The departure of summer may be a welcoming relief to some people. But, as the cool season gradually plows through to a full chill, it can also bring with it wintertime blues. Millions of people succumb to the darker half of the year, when a veil of sadness wicks away their spirits.
And, those that are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can exhibit any combination of the following: depression, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain or weight loss. Rather than allowing your body to sink into the doldrums of winter, exercise these simple ways to lighten up throughout the season.
Tips to Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the Winter Blues:
1. Let the sun shine in – Whether the forecast is sunny or cloudy, open up the blinds or drapes throughout the house. Being able to look outside and take in natural light can provide an instant boost to your spirits.
2. Button up your overcoat – No matter how cold, head outside to expose yourself to the real thing. Remember to apply sunscreen and bundle up so that you are comfortable enough to stay outside long enough to receive the sun’s nourishing rays.
3. Get some exercise – It’s easy to slump into a cozy couch, but 30-minutes of activity each day is not only recommended, but it also provides a powerful lift in energy and mood. Try something new, like a dance class, invest in some kettle bells, or buy a fun Wii game for the whole family to enjoy.
4. Be an early bird – The sun setting earlier means that it will also rise earlier. This is the perfect chance to greet the new day. Whether you decide to do some stretching outdoors, tend to your garden or sip tea by the window, enjoy the sunrise while treating yourself to your favorite activity.
5. Become a master of happiness – Erase any negativity to improve your mood. Don’t get down on winter. Rather, embrace the season and push through the challenges with optimism and positive thinking. “I am stronger in the winter.”
6. Eat for health and energy – Avoid foods that are high in sugar or high-fat, and limit alcohol consumption. All these can boost your energy quickly, but then leave you feeling beaten down and sluggish shortly after. Rather, eat protein, vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates for a nutritional energy boost.
7. Screw in more bulbs – If that’s what it takes, more light fixtures will make the house or office brighter. CFL (compact flourescent light) bulbs are readily available and are the closest to daylight color temperature. Light therapy has also been proven to renew energy and chase away winter blues.
8. Surround yourself with your favorite people – Connections with friends and family can provide warmth, strength and stimulation to keep you feeling positive through the winter months.