Beat the Winter Blues
Don't let a seasonal slump stop you from enjoying winter.
It’s that time of year again when many people fall into a seasonal slump. Winter blues can be triggered by a variety of events including stressful holidays, reminders of absent loved ones, less sunlight and colder temperatures.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to pick yourself up to keep the blues at bay.
- Get some exercise. Physical activity is great for getting in shape and relieving stress. Exercise also helps release endorphins, those "feel good chemicals" that improve your mood.
- Eat healthy. Avoid refined and processed foods and try to incorporate more veggies, fruit and whole wheat breads. Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight cups of water per day.
- Get outside. In winter, many people spend less time outdoors getting less sunlight. Reduced sunlight can cause you to feel down and not even realize why. Getting more sunlight helps boost your body’s Vitamin D supply and improve your mood.
- Avoid excessive drinking. Alcohol is a depressant, and rather than improving your mood, it may make it worse.
- Relax. Everyone needs some down time. Read a book, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditation or take a yoga class.
- Embrace the season. Instead of avoiding it, take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding or skiing. Having some fun in the winter will lift your spirits. (Be sure to stay safe!)
While there are many parts of our life we have control over, the change of seasons isn’t one of them. If you can learn to adapt to and enjoy winter, you can keep the seasonal, winter blues at bay.
Note: If you’re feeling more than just seasonal blues, or feelings seem stronger, more intense and last longer, you may have a more serious condition. Speak to your physician if you have additional concerns.
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