a boost.
2. Find friends. Staying connected to people rather than holing up in the house can work wonders. As humans, we need social outlets and contact to stay sane. So, get out for a cup of coffee with co-workers, invite friends over for dinner, start a book club and cozy up by the fire, or meet some buddies at exercise class.
3. Eat well. Nourishing your body is important throughout the year, but it’s especially crucial in the wintertime. Don’t add to apathy by over-eating processed foods that can slow you down. Shoot for maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, some lean meats and healthy whole-grain carbs. Get creative with hot dishes like roasted vegetables and homemade soups.
Even small, everyday things can give you a lift and keep you from sliding into the winter doldrums.