Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness Tips to Combat the Winter Blues
As the days grow colder, darker, and shorter, you may feel your mood begin to dip. It's common for people to feel a bit blue due to the lack of sunlight at this time of year. But this can set the stage for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern, also known as the winter blues. This year, the pandemic might worsen symptoms of depression for people who experience SAD—and even those who have never struggled with the disorder before.
Fortunately, research has discovered numerous things you can do to protect yourself from SAD and fight off the winter blues if they get a grip on you. Keeping your brain and body healthy is key! This means focusing on good nutrition, staying active, getting outdoors, practicing self-care, and seeking help from a professional. Here are some other ways to combat SAD this year, presented below by Tree Lotion Inc.
Refresh Your Home
As the pandemic continues, we’re all spending more time at home than we have in previous winters. This also means that many of us are socially-isolated and cut off from the activities that support our mental health, like going to the gym or spending time with friends. Since you’re stuck inside, it’s important that your home is a soothing and positive place where you can relax, recharge, and feel at peace. Spend some time making your home feel cozy and refreshing! Redfin suggests injecting positivityinto your home by cleaning, decluttering, and opening all the windows to let fresh air fill your space.
Be Kind to Yourself
Self-care is more important than ever during the winter months. When you’re already feeling down, it’s easy to spiral into negative thought patterns that only make you feel worse. Try to be mindful of your thoughts and emotions so you can direct your attention toward something positive, like taking a hot bath, baking some tasty treats, or doing some online shopping. As long as you don’t overspend, retail therapy really can improve your mood! Consider buying some new wardrobe essentials so you can feel comfortable and put-together around the house. You can also try CBD products from Tree Lotion Inc. that can help relax and revitalize you.
Add More Light to Your Life
Research suggests that reduced levels of sunlight in winter play a role in the winter blues. A decrease in sunlight can disrupt your body’s natural clock and throw your hormones out of balance, leading to feelings of depression. To combat this, Forbes suggests employing a variety of lighting techniques at home. Pull back the curtains and let the light in and replace old light fixtures with full-spectrum, LED options. A light therapy box may also help! Of course, getting outside into the natural light is the best way to keep your body clock balanced, so bundle up and head out into the cold as much as possible.
Go Back to School
One way to fight off the winter blues is to keep yourself occupied. While you could start reading a series of books you’ve had your eye on or binge-watch a series you’ve heard people gushing about on social media, there are other, more constructive ways to pass the time. For instance, why not head back to school? Online universities offer a wide range of courses, including master’s programs for those who want to continue their education. Filling your time with something that can enrich your life is always the way to go.
Pack Your Diet with Key Nutrients
Eating a clean, nutrient-packed diet can also help lift the winter blues. Research has revealed significant connections between diet and mental health, and it’s clear that certain foods can worsen feelings of sadness. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods, and trans fats as much as possible as these foods are connected with an increased risk of depression. Instead, focus your diet on foods packed with vitamins and minerals!
Researchers are also finding evidence that irritation in the gut can trigger mood changes. protect your gut health with prebiotic and probiotic foods, like fiber-rich veggies, and fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and unsweetened yogurt are excellent options!
The dark winter months can affect all of us differently. Whether you’re suffering from SAD or you’re just feeling a little down because the pandemic has thrown a wrench in your holidays, it’s important to find ways to cope.
Written by: Carla Looez