Here in Bucks County, Pa. it’s been raining and cold for a month. Couple that with election negativity and it’s enough to give anyone a bad case of the winter blues. It’s natural to want to stay in and cozy up on the couch with a blanket.
The short days do affect your body and can affect your mood. You might know that sunlight regulates the naturally occurring serotonin and melatonin in your body. These chemicals regulate your sleep cycles, your mood, your appetite, and other important functions within your body. When they’re out of balance as often happens in the winter, you can feel tired and low-energy.
Couple that with the post-holiday doldrums and by the end of January, it’s common to be ready for a change.
Whether or not a warm weather getaway is in the cards for you this winter, here are four other tips for you to take care of yourself this winter.
1—Go Out– While your inclination may be to hibernate like a bear during the long, cold months, it’s better for you to make plans with friends and get out and do something you enjoy. Laughing is a mood booster.
2—Exercise – Another way to boost your spirits is keep your body active. Whether you enjoy yoga, Zumba, or Crossfit, find something you enjoy and make a point to get it into your calendar. Schedule make it tough to get to the gym? There are numerous online opportunities to participate in regular exercise including YouTube channels and subscription services.
3—Chiropractic care – This can boost your immune system and keep you pain-free by removing nerve obstructions.
4- Eat more omega 3’s – salmon and spinach have high levels of the so-called “good fats.” These are fats that lower your cholesterol levels and boost your mood. You’ve probably heard of the health benefits of omega 3’s, they can even help your joints, memory functions and eyesight. You do want to get more of them in your diet. Most of these foods also contain an amino acid called phenylalanine and one of the phenylalanine benefits is that it gives you a mood boost. It’s available as a supplement too.
5–Get a SAD light — Millions of people living in cold climates suffer with SAD or seasonal affective disorder. It’s a very real depression state that can cause you to feel low energy and lack of motivation. Since you can’t make like a bear and hibernate for the next couple of months, you might try a special light. Sometimes called a “SAD” light, these are special lights that emit a broad spectrum of light missing during the dark winter months.
6 – Take Vitamin D – It can help alleviate the low levels of Vitamin D you typically get this time of year too. Your medical practitioner can make individualized recommendations based on your medical history.
The important thing to know is if it’s more serious than the winter blahs – meaning if you or a family member shows symptoms of depression — that you get the medical assistance you need.
Otherwise, Spring is coming!