January is a tough month for many people. The weather is cold and often rainy or snowy. There are not enough hours of sun int he day. The joy of the holidays is over and things are back to normal. Everyone is going back to work and the next holiday is quite a ways away.
All these things can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) or as most people call it, the winter blues or winter depression. People suffering from this often show similar symptoms to depression:
- Less energy
- Trouble concentrating
- Greater appetite
- Increased desire to be alone
- Greater need for sleep
- Weight gain
There are ways to combat this mood disorder. here are the top 10 ways to beat the winter blues:
1: Go Outside
When you go outside (especially early morning) you get two things that will help you feel better: natural light and fresh air. A brisk walk in the morning lifts the spirit, is good exercise and usually leaves us refreshed and in a positive state of mind.
2: Light Therapy
Of course, there are days the weather prevents you from going outside. Sunlight, and with that vitamin D, is a great influence on your mood. If you don’t get enough of it, it can affect how you feel and trigger depressive feelings. If you can’t get outside, consider light therapy. It is a great way to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Light therapy boxes are not too expensive and are a great investment to treat the winter depression.
3: Eat Well
Feeling down is one of the biggest triggers for emotional eating. This usually means you’re snacking on less than healthy foods in order to make yourself feel better. This results in your body not getting the nutrients it needs to feel good. Binge eating to feel better often results in feeling worse than you already did. Try to avoid this by stocking up on healthy food choices that you like. Juicing or making smoothies are a quick and healthy way to get your necessary nutrients in. Snack on healthy things and make sure you drink plenty of water.
Besides the morning walk mentioned in the first paragraph, exercise is vital for your mental health. When the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activities, it’s very easy to sit on the couch all day and watch tv or spend the entire day behind your computer or phone. It is important to limit your screen time and get some physical activity in. Whether that means going for a run, going to the gym or chopping up firewood in the backyard, get your body moving!
5: Take Vitamins
One reason your moods may be inconsistent is you are not getting the vitamins and nutrients you need. Make sure you take vitamins daily. I highly recommend the Lifelong Vitality Pack that has absolutely everything your body needs. If you live in a cold climate, add some extra vitamin A & D to your regimen.
6: Brighten Your Environment
Your body is craving more daylight. A lightbox can be as effective as anti-depressive medications. Open your blinds and curtains and let the light in. Trimming back tree branches, and sitting closer to windows can also help provide an extra dose of sunshine and will give you a good workout.
7: Play Music
If there is anything that is closely related to mood, it’s music. We all have a “feel-good” playlist. Turn it on, play the music that makes you feel good and dance! Moving your body on tunes you love will make you feel better.
8: Help Others
Serving others is a great way to feel better about yourself. Check if there are volunteer opportunities in your area. Usually, homeless shelters, animal shelters, and nursing homes are always looking for volunteers. Give some of your time and energy to helping others, and you will find that you will automatically start feeling better.
9: Surround Yourself With Good people
This is a little bit of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Other people’s negativity can be toxic for your mood, so surround yourself with good people who understand what you are going through. They will build you up and spending time with positive people will definitely make you feel better.
10: Mood Boosters
Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health. It works by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then sends messages through the nervous system to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions.
Essential Oils are amazing mood boosters. The scents that are most uplifting are citrus oils such as Lemon, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Orange and Lime. Put a combination of any of those in a diffuser and you will instantly feel better!
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