Beating the Winter Blues
The leaves have fallen from the trees and now the snow has begun to fall. For many individuals, the colder weather and depressing scenery — coupled with the stress of the winter holidays — can lead to the winter-time blues. While we can’t make the sunshine reappear and the mounds of snow disappear, there are ways to help yourself stay happy and healthy this winter even if you are snowed-in:
- Exercise. You should exercise all year round, but exercise can really help to boost your mood when the skies are gray and the snow is falling. Exercising can help keep you energized and raise your metabolism. As you exercise, your body releases “feel good” chemicals. Aim to exercise at least 150 minutes per week.
- Concentrate on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet this winter. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Try to stay away from refined and processed foods. These types of foods can drain your energy and eventually lead to lack of concentration, depression and even mood swings.
- Get some sun. Sunlight can help improve your mood. When a sunny day comes along, get outside. Take a walk, jog or even just go out and run some errands.
- Avoid binge drinking. Sitting by the fire with a glass of wine (or any of your favourite alcoholic beverages) may seem like a great idea when the weather is cold. However, alcohol is a depressant that can bring your mood down. Drinking in moderation is fine, but never have five or more drinks at one sitting.
- Treat yourself. Plan to treat yourself to keep motivated during the winter months. For instance, if you reach your exercise goal for the week, plan to treat yourself to a massage, a trip to the mall, dinner with friends, or tickets to your favourite sporting event.
- Embrace the winter months and take them as an opportunity to try something new. Try skating, snowboarding, skiing, sledding, ice hockey or snow-shoeing.