Why, hello there! How are you doing this cold, raw Monday?
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed last Wednesday. Slowly, I have been coming out of my funk. Like, real slow.
We all go through funks. I know in New England and other cold,
terrible places where daylight turns into darkness and bitter cold temperatures. Who doesn’t have a touch of the Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Despite feeling a little blue, I forced myself to workout each day. Usually, I love a workout as much as I love my reward glass of Pinot Noir. But since Wednesday, each workout has been a struggle. But, I think it’s helping! I feel myself turning around this mood.
Below are my tips to beat the winter blues:
1. Vitamin D! Vitamin D is found naturally in many foods but taking a supplement can help, A LOT. Vitamin D is usually absorbed through the skin from sun exposure. In New England, because of daylight savings time, we do not naturally receive enough Vitamin D through the sun. Talk to your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
2. Get up early! The sun is rising earlier and setting earlier. In order to get the full benefits of the sun and all that it has to offer you, rise with it. Get up an hour earlier and do something nice for yourself.
3. Exercise! So many people use the rotten weather as an excuse to not exercise. Exercise increases the amount of serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. It is the best and cheapest antidepressant out there. Set aside 30 minutes a day to do an exercise you love.
4. Hydrate! It is cold out and for that reason we often crave less water. Your body needs to be hydrated all year long, not just when you are sweating your booty off in the summer. Make sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces per day. So, if you are 150 lbs you should be drinking 70 oz. Add on 8 oz per hour of vigorous exercise and caffeinated beverage.
5. Get out of your house! We tend to hibernate in the winter and socially withdraw. Make plans with your spouse, your friends even your family if you must. Get out and do something. Staying socially connected (and I am not talking Facebook here) is so important to stave off depression.
6. Eat a well-balanced diet! When I think of winter, I think of comfort foods. I am talking baked mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, lasagna… big heavy, warm meals. The thing in, these foods might make you feel good for an instant, but that have a quick half life. You want to be eating lots of veggies, fruit and lean protein. You can have fun with it though! Check out this recipe for a healthier take on mac & cheese!
7. Talk to a Professional! Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real disorder with a diagnosis and everything. There is no shame in having it. Go to your PCP or call up a therapist. Sometimes just talking to someone can help, sometimes an antidepressant is needed or there is also light therapy! No need to suffer through the winter alone. It is long enough as is!