You don’t have to let wintertime depression ruin your life — just follow these 5 simple steps!
Autumn leaves are swirling all around, and the air has a distinct chill– winter is on its way. Winter brings joyous (and sometimes stressful) moments with friends and family, and overindulgence in delicious holiday food and drinks, and long evenings spent in front of a crackling fire.
For many of us, it also brings feelings of lethargy, crankiness, unhappiness, and general feelings of being ill at ease. We might not feel like socializing, we may have trouble concentrating at work, and even our sleep cycles can be disturbed. If this describes you, watch out: you may be suffering from winter depression.
Also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the winter blues strikes most often when the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and we spend more and more of our time inside the house.
Luckily, our emotions don’t have to be slaves to the season. There are several relatively simple things we can do to fight off SAD and maintain our emotional balance throughout the season. Here are five quick and easy tips that will help you manage your winter emotions and come out raring for spring.
1) Move it or lose it. The more exercise the better, but even moderate amounts of aerobic exercise can help with the winter blues. Even just 10 to 15 minutes of light walking can make a difference in your spirits. This works even better if it can be done outside during daylight hours (see Tip 2).
2) Shine the light. Sunlight is our number one weapon in the battle against seasonal affective disorder. Studies of shown that decreased sunlight to contribute factor to SAD, so you want to up your intake of this valuable and under-appreciated natural resource. Try taking a walk in the morning before work or during your lunch break.
3) Shine the light some more. If for whatever reason spending time outside in the sun during the day is impossible, consider investing in a desktop or floor lamp that emits natural spectrum light. Full spectrum light is an effective replacement for sunlight and can have a mood-elevating effect.
4) Breathe easy. Good emotional health begins at home. Because we spend so much time indoors during the winter months, it is important to maintain as pristine an environment as possible to support our health. This isn’t easy, as our homes are typically riddled with irritants and pollutants such as dust, mold, mildew, pet hair, and chemical toxins. The solution? Air purification units. Investing in an air purifier for your bedroom, living room, office, or child’s room can yield substantial benefits for your respiratory system– and, as a result, to your emotional well-being as well. You can find many sources of air purifier recommendations online. It’s advisable to spend some time reading up on each device before choosing one that’s right for you.
5) Double the D. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining our emotional health. Research has shown that levels of vitamin D drop off during the winter in most people. It’s a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to purchase a vitamin D supplement your local health food store and take it regularly.
By following these five simple tips, you can make sure that your emotions don’t take charge of your life this holiday season. With a little forethought and a bit of daily effort, you can beat the wintertime blahs, make the most of this beautiful season, and survive happily til spring.
Author Bio: Freelance author Kimberly Moore is an expert on nutrition, health and wellness. She is a regular contributor to blogs on these topics,