Fight the winter blues naturally this season!
As winter approaches, the days get shorter … darker … colder … You wake up and go to work / school in the dark, spend the brightest part of the day working and then go back to house in the dark. With memories of long, warm summer days, it’s no wonder people get depressed in winter!
Well this season, let’s fight the winter blues! Let’s increase our energy naturally! Let’s take control! These are some of my best recommendations …
Exercise is one of the most important things to combat winter blues and preferably outdoors in daylight. Bundle up and have fun! Some great ideas include snowshoeing, skiing, and skating. Fresh, crisp air can be invigorating, like a cold shower to awaken your senses. It doesn’t really matter what exercise you do, just do it. Exercise releases endorphins, the natural feel-good hormone, and increases serotonin, which promotes healthy sleep. It also improves your circulation, which improves healing and oxygenates your brain so you are more alert.
Spend time with friends / family:
Spending time with family and friends is a great way to lift your spirits. Even if you don’t feel like it, force yourself to be social. Plan a fun outing, have dinner, go to a spa day with the girls … Plan something you’re looking forward to. Surround yourself with those who have positive energy, as some of that positivity is likely to rub off on you.
Bright light in the morning:
Bright light can be very therapeutic. Exposure to bright light in the morning helps support normal circadian rhythms. Turn your face to the sunlight for 15 minutes when you wake up or to a bright indoor light. What are circadian rhythms? Circadian rhythms are natural rhythms in the body that regulate the sleep-wake cycle, digestion, and other bodily processes that occur in cyclical patterns over a 24-hour period. They tell the body when it needs to produce certain hormones and enzymes that regulate body processes.
Constant sleep-wake cycle:
Forcing yourself to sleep and wake up at the same time each day also helps strengthen your circadian rhythms. This promotes better restoration during sleep and better energy during the day. To ensure good sleep, be sure to practice proper sleep hygiene techniques, such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoon / evening and avoiding bright lights before bed.
Nourish the body with healthy foods:
Avoid sugary foods as they will cause spikes in your blood sugar and hence spikes and drops in your mood as well. Complex carbohydrates are better at keeping blood sugar at a more stable level, like whole grains. Healthy snacks throughout the day also help. In general, whole foods are superior to highly processed foods because they are not stripped of important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are nutritious and support good digestive health. Other important things to include are omega-3 oils, nuts, seeds, and smart proteins like fish, lean meats, and poultry. The B vitamins are especially important as they affect mood. Also make sure you get enough vitamin D – it is produced naturally by the skin when exposed to the sun, but people can be deficient in the winter months. You are what you eat! Make sure to provide your body with essential nutrients, as these serve as building blocks for cell regeneration.
Avoid talking about the weather:
Unless you have something nice to say, don’t talk about the weather. Focus on the positives.
Find a hobby or a new challenge / project:
Completing a challenge or project can bring a great sense of accomplishment and will naturally boost your mood. Try something to stimulate your creativity. Make a work of art or play an instrument. These activities can be very uplifting. Or snuggle up with a great book.
Holidays to a warm destination:
A warm vacation may be just what your doctor ordered. Find the balance between work and play.
Experience the healing arts:
Things like chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, and other manual therapies often provide relaxation and improve mood naturally. Chiropractic care helps balance the body both mechanically and neurologically. Many people report positive effects beyond the well-known physical effects of chiropractic care. Certain acupuncture points are used to improve mood and reduce anxiety.