The holidays are over, and the days have become shorter. The weather is cold, and the amount of sunlight we receive daily is short-lived. Instead, the dark nights of winter take hold, and for many, this can make many people feel blue. Also known as the “winter blues,” the shorter days and lack of sunlight can mess with a person’s hormone levels and can disrupt your body’s clock. Making a person feel sad, irritable, moody, unmotivated, and can even cause a person to lose interest in activities they typically enjoy. Overeating is common, and weight gain can be one of the unfortunate side effects of the winter blues. Luckily, even though everyone is affected by seasonal affective disorder differently, if you are looking to beat the winter blues there are remedies available that may help lift your spirits.
During the winter, it’s common to feel SAD, as seasonal affective disorder can affect anyone, young and old. If you are looking for ways to lift your spirits and beat the winter blues, check out these helpful seasonal depression tips.
Watch what you eat – Certain foods, while they can make you feel euphoric at first, can actually increase feelings of depression and anxiety. Carbohydrates and junk food, such as candy, can provide a temporary fix but often makes you feel down in the dumps. It’s best to have a well-balanced diet filled with healthy, high-quality food, and if you are craving sweets, reach for some dark chocolate.
Supplement your diet – Taking supplements can help treat your winter depression, especially since you can’t always get what you need from diet alone. During the winter, it’s hard (depending on where you live) to get the vitamin D that you need from the sun, and this can negatively affect your mood. Besides taking a vitamin D supplement, it is also recommended to take a fish oil supplement, as well as tryptophan to help keep you positive during the winter.
Get moving – While it can be hard to stay physically active during the winter, it is a great way to stay happy and fight off the blues. So do your best to stay active and invest in some warm winter clothing so you can go outdoors. Exercising outside is recommended, especially in the sunlight, but if this is not possible, take your workout indoors. Even something as simple as a 15-minute walk can help increase the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Rest, relax, and reflex – During the winter there’s nothing better than getting cozy and warm, which alone can help reduce the winter blues. Practicing some extra self-care is important during the winter, and it’s best to use this time to slow down, rest, relax, and reflect. The winter is also a great time to spend quality time with friends and family, as socializing is excellent for your mental health. The winter is an excellent time to start the practice of gratitude, which in itself can also help create a surge of feel-good chemicals in the brain.