Have you ever felt down and depressed during the bleak winter months, but you’re fine during the rest of the year? Many people go through the ‘winter blues’ without really knowing why. They might put it down to feeling dreary due to overcast skies, drizzling rain and a general lack of enthusiasm to go out.
What you might really be feeling are the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Many people experience symptoms of depression during fall and winter that can be related to a lack of vitamin D.
As sunlight is the best-known source of natural vitamin D, it’s understandable why you might feel down in winter. There’s a lot less natural sunlight available during the colder months, so your body isn’t able to produce the required levels of vitamin D you need in order to function optimally.Beating the Winter Blues Now.
Here are some of our best tips for beating the winter blues this season:
Vitamin D Rich Foods
There are some foods that can help to elevate your vitamin D levels. Consider adding more whole eggs into your weekly meal plans, as the egg yolk is where all the vitamin D is concentrated. You might also add more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, prawns and oysters.
Daily Physical Activity
When it’s cold and wet outside there really isn’t much inspiration to get out and exercise. However, research shows that getting more physical activity into your day can help to boost your body’s endorphin levels. Endorphins are your body’s natural ‘feel-good’ hormones, so you’ll start to feel happier even after short bursts of activity. Look for ways to get a little more active throughout each day.Beating the Winter Blues Now.
Get Some Sunlight
Almost everyone seems to feel better when the sun is shining, which could simply be because your body produces serotonin when it’s exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, the days are shorter in winter and it’s often grey and overcast, so getting enough sunlight each day can be challenging. A great alternative can be to use SAD light therapy boxes. These are specially created lights that let your body get the light it needs to produce its own vitamin D, but without the UV rays.
Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
Not everyone likes the idea of eating lots of fish and seafood every week. Yet research shows that getting more omega-3 into your diet can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Omega-3 fish oil supplements are also great for helping to combat inflammation-related conditions, such as arthritis and asthma, along with being great for your skin and hair. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll look healthier too.
When you’re overworked and tired from a poor night’s sleep it can be difficult to control feelings of stress. Yet stress can be a huge contributor to depression, insomnia and a variety of other health conditions. Take a few minutes each day to learn to relax and unwind. You’ll find it much easier to reduce stress in a calmer way, which can leave you feeling happier.
Start the Day Right
Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed, stubbed your toe, gotten toothpaste on your freshly ironed shirt, only to get into the car to find it out of petrol? When you start the day on a bad note, it seems the whole day spirals into a disaster. Yet there are plenty of ways to start your day right. Consider using SAD lights as your morning alarm clock. Your body will think the sun is up, which automatically triggers certain hormones within your brain to wake up in a good mood. Then find some time to make a breakfast created from vitamin D rich foods to help you keep that good mood going all day.
If you feel those winter blues starting to take hold this season, keep these tips in mind. You’ll feel much better about the cooler months before you know it.
Beating the Winter Blues Now.