How to avoid the winter blues

As the winter months drag on, it is not uncommon for people to deal with seasonal depression or, as many people refer to it, the “winter blues.” The winter blues can have people feeling tired, unmotivated and wanting to just stay in bed all day. Here are some tips to help fight the winter blues.

 

1) Expose yourself to light as much as you can.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the more daylight someone gets, the happier they generally are. Take a break during work and walk around outside, if it is not too cold out. Sit near the window with the curtains open or even wake up a little earlier to catch the sun.

 

2) Exercise regularly.

One hour of  aerobic exercise outside, even if there are clouds in the sky, has the same therapeutic effects as 2.5 hours of light treatment indoors. The reason for this is exercise raises the level of serotonin in your brain. It is responsible for maintaining mood balance, and that a deficit of serotonin leads to depression. Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain Your serotonin levels tend to get lower during the winter. You want to make sure you keep your serotonin levels up.

 

3) Eat well.

Speaking of serotonin levels, when they are low, we tend to crave food that isn’t the healthiest. We crave food high in carbohydrates, especially high-sugar foods like junk food and soda, because they raise serotonin levels. However, these types of food can cause an eventual crash in mood. Try to eat healthy food like fruits and nuts for a pick me up.

 

4)Transform your home.

Add more warm and bright colors to your living space. Being around cheerful colors can help improve your mood. Sunny yellows prove to be the most successful in changing moods according to the Mayo Clinic.

 

5) Avoid drinking alcohol in excess.

Alcohol is a depressant and can bring down your mood and have you feeling the blues. It’s best to avoid over-drinking in the winter months, if you are already prone to winter blues.

 

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About Sara Brown

Sara Brown is the Sampan health editor.

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