Overcoming the winter blues, which sometimes can even evolve into a seasonal affective disorder, might be challenging and taxing, especially for people who are sensitive to cold. The lack of sunshine, and therefore vitamin D deficiency, shorter days, and cold weather may all disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is in charge of hormone production and certain brain wave activity.
As a result, it is essential to understand how to support yourself during this period. Fortunately, there are many effective methods to combat it. They include but are not limited to enriching your diet with seasonal foods, keeping up with your sleeping routine, staying physically active, getting some light therapy, and spending more quality time with friends and family. Continue reading if you want to learn more about beating the winter blues!
Eat Seasonal Foods
As you know, our bodies respond differently to the foods we eat. So why not try to incorporate foods that are in season? They’ll be easier to digest and contain more nutrients than those that aren’t. Many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, including apples, pears, carrots, potatoes, and squash.
You should try incorporating these foods into your diet. For instance, if you don’t like raw carrots, you should try making carrot soup or carrot cake instead of sticking to the same old recipes. This will give you new ways to enjoy some of your favorite vegetables. Or, if you’re craving sweets, try making pumpkin pie or apple crisp instead of brownies or chocolate cake.
Schedule Your Sleep
One of the essential methods to fight off the winter blues is by getting enough sleep. As you may know, an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to many health problems. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try making your bedroom darker and turning off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
Other things that may help you wake up feeling refreshed include taking a warm shower or bath before bed, journaling, reading, meditating, or having a couple of CBD softgels. As for the latter, you may want to check the origin of CBD in your products – whether it’s Indica or Sativa CBD – as they may vary in their effects (here, you can check what’s the difference between Indica and Sativa).
All in all, you should create a sleep-inducing environment and a couple of bedtime rituals that will help relax before getting to bed. Make sure you set the alarm, so you don’t oversleep.
Develop a Positive Attitude
Another great way to fight off the winter blues is by maintaining a positive attitude. This isn’t easy since you might feel depressed due to the dreary winter weather. However, if you can find meaning in everything that is happening around you, then you will be able to feel better about it.
For instance, if you’re feeling blue because of the cold weather, then think about how Christmas is just around the corner. This will remind you that the holidays are almost here and that will make you happier! Remember that a positive attitude can do a lot for your mood and overall well-being.
As you know, one of the main causes of depression is being too hard on yourself. In other words, your negative thoughts and feelings might be causing your depression. In addition, perfectionism can also have a detrimental effect on your well-being because if you think your life isn’t perfect, you’ll start developing negative thoughts toward it. These types of thoughts are harmful because they make it difficult to accept who you are and what you have. However, there is a simple solution to this. You could try practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or the future. In other words, it involves paying attention to your breath as it comes in and as it goes out and noticing what is going on around you. Another cool thing about mindfulness meditation is that it has been shown to mitigate symptoms of depression and anxiety. All you have to do is take a few minutes out of your day and focus on your breath and surroundings. You can even do this while walking around the mall!
Get Some Light Therapy
Another way to fight off the winter blues is by using light therapy – whether it be natural or artificial light – which mimics sunlight and helps regulate your body clock. Studies show that light therapy can help reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, such as depression and fatigue.
Natural sunlight is better than artificial light because it contains ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which help boost vitamin D levels in your body. However, if you can’t get outdoors or don’t live in a sunny area, then light therapy works too! Just be sure to use it during sunrise and sunset; this will help support your circadian rhythm by resetting itself every morning. If you don’t have time for this, then you can always use a dawn simulator instead. These devices will help keep your circadian rhythm on track without requiring too much time from you.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Since winter is difficult for many people, it’s important to take all the necessary precautions to avoid vitamin D deficiency. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we either get from food or the sun. The primary function of vitamin D is to help absorb calcium and phosphorus in your body.
However, as you may know, most foods don’t contain much of it, if any. As a result, those who live in areas with less sunlight will most likely experience a vitamin D deficiency, which is said to affect up to 50% of middle-aged women. So what can you do? You could try taking a vitamin D supplement – especially during the winter – or spending more time outdoors.
Get Regular Exercise
Another way to fight off the winter blues is by getting regular exercise. Exercise has been shown to increase the production of serotonin, which is known as the feel-good hormone. It also helps boost your mood, manage stress levels, and improve your sleep quality.
Exercise is more effective than medication when it comes to relieving depression and anxiety. This is why you need to stay active on a daily basis! Even a brisk walk can do wonders for your mood and overall well-being.
Last but not least, one of the most effective ways to beat the winter blues is by staying positive. Yes, this might be challenging at times, especially if you live in an area without much sunshine during the winter months. However, if you can stay positive, you will most likely feel better about yourself and what is happening around you.
If you can’t find any reason to be happy, then maybe you should try making new friends or doing something different daily. Staying positive helps keep your mind busy and focused on something other than how miserable you feel.
While the winter blues can be challenging, there are many ways to fight back. Try incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet, sleeping an adequate amount of time per night, exercising regularly, and spending more time with friends and family members.
If you’re feeling a little blue, then try taking a vitamin D supplement or going outside for some light therapy. If you’re still feeling sad and depressed, then talk to someone you trust or call a hotline. You’ll be surprised at how helpful it is to have a listening ear to talk to!