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Plan Ahead to Escape the Winter Blues

Plan Ahead to Escape the Winter Blues

Feeling tired more than usual? Does it take a tow truck to haul you out of bed in the morning? Have you lost your motivation to do just about everything, especially if it’s past 4pm? You’re not alone. As winter approaches – the clocks change and we start to lose more and more hours of sunlight many of us can start to feel the winter blues creeping in. Plan ahead and escape the winter blues with these scientifically proven ways to help manage your mood, even in the dead of winter.

Soak Up the Sun

A man is soaking up the sun, at the snow

I get it, the last thing you want to do in freezing cold temperatures is go outside, but the advantages far outweigh the negatives. The lack of sunlight in the winter is one of the main reasons for seasonal depression and feeling the winter blues. Bundle up and head outside for a walk to soak up the limited sunlight each day, and when you’re indoors let in as much natural light as possible. If you’re working from home, working near a window can help boost your mood. 

Supplement

Fruits and supplenets with a lot of vitamin D

Lack of sun means lack of Vitamin D and low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to seasonal affective disorder. To learn whether vitamin D supplements would be right for you visit a naturopathic doctor at Active Back to Health to test your vitamin D levels. Your naturopathic doctor is also a great resource for a holistic approach to helping you battle seasonal depression.

Maintain Movement

A girl is walking outside in the winter

If you typically head outdoors for most of your exercise then the freezing temperatures can make it hard to stay motivated. If you bundle up and head outside for a fast-paced 30 minute walk each day you can soak up that limited sunlight while staying active and improving symptoms of mild to moderate seasonal depression. But, if you can’t bring yourself to get outside to get moving, make sure you’re maintaining your movement through indoor activities like Youtube Yoga videos, HIIT workouts, or making use of exercise equipment you have at home like a stationary bike or treadmill. Boost the effects of your indoor exercise routines by working out in a room with a lot of natural light. 

Manage Stress

A girl is having antistress massage

Winter itself can be stressful, especially in areas with extreme weather and temperatures but winter also brings with it the holidays which add a whole other level of stress. Make sure you plan ahead to help manage stress. Despite your best efforts, if you’re feeling your stress levels rise make an appointment at Cabot Physiotherapy for a massage which has been proven to help manage stress and have positive effects on mental health. 

Schedule Things to Look Forward To

A schedule for weekly jobs

Filling your schedule with things to look forward to can help keep you from crawling into bed and staying there until the warmer months. Plan dinners and movie nights with friends, say yes to those holiday party invites, and find hobbies or activities that keep you busy and social. Take pottery classes, cooking classes, or join a book club or knitting group, find something you like and make it an “event” by taking classes or joining clubs so you can get out and stay social on a regular basis. Filling your schedule with things that you can look forward to can help keep you from feeling that dread of never-ending winter.

Get Support for Your Winter Blues 

A couple is walking through the forest, in the winter

Build and maintain a support system of friends and family that you can reach out to if you’re having a difficult time, that you can make plans with and that can check in on you. If your best efforts at keeping the winter blues at bay don’t seem to be working, make sure to reach out for support from your family doctor, therapist, or other healthcare practitioner. Seasonal depression and the more mild winter blues are very common issues, you do not need to struggle with these feelings alone. There are many natural and prescription treatments that can help you manage your symptoms and ease your way through the winter months. 

The winter blues can make a long winter feel insufferable, but with planning there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms. Most importantly, you are not alone there are lots of resources and support out there to help you.

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