Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
Winter will soon be in full force. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, even the best of us can get a little down. The “winter blues” are characterized by the mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. You might feel blue around the winter holidays, or get into a slump after the fun and festivities have ended. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal if they’re already here.
- Exercise-the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those “feel good chemicals” that improve your mood.
- Eat Healthy- What and when you eat has a great effect on your mood and energy. Avoid refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). These foods not only deprive you of the nutrients your body craves, but they zap your energy levels and can affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, and fruit) and get your daily 8 cups of water. These healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.
- Get some sun– Most people know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! Similar to exercise, sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. Try to spend a little more time outdoors. Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. Sit near windows in restaurants and during class. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to “full spectrum” bulbs. These mimic natural light and actually have the same effects on your mind as the real thing.