As we patiently wait to see what the Groundhog has to say about how much longer we have left of winter, some of us might be feeling the psychological effects winters in our area have to offer. Many people of all age ranges can suffer from the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Here are 5 ways to help you fight those blues away.
1. Get active! - If you haven’t heard it before, movement is medicine! In this case, getting your heart pumping for a little bit every day can improve your mood and give you more energy. Something is better than nothing, so even if you can squeeze 5 minutes into your day, you will benefit. If you can’t get outside just check out YouTube for some indoor exercise inspiration or try this indoor Walking Workout. Coach Melissa introduced this to us and it is so much fun!
2. Fuel your body well! - It's easy to grab a sweet treat when you are feeling down. But beware, it may give you a little boost of happiness at first, but the crash after the sugar high can often make you feel worse than before. The nutrients you get from lean meats, berries, and leafy greens have been known to be mood boosters when you consistently fuel your body with them.
3. Schedule time with friends and family! - Sometimes it's hard to get motivated to go out and about. Make it a priority and schedule time to spend with or talk to the ones that bring you joy. It's important to regularly stay in contact with your loved ones, so set reminders for yourself to contact them if you need to. Not only will you be helping yourself, you might be helping them too!
4. Get outside! - Yes! Bundle up, go outside and get some natural daylight. The biggest bang for your buck will be to get outside at midday and on brighter days. Even if you don't have any skin exposed, your eyes can still soak up the benefits of the sun.
5. Be strict about your bedtime (and wake-up time!) - Since many in our community need to wake up before the day breaks, it's hard to be motivated to get out of your warm and cozy bed while it's still dark outside. When you give your body a sleep schedule, it knows what to expect so it can get right to work on doing all it's supposed to do while you are sleeping, allowing you to wake up feeling a little more energized.
These are just some suggestions to help you get through these last few weeks of winter! However, if you are experiencing symptoms that do not allow you to live your normal life, please reach out to your medical provider for help.