Got those winter blues?
As days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. All you want to do is stay in, curl into a ball, and eat. These tips, however, will help brighten things up!
Have your bedroom lights turn on a half hour before you’re supposed to wake up. One of the symptoms of winter blues is increased difficulty getting up in the morning, even if you’ve had plenty of sleep. Plugging a bright, fluorescent lamp into a timer and having it turn on before your alarm goes off will help simulate an artificial dawn.
Expose yourself to sunlight as early in the morning as you can. Try and maximize the number of hours you experience daylight. Wake up early and open the curtains, or go outside as soon as you get out of bed.
Exercise. Did you know that one hour of aerobic exercise outside has the same therapeutic effects as 2.5 hours of light treatment indoors? This is because it raises serotonin levels, which tend to get low when you have the winter blues.
Watch your cravings. When your serotonin levels are low, one of things your body tends to do is to crave food high in carbohydrates, especially high-sugar foods like junk food and soda, because they raise serotonin levels.
Take a multivitamin containing vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D is created by the sun’s rays on the skin, and therefore declines during the winter. Although studies on the effect of vitamin D supplements on seasonal depression have come up with varied results, a good multivitamin can also help with energy levels.
Take up a winter activity. Taking up an activity that can only be done in the winter is a good way to look forward to winter, rather than hating it. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, winter hiking & cycling, ice skating, sledding, tubing, winter photography, playing/listening to music, winter nature observation, or astronomy, all are good ways to enjoy winter. Embrace winter, and it cannot be your enemy!
Dress for the cold. Many people say they hate winter simply because they are cold all the time. If this applies to you, then re-examine your wardrobe and make sure you’re appropriately dressed. Make sure your hands, feet and head are kept warm. Long underwear can also work warming wonders.
Cozy up your home. Paint your walls with warm, vibrant colors. Change a sterile, white kitchen into a sunny, yellow retreat or transform a drab, beige living room into an inviting, verdant haven. Hang colorful artwork and toss around whimsical pillows. A few little touches can really help you cope with the winter blahs.
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