How to avoid getting blue while we wait for the longer spring days
Besides from the fun and festivities, many of us associate winter with the blues and low energy. A lack of sunlight, cold weather, slush and widespread winter related diseases all contribute to this and for some it develops into Seasonally Affected Disorder. Nonetheless, just because it is winter it doesn’t have to be the case that we are all as SAD as the weather. Here are some tips for avoiding the ‘blues’ this winter:
1- Brace the cold and get outside
Granted this doesn’t sound like the best way to keep someone cheerful, especially if it is windy and slushy outside but exposure to sunlight and the Vitamin D its rays produce is great for our bodies and minds. Furthermore, sunlight exposure encourages the release of neurotransmitters in the brain which affect our moods. Therefore, it is essential that we get some sunlight on those short days and long nights to keep up our Vitamin D levels and stop us from getting un-explainably depressed.
2- Exercise regularly
This doesn’t mean going for a run in shorts and a tank top in the snow by all means. It does, however, mean exercising, breaking a sweat and getting your heart run up for a prolonged period. Not only will it help with blood circulation but exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on our moods and attitudes. It will also increase energy and up your metabolism.
3- Embrace the season
It comes around once a year every year and we know it, so why not prepare for it and embrace it? Just because the weather isn’t the best and the days are short doesn’t mean there is nothing to do or no fun to be had. After all, most of us only get the opportunity to sled, ice skate, play ice hockey or throw snow balls for a few months a year so enjoy it while it lasts. A positive outlook on the season will also help improve your mood and keep spirits high.
4- Keep Hydrated
The cold weather and dry air can negatively affect our immune and dry up our mucus, in turn helping germs succeed in their malicious behaviour. It is important, therefore, that we stay hydrated to try keep our immune system at its best. The Institute of Medicine recommends between 2-3 litres of water per day per person (depending on gender) but this doesn’t have to be plain water. Water can be obtained through what you eat also. For example, many fruits contain a great deal of water. If possible, drink less alcohol as it is a major dehydrator.
5- Brighten Up Your Home
As the winter is filled with shorter and darker days, your home may quickly become bland and consistently dark looking. This can negatively affect your mood and discourage your body from properly relaxing after a hard days work. A fresh lick of bright paint to the kitchen or living room would do the trick best but, for a more affordable way of brightening up your home, try buying some bright lights or pieces of artwork.