In this post i’ll share my TOP tips for beating the winter blues and learning to THRIVE in your body ALL year no matter the season. If you live in the mid-west like me then you’ve likely experienced some form of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Its a form of depression related changes in the seasons and is becoming increasingly common as we spend most of our days indoors, rarely letting ourselves soak up sun.
Symptoms associated with SAD include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
As I’ve become more mindful of my body over the years, I’ve discovered that I am definitely affected and can relate to quite a few of these symptoms. They typically start creeping in mid-October and are fully felt by December, lasting through February.
I believe that the fall-winter months is a time that we need to SLOW down, enjoy more sleep, engage in gentle movement and indulge in heartier foods, but there is still a fine balance between honoring yourself and letting yourself go.
Combating the winter blues with holistic modalities has been absolutely LIFE CHANGING for me. I’ve been able to finally FEEL the holiday spirit and ease into my winter rituals with joy + absolute ease.
Here are my top 10 tips to beat the winter blues and feeling like YOURSELF all year.
1. Vitamin D3
- It’s both a vitamin and a hormone – because of its effects on hormones in the body, it’s thought to affect mood by improving your sense of well-being.
- For SAD, 1000-5000 IU can be effective. Check with your doctor first – Vitamin D levels can be checked by a simple blood test.
2. Philips Go lite sunlamps
- SAD is a cyclic form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical processes in the body. When the levels of light change in the fall and winter, in some people, this cycle can be disrupted.
- Levels of melatonin and serotonin drop in the winter, and can cause lethargy and weight gain
- Light therapy treats the cause of SAD, lack of light, without any side effects
- Easy to use/travel with – portable and rechargeable
- Available on Amazon for about $60-120
- Place at midriff 20 to 30 inches from face
- Use at least 15 minutes per day preferably in the morning
3. Don’t fight it – rest
- Hibernate (go to bed early, movie binges, say no to too many activities/making other people happy instead of yourself, take days off)
4. Warm foods
- Crock-pot soups + stews
- Hot casserole dishes
5. Go outside
- Get sun and fresh air (ice skating, walks, skiing, sledding, throwing snow balls)
6. See comedy shows
- Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress
- Triggers the release of endorphin’s
- Laughing with others is even more powerful than laughing alone
- It’s a great date night
7. Lots of sex
- More pleasure the better
8. Movement every day that gets you sweaty
- Hot yoga, dance, kickboxing
9. Great looking winter clothes so you don’t feel dumpy
- Wear vibrant colors and fitted clothes so you aren’t tempted to over eat and hide your food baby
10. Take a sunny vacation
- Get away even if its for a weekend and soak up tons of vibrant sun!
Implement a few if not ALL of these into your fall-winter regimen and I promise that you will start ignite your passion for life again!
Do you have a another FAVORITE way to stay vibrant in the cold winter months? I’d love to hear from you so comment below.
Mayo Clinic , Mayo Clinic Staff, 25 Oct. 2017. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.