05 Feb 6 Proven ways to beat the winter blues
Got the winter blues? If so, you’re not alone. Winter is Canada is long, cold, and often devoid of sunlight. Tempting as hibernating until spring may be, it’s not the answer. Instead, try some of these science-backed strategies to boost your mood, lift your spirits, and help you cope until warmer, sunnier, days come our way.
You may feel like staying in bed with the covers pulled up over your head, but the mood-enhancing benefits of spending time outdoors in every season, are well established. Bundle up and take a walk or run some errands.
Get more light.
If you’re craving sunshine, the odds are high that exposure to natural light will be just the ticket. Open curtains and blinds when indoors, and be sure to spend some time outdoors every day — even when skies are gray. Make the most of sunny late winter and early spring days by munching your lunch as you enjoy a walk; walking part of the way home from work; and enjoying winter hikes, skiing, skating, or snowshoeing on weekends.
Some foods have the ability to enhance our moods… happily dark chocolate is among them. Do try to avoid simple carbohydrates (sugars, etc.) that can make us feel happy initially, but then exacerbate anxiety and depression.
It’s long established that exercise is an effective way of prevent and help manage stress, mild to moderate depression, and anxiety. Read more.
Studies suggest that by relaxing the body and mind through meditation, we can stimulate the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with happiness. Learn more about meditation.
Vitamin D plays a role in regulating mood, maintaining optimum blood sugar levels, and boosting our immune systems. Are you getting enough? Probably not. You might also want to consider Omega-3 supplements which appear to exert an antidepressant effect. Options for vegans and vegetarians exist so discuss your options at a health store or pharmacy.