How to Lift Your Winter Mood
By Rachel Carver
It's January. It's cold. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over. Maybe you brought in the new year with friends or at home with family. And while you welcome the slower pace, you feel a little sluggish and can't quite explain it.
It is common to experience some seasonal blues in January and February. Many of us have a busy fall. The holidays give us long lists and time with friends and family. And the start of the new year is usually cold and slow.
You might experience seasonal blues if you:
- Feel sad or anxious
- Experience fatigue or agitation
- Cannot sleep or sleep more than usual
- Gain or lose weight
Symptoms must last more than two weeks to be diagnosed as true depression. Contact your doctor if they persist. But if you just need a mental boost, here are some things to help.
Talk to Someone
There can be a sense of loss this time of year, especially after the busy holiday season. Loneliness is common. To combat this, call a friend or visit a family member. Ask them about something fun they did over the holidays. And, as much as we all love texting, pick up the phone or make that in-person visit.
It is common to consume an alcoholic beverage after a long day. However, alcohol is a depressant that can make you feel emotionally low. Practice mindful drinking. Or try a dry January to see how it affects your mood.
Monitor Your Eating
Studies suggest a poor diet may be linked to the exacerbation of mood disorders. You don't have to cut out all the foods you like. Focus on adding vitamin-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Filling up on whole foods might decrease your appetite for sweets and fried foods.
Plan Your Next Project or Adventure
Plan something exciting. Schedule your next vacation. Plan a brunch or game night with friends. Develop next steps for a home improvement project. Even if the task is not very exciting, it can make you feel productive and accomplished. Crossing off to-do list items can give you energy to do other things.
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. But it can do wonders for your mental state. Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, swimming, and walking, increase blood circulation to the brain. This has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression.
The Bottom Line
Cold weather months can be challenging. But intentional activities can make these challenges easier. And spring is not far away!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cincinnati, Ohio.