Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
By Sara Butler
Winters can be tough to get through. The cold weather, the lack of sunshine, and the shorter days can really take a toll on your health and wellness. For some people it turns into a depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also aptly referred to as SAD. According to the National Institutes of Health, SAD impacts the lives of 10 to 20 percent of Americans. If you find yourself struggling with feeling blue in the winter, here are a few things you can do about it!
Why Are People Sad in the Winter?
So, what is it about winter that causes an increase in depression? First of all, you’re inside a lot more because of the weather. This means less exposure to fresh air and sunshine, both things your body needs to remain balanced. These types of changes can have a serious impact on mood, the most serious cases of which fall into the category of SAD.
Season Affective Disorder can cause these symptoms:
- Depression that begins in fall or winter
- Craving carbohydrates
- Lower interest in activities you enjoy
- Decreased energy and concentration in the afternoons
- Weight gain
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Lethargic movements
What You Can Do
You don’t have to take SAD sitting down! There are a few things you can do to fight and win against this wintertime disorder. You should try:
- Getting more light in your life – Aside from reading health and wellness blogs by The Joint, you need to expose yourself to more sunshine. The Vitamin D your body produces in the sun can help to stabilize your mood and help you feel better. If the sun isn’t shining, you can get a special lamp that exposes you to UV rays and helps your body produce more Vitamin D.
- Move more – Another great way to battle the blues is to get more exercise. If you can’t exercise outside, then find something you enjoy doing indoors at the gym.
- Boost your levels of serotonin – Several studies have found that those impacted by SAD have lower levels of serotonin, so fight back by getting more. Ask your doctor or chiropractor about supplements to help. And try to get more tryptophan in your diet!
Winter can be a tough season to navigate, but it’s not impossible. Until you can retire to the beaches of Fiji, you’ll have to find a way to make winter more tolerable. These suggestions will get you on the right path and have you feeling better!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.