Beating the winter blues isn’t easy for some people. However, there are those among us who become very affected by the changing of the seasons and lack of sunlight. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Here are a few tips that might help you make it through spring.
Get Your Vitamin D Up
When it’s cloudy, your body misses the sun, which can make you feel sad. Lucky for you, all you have to do to get vitamin D is go outside for a few minutes every day. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body makes when it’s exposed to the sun. But a sunny vacation might be a good idea if you live somewhere that doesn’t get much sun in the winter. Take advantage of the great deals on sites like BayberryCove.com to stock up on beach essentials.
Beat the Winter Blues with Other Supplements
Tryptophan is an essential nutrient that helps make serotonin, a chemical that makes people happy. Studies show that tryptophan can help with depression just as well as antidepressants. St. John’s Wort is another popular treatment for depression. However, be aware that it does have some negative effects and interactions. But it helps with the winter blues in particular, so if nothing much has worked, which is often the case, you might want to give it a try.
Try Some Light Exercises
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but working out is a great way to deal with stress, anxiety, and sadness. Essential neurotransmitters and endorphins are all chemicals in the brain that make us feel good. Of course, it’s not always exactly pleasant to work out when the weather is bad. But even a short walk can boost the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. If you can’t work out outside, work out inside and train in a place that gets a lot of natural light.
Go Scandinavian with Comfort
You could take a lesson from Scandinavians, who have to deal with long, dark winters. They don’t see winter as something they have to suffer through. On the contrary, they like winter, and one way they do this is by making themselves comfortable with a concept called Hygge:
- Spend time with your family and friends.
- Indulge in warming foods and drinks like hot chocolate and soup.
- Don’t cut yourself off from society.
- Enjoy the sound and warmth of a roaring fire.
- Learn to bake bread and hot snacks.
You can relax and enjoy time at home thinking and simply spending time with loved ones during the winter. Getting cozy and doing things together or alone, you can enjoy winter more if you change your mind about it. You can welcome it as a time for reflection instead of fighting it.
Try a SAD Lamp for Bouts of Depression
The winter blues are also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Shorter days are thought to make you feel terrible because you don’t get as much sunlight. A SAD lamp is essentially an alarm system that uses light instead of sound to wake you up slowly. It will look like a sunrise by starting out with a low light that gets brighter as time goes on. Research shows that SAD lamps make people feel better and make them happier. But it also controls cortisol and melatonin.
Beat the Winter Blues by Being Easier on Yourself
Most people have trouble with Christmas and other winter holidays that happen when it’s cold and dark. Give yourself some time and understand that your post-holiday blues will go away with the change of seasons, just as spring always comes after winter. Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions if you want to avoid heartache. This isn’t a suitable time to make unrealistic plans. And less than 10% of people who make New Year’s resolutions reach their goals anyway.
Be Grateful Beyond the Holidays
After the holidays is the best time to start a gratitude practice. Get past the fakeness and materialism of the holidays and think about what you really believe the holidays are about. Most religions and spiritual traditions that have been around for a long time emphasize helping others and being thankful. When you show gratitude, your brain releases feel-good chemicals like serotonin in the brain and endorphins. This makes you feel happier and less depressed.
Winter and the lack of sunlight can cause what is known as the winter blues. Unfortunately, this affects a great deal of people. However, you can get through it by increasing vitamin D and other essential nutrients, learning to embrace the winter, and being grateful after the holidays.