The darker days are looming, the break up with summer ’17 is official and I’m feeling just as heartbroken as you. With winter around the corner, it’s normal to be feeling a little bit drowsy, lethargic and unmotivated. Don’t worry, we’re all in this together.
If you’re already turning to the hot chocolate instead of the iced tea, or the scarf instead of the sunglasses, or rolling out of bed instead of springing, then check out these 5 ways to fight the winter blues.
Take Up a New Hobby!
It’s cool, I get it. The last thing you want to be doing when you’re waking up in the dark to go to work and coming home again in the pitch black is finding the energy to do something other than snooze on the sofa binge-watching Netflix.
However, according to Sue Pavlovich of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. “It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on,” she adds.
Dose up on Vitamin D
It’s the time of the year where we’re swapping the sunshine for vitamin D capsules. Since we see a break in the gloomy clouds approximately once a month during winter, it’s wise to get your vitamin fix elsewhere.
It’s not a coincidence that you may feel low during this time of year, so many diseases correlate with vitamin D deficiency – the most relevant being depression.
So, fight them winter blues and head to your local pharmacy ASAP! The New York Times best-selling author Joseph Mercola, DO, suggests that adults take as much as 5,000 IU per day. Certain foods are good sources of vitamin D, including cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines, eggs, and cereals fortified with vitamin D.
Go Carb Crazy
Carbs are your friend. Eeeeeeek!!! Yes, you read correctly. Complex carbs don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can create roller-coaster moods; they also increase levels of serotonin in the brain so you won’t feel as drowsy and as dull as the weather.
Opt for whole grains and complex carbs like spinach, yams, broccoli, beans, zucchini, lentils, skim milk, and more, which will fill you up while also providing long-lasting nourishment.
Unfortunately, ‘storing food for the winter’ isn’t a good enough excuse to be eating rubbish. You’re not going into hibernation – it’s winter, not the ice age. Researched published in the Public Health Nutrition journal found that people who consumed fast foods were 51 percent more likely to have low moods. During this time of year, try super hard to stick to your routine, it will benefit you now more than ever.
Fish are Friends…Not Food!
Omega 3 is your best friend during the snowy season. Studies have long linked deficiencies of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids to Seasonal Affective Disorder. A 2011 study in Nature Neuroscience has even demonstrated how lower omega-3 levels change brain activity. With high levels of omega 3 racing around your body, you’re also more likely to fight off the dreaded cold and flu that creeps up on us every icy season.
With these tips in mind, you stand the best chance of staying healthy (and most importantly happy!) during the winter, whilst maintaining a balanced diet and energy levels.
Hope this helps!