Beating Winter Depression

winter depressionAfter the excitement of the holidays has
waned, many people experience the ?winter blues,? characterized by lack of
motivation, mild depression and low energy. Some people develop true seasonal
depression when the temperature drops and snow blankets the ground while others
suffer from a more mild melancholy, but these tips can help you banish the
blues until spring.

Make ?Feel Good? Chemicals

Exercise doesn’t just help you stay
physically healthy and fit; it is also a great
stress reliever
that releases ?feel good? compounds that boost your mood.
The effects of a great workout can carry you throughout the day, giving you
more energy and increased mental clarity long after you hit the showers.

Eat a Balanced Diet

It’s easy to fall into a habit of eating
winter ?comfort? foods like warm macaroni and cheese, sweet baked goods and
crusty bread fresh from the oven, but these foods are actually not that
comforting. Processed and refined foods like sugar, rice and white flour can
seriously affect your mood and kill your energy levels, leaving you with mood
swings, a decreased ability to concentrate and more depressed feelings.

To better fuel
your body and mind
, eat a balanced diet all winter long that consists of
more complex carbs, like brown rice, fruits and whole wheat products. These
foods stabilize your blood sugar so you experience less mood swings, keep your
energy levels high and give your body the nutrients it needs to feel its best.

Get Some Sun

Don’t let the cold weather and shorter days
stop you from getting rays. Sunlight is a top source of vitamin D, and when
that is lacking, you may feel depressed. Bundle up and take a short walk
outside each day to drink in the sun, keep your curtains pulled open during the
day or swap your regularly light bulbs for full spectrum ones that better mimic
natural light.

Embrace the Season

All seasons offer something special and
unique, including winter. Instead of wishing away the months until spring,
embrace them by indulging in their best offerings! Try a new winter sport, like
hockey, snowboarding or ice skating, go sledding with your kids, build a snow
fort in the back yard or challenge your friends to a snowball fight. Once you
find an activity you love, you’ll start eagerly anticipating it come next
autumn, and you will welcome winter with open arms.?