3 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues
The winter blues aren’t just in your head. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of seasonal depression that occurs when the amount of daylight gets shorter. The impacts of SAD differ, with some people reporting difficulty in managing their day-to-day tasks while others feel a need to withdraw completely from loved ones and suffer major work and life setbacks. Early symptoms are subtle and include increased fatigue, decreased energy, sweet cravings, and an increased need to nap.
It’s important not to get embarrassed at being so impacted by nature — it is a natural and common reaction — and instead recognize these early signs so that you can combat the blues with meditation, wellness, mindfulness, spirituality, and simple living. Consider these tips for how:
Up your aerobic exercise. A brisk walk through the park during the scant daylight hours will help reduce anxiety and stress and enhance your mood. A yoga retreat in a sunnier and warmer location can also do wonders as a mid-season pick-up.
Meditate. A leading theory behind the cause of SAD in humans is a disruption in the pineal gland. Transcendental meditation can step in where this disruption occurs to naturally increase serotonin levels and alleviate the impacts of winter blues and restlessness.
Nix the junk. It is so tempting to gorge on high-impact carbs like pure sugars, pastas, and potatoes. They can provide a temporary high, but ultimately lead to a release in insulin, drop in blood sugar, an d ultimately more junk food cravings. This yo-yo pattern not only impacts your mental and physical activity levels, but it also frequently leads to weight gain and all the stresses associated with it. Choose instead to protect your brain chemistry, metabolism, and blood sugar by opting for high-protein and unprocessed foods.
Remember, don’t let anyone tell you to ‘just get over it’. The winter blues and SAD are real things that take real hurdles requiring real actions so as to overcome them. Do you struggle with this type of winter depression? If so, let us know in the comments about the tips and methods you use to lift your mood.