Winter sucks. If you’re not someone who ski’s regularly or lives in a sunny state, the next couple of months seem to go on forever AND EVER!
Seasonal depression (SAD) is real. Even feeling slightly off during this season can impact your life in numerous ways. It’s a struggle that a lot of people deal with, feel ashamed to speak about and don’t seek out the help or support they need.
We’re here to help. Check out the tips below to feel better during this time of year!
1. Sleep – Getting adequate Z’s is undervalued in our society. You typically demand a lot from your body and mind on a daily basis. Sleep is when you recharge, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. More and more studies are coming out that study the importance of a good night’s sleep. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day can have a positive effect on hormone levels, mood and many other physiological markers. But if you do shift work, aim for getting the same amount of hours asleep every night.
2. Food – It feeds or fights disease. Giving your body good nutrition, especially during cold months when you tend to have a lowered immune system (and get sick easier), is important. Shy away from sugar and processed/packaged foods. Stick to nutritious whole foods. Fruits, veggies, lean meats and natural fats are all good go-to’s.
3. Stress – The holiday season, less time spent outdoors, more junk food and the “adding to your stress” list goes on. Now’s the time to find something that chills you the f*** out. Stress can add to disease as well. It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to have zero stressors in daily life, because well LIFE! But, if you can find the sweet spot where the good stress outweighs the bad stress, plus challenge yourself to deal with life stuff in a different manner, you’ll feel better throughout the winter and throughout the entire year.
4. Move – Lift heavy things, walk, run, ice skate, whatever! Just move. It’s also a great time of year to have fitness goals. Striving toward making yourself better in some way, gives you hope until the sun comes back out to play!
5. Vitamin D – The most classic way to ease your winter blues. There are several ways to get vitamin D into your body. You can spend more time outside. Go for a hike, walk, run or get into winter sports. But you’ll have a difficult time getting the proper amount of vitamin D without having your skin exposed to absorb it. This is where a vitamin D supplement comes into the picture. Speak to your healthcare professional (the internet doesn’t count by the way) about how many IU to take per day. Lastly, you can try using a light therapy box. These mimic outdoor light and help lift mood if you suffer from SAD. Again, talk it over with your doctor and do research if you think this will help you feel better.
6. Socialize – It’s so comfy and cozy inside, under the covers, tucked away from the rest of the world. Thanks interwebs, because you don’t even have to go shopping for groceries anymore! With that being said, staying social is actually good for you! Make a point to hangout with people. Pencil in a coffee date with someone you enjoy talking to, join a gym, club or group, go to the movies and try out new places to eat. Don’t isolate yourself this winter!
This is the easiest time of year to get wrapped up in depression, negative thinking and feeling all the feels. Don’t forget that you have the power to ease some this. When all else fails, burn all of your puffy coats and move to California.