It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and the next few months seem to offer
nothing to look forward to but gloomy grey skies, bone-chilling weather, and piles of snow. It’s no
wonder why many people suffer symptoms similar to those of depression, such as sadness, fatigue,
and irritability during these long winter months.
If you don’t have the luxury of escaping to a warm tropical island until April, there are other
more feasible ways to beat the winter blues.
Exercise
With a lack of sunshine to keep you energized, it’s tempting to want to spend your evenings
hibernating under the covers instead of being active. But remember, exercise is known to increase
your levels of serotonin and endorphins, leading to a happier mood. While it’s understandable that
many people are less than keen about participating in outdoor activities during these chilly months,
keep in mind that there are many ways to keep active while staying indoors. Join a gym class, walk
on the treadmill while watching TV, or try out a new lively game on Wii.
Socialize
Building and maintaining social networks is an important way to keep a positive outlook.
When you’re feeling down, it’s natural to want to isolate yourself from others. But spending time
with family, friends, and other people is a sure way to lighten your mood. Try joining a weekly art
class or volunteering for a local organization. If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your cozy
home, then organize and invite your friends over for regular game nights or TV nights.
Take vitamin D
In the summer, we normally get the vitamin D we require from the sun. However, you may
not be getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D during the winter because of decreased exposure to
sunlight. Many studies have suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency and poor mood. Although
more research is needed to confirm that this vitamin can lift your mood, supplementing with vitamin
D during the winter months will give you many of the other benefits you may be missing. These
include enhanced calcium absorption and proper bone health. Be sure to speak to your doctor
before starting any supplements.