Proven Ways to Beat the Winter Blues February 4, 2013 By Susan Davison
Stay positive this season with these five easy tricks.
With shorter days and increasingly cold weather, winter can make us feel overly tired and sluggish. Here are five easy ways to break out of that mid-season slump:
1. Soak up the rays
Get outside as much as you can during the day in the winter; go for walks on your lunch break or try to sit near a window if you work indoors. Sun helps the brain produce the happy hormone serotonin, while darkness stimulates the production of the sleepy hormone melatonin. Sunshine also delivers vitamin D, which has been shown to lift low spirits. Talk to your healthcare provider about also adding a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine if you can’t get outside as often as you’d like.
2. Watch What You Eat
Avoiding over indulging in carbohydrates and sugary delights during the winter because after the rush wears off these foods can leave you sleepy and lazy. Plus, too many of these treats may cause you to gain a few pounds, leading to lower self-esteem. Instead, try to eat plenty of fruits and veggies. And if you find it too difficult to avoid sugary foods, treat yourself with smaller portions.
3. Exercise Regularly
Stay physically and mentally sharp with regular workouts. Exercise stimulates your body’s production of endorphins, which gives you an overall feeling of well-being. And, no, you don’t need to spend huge amounts on gym memberships or fancy equipment to improve your levels of exercise. Try walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Got a few spare minutes? Squeeze in a few push-ups, squats, jumping jacks and sit-ups. You can also embrace the season by bundling up and going tobogganing with the kids or skating at the local pond.
Smart tip! It’s better to exercise a little everyday than to push yourself really hard once a week.
4. Keep Your Mind Active
Learn a new skill during the winter by joining a free class at your local community center or library. This will give you something positive to think about and get you out and socializing.
5. Plan Things to Look Forward To
Treat yourself, particularly during January and February, after the hustle bustle of the holidays has passed. While it’s great to set New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to also plan things you’ll enjoy, like catching up with an old friend, taking in a free concert or indulging with an at-home spa day.