6 Healthful Tips To Beat The Winter Blues



Long winter nights and short frosty days can trigger the urge to hibernate in all of us. It’s only natural. With fewer daylight hours, we instinctively feel groggy and sluggish. The cold, grey months and lack of sunlight can negatively affect your mood and zap your energy levels. But with a few healthful tricks, you can beat those winter blues and give yourself an energy boost!

1. Keep warm

Stave off winter chills and think of warm, summer days. Bundle yourself up in your favorite wooly sweater and dress warm for the winter weather. Being cold makes everyone feel miserable. Here are a few ways to warm yourself up:

Take a warm bath scented with invigorating essential oils. Citrus scents like lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit are said to have rejuvenating properties and can uplift your mood.1

Treat yourself to a comforting beverage like hot chocolate and indulge in the relaxing effects of magnesium-rich cocoa, or a hot mug of green tea for a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Pamper yourself with a warming spa treatment like a paraffin wax bath with heat lamps, or a sauna or steam bath.

    2. Early to bed, early to rise

    Tune into your natural circadian rhythms instead of fighting them. Plan to be in bed a few hours earlier, so you will naturally wake up early and get more out of your day. Exposing yourself to more light, even if it’s artificial light, can have a positive effect on your mood.2

    3. Eat more winter-appropriate foods

    To compensate for the lack of sunlight during the dark winter days, consider taking a vitamin D supplement and eating more foods like salmon, eggs, and dairy.

    Eat lots of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C to keep you healthy during flu and cold season.

    4. Wake up and exercise

    Waking up and heading outside for an early morning walk or run is an ideal way to enliven your body and get the blood flowing. The cardiovascular effect on your heart is sure to give you more energy throughout the day. Plan it right and you could also experience the sunrise to rejuvenate your spirit.

    5. Set yourself monthly goals

    So winter doesn’t feel like forever, set yourself a challenge or project each month. It could be something around the house like cleaning out the hall closet, or physically challenging like setting yourself a fitness goal. To keep you motivated, break up each month into four weekly segments. This will give you something to look forward to each week and keep you motivated. Setting yourself goals and achieving them will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you going through the dark, winter months.

    6. Take a break from winter

    If you can, take a vacation to a sunny destination to give yourself a break from the winter chills. Soaking up those enriching rays of sunshine will uplift your mood and put a bounce back into your step. Getting away from it all is also good for your heart and relieving stress.3

     

    If you’re someone who struggles each year to get through the winter months despite how much you fight it, check with your doctor to rule out seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that can occur during the winter months.

    It’s only natural to feel a little down during the dark, winter months. But with a few simple measures, you can strive to make your winter light, bright, and full of promise.  

     

    References

    1. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr; doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.11.015.
    2. J. Circadian Rhythms. 2018 Feb 21. doi: 10.5334/jcr.153.
    3. Psychosomatic Medicine 62:608–612 (2000).

     

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