I have to confess I really (really) don't like winter and for those of you like me who suffer a downer during this unfriendly season, any ways of preventing the winter blues should be embraced!
Whatever the weather is doing, or how glum you or your friends, family and colleagues may be, try some of these ways to prevent the winter blues and spread some sunshine of your own.
SOAK UP THE SUN
One of the best ways to prevent the winter blues is to go outside in the sun. Not only is the Vitamin D good for your physical health, but it is also good for your mental health. It is difficult to be sad when the nice, bright sun is shining down on you while you enjoy the great outdoors. The fresh air is also a nice break from the stuffy, overheated indoors.
Magnesium is a calming mineral that nourishes the nervous system and helps prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness and irritability.
Taking magnesium and calcium at bedtime can also help promote restful sleep.
Dark-green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale and chard, contain plenty of calming magnesium as well as good amounts of the B vitamins. Whole, unrefined grains like oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa also contain both magnesium and B vitamins. Other food sources of magnesium include legumes, beef, chicken, fish (especially halibut, cod and salmon), nuts, seeds, bananas, watermelon, figs, potatoes and green beans.
SHINE A LIGHT
One of the main reasons people suffer from the winter blues is because there is less daylight. This can actually wreak havoc on your body’s circadian rhythm. It also impacts the release of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood. Try opening up your blinds and curtains to get some light into your life. Or you can purchase a blue LED light that has a peak wavelength of 470 nm. These are said to be the best because they produce less of a glare.
MOVE IT, SHAKE IT
The extremely cold months of June, July & August are when most of us get the least amount of exercise—ten - twenty percent less than in the summer time. Do not be like a bear and hibernate from your regular exercise routine. Make an effort to get to the gym or do some type of workout routine at home. The release of endorphins afterwards is sure to get you out of your winter slump and feeling a million times better. It is also a good way to keep some of those extra winter calories in check.
Winter is a great time to make a style change or mix up your colour a bit. In summer we tend to be a little more carefree and spend less time on styling our hair…so in winter its the perfect time to experiment
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Fruits and vegetables are good for you both physically and emotionally. According to one study, people who ate the most fruits and vegetables were less likely to feel depressed, anxious or suffer from other psychological conditions. In other words—an apple a day can do a lot more than just keep the doctor away. Be sure to stock up on produce the next time you are at the grocery store.
Some of the best ways to beat the winter blues are the simplest. Chamomile is said to have a calming effect when you take it. It reduces anxiety symptoms and can help relieve your winter blues. Of course, check with a doctor if you are already taking medications to make sure the supplement does not have a bad interaction with them. There is also chamomile tea that you can drink at night. It is caffeine free and has a very smooth flavor—a perfect way to wind down after a busy or stressful day.
Some creative ways to prevent the winter blues may be found at your local craft store, a do-it-yourself magazine or on the slopes. Find something new like baking cookies or cupcakes or try your hand at sewing, or jewellery making...in fact anything new to challenge your brain. Or, if you are more adventurous, try taking up a winter sport like skiing or ice skating. You will be so busy mastering a new skill or working on a project that you will forget all about your winter blues.
If you’re busy and occupied, you won’t have time to bemoan the weather and lack of sun. Set an example to everyone around you and everyone will have a sunnier winter disposition!