5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

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Well team, it looks like winter is officially in full swing! With shorter days and the temperature dropping, we can start to experience a case of the “winter blues.” What does this mean exactly? Do you feel tired, don’t want to leave your house, maybe you’re fighting a cold constantly or are just experiencing the very technical medical term of ‘the blahs’? Welcome to the Winter Blues. This can be characterized by mild depression, low energy and a lack of motivation. During this time, many of us also engage in less physical activity, socializing and are exposed to minimal sunlight – especially relevant because we live in Canada. But, luckily there are a few ways we can boost our mood and create a positive experience through the winter months.

Get moving!

In order to really boost your mood, get up and get moving! Go for a walk outdoors, visit the gym, do some yoga or go dancing. Any activity really, that will get your heart pumping. Exercise will boost your metabolism, give you energy and best of all will help to improve your mood.

Light up your life

Artificial light therapy is one of the best ways to boost your mood during the winter months. Invest in a lamp that emits greater than 5,000 lux and sit in front of it for 30 minutes each morning. The lamp mimics the light outdoors giving you a boost of serotonin (a.k.a. your happy hormone!). Also, consider opening the shades as soon as you get up and sit beside a window as you sip your favourite tea!

Eat well

“You are what you eat.” The foods you consume have a great effect on your general well-being and mood. Ditch the refined and processed foods. These foods contain virtually no nutrition and may cause decreased energy and mood. Instead, choose a diet with whole foods such as complex carbohydrates, vegetables (especially root vegetables because they’re still technically in season) and fruits, lean meat, etc. These foods provide the nutrition your body needs and will stabilize your blood sugar.

Find your happy place

You may find that when the days get colder you tend to refrain from activities that usually bring you happiness. Encourage yourself to break out of this slump by engaging in activities or hobbies that bring some light back into your life. This can be anything from hanging out with friends, painting, knitting, going to see a movie, listening to your favourite tunes, etc.

Get your Vitamin D levels tested

Talk to your doctor about testing your vitamin D blood levels. Since we are located in the Northern hemisphere we are exposed to fewer ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Therefore, many Canadians are deficient in Vitamin D. During the winter we are exposed to even less sunlight and a Vitamin D supplement can help to maintain our levels and boost our mood. Speak to your doctor today!

Get moving!

In order to really boost your mood, get up and get moving! Go for a walk outdoors, visit the gym, do some yoga or go dancing. Any activity really, that will get your heart pumping. Exercise will boost your metabolism, give you energy and best of all will help to improve your mood.

Light up your life

Artificial light therapy is one of the best ways to boost your mood during the winter months. Invest in a lamp that emits greater than 5,000 lux and sit in front of it for 30 minutes each morning. The lamp mimics the light outdoors giving you a boost of serotonin (a.k.a. your happy hormone!). Also, consider opening the shades as soon as you get up and sit beside a window as you sip your favourite tea!

Eat well

“You are what you eat.” The foods you consume have a great effect on your general well-being and mood. Ditch the refined and processed foods. These foods contain virtually no nutrition and may cause decreased energy and mood. Instead, choose a diet with whole foods such as complex carbohydrates, vegetables (especially root vegetables because they’re still technically in season) and fruits, lean meat, etc. These foods provide the nutrition your body needs and will stabilize your blood sugar.

Find your happy place

You may find that when the days get colder you tend to refrain from activities that usually bring you happiness. Encourage yourself to break out of this slump by engaging in activities or hobbies that bring some light back into your life. This can be anything from hanging out with friends, painting, knitting, going to see a movie, listening to your favourite tunes, etc.

Get your Vitamin D levels tested

Talk to your doctor about testing your vitamin D blood levels. Since we are located in the Northern hemisphere we are exposed to fewer ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Therefore, many Canadians are deficient in Vitamin D. During the winter we are exposed to even less sunlight and a Vitamin D supplement can help to maintain our levels and boost our mood. Speak to your doctor today!

To book an appointment to discuss mood, energy and overall health check out my Contact Me page.

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