Let's face it Winter is upon us. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, even the best of us can get a little down. The "winter blues" are characterized by the mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal if they’re already here.
|Winter time from massage Brighton|
You’re busy! Work, class, family, friends, appointments, meetings—even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Don’t be afraid to say "No" to extra opportunities (covering a shift for a co-worker, bringing food to your son’s class party). Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditations, take a yoga class or go for a massage in Brighton. Relaxation, especially in the form of massage, can alleviate stress and leave you with a calm energy. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay.
Get some Exercise
As if we needed another reason to get fit! It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers.Your energy throughout the day will be greater, and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise helps your brain by releasing those "feel good chemicals" that improve the mood.
Try a Healthy Diet
When and what you eat has a big affect on your mood and energy. Try to avoid refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). This category of foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they will zap your energy levels and will affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to mix more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get your daily 10 cups of H2O. These healthy foods provide your body with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.
Get Some Sun rays
You know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months of the year, and because of the cold weather, lots of people will spend less and less time outside. The lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! In the same manner to exercise, sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect your mood. Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs. These mimic natural light and actually have the same affects on your mind as the real thing.
Try to Act on your Resolutions
A recent study from the CDC showed a strong link between healthy behaviours and depression. Women and men who exhibited healthy behaviours (like exercising, not smoking, etc.) had less sad and depressed days than those whose behaviours were less than healthy.
|Winter time in Brighton|
Avoid Binge Drinking at all costs
Staying in with a cold beer or a nice glass of wine may seem like the only thing to do in the winter months, and many people who feel down also tend to turn to alcohol when they’re feeling down. But alcohol is actually a depressant, and rather than improving ones mood, it only makes it worse. Avoiding alcohol when you are already depressed is a very good idea. Moderate drinking is fine for most people, but binge drinking (defined as having 5 or more drinks in one sitting) is never a healthy choice. The morning after will have you feeling sick, depressed, and even more tired, which will affect many aspects of your life.
Treat Yourself something nice
Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you—a weekend trip, a day at a Brighton spa, a party, or special event like a play, girls (or guys) night out, or sporting event.
Embrace the Season
Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow—look for the best that it has to offer! Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding! Enjoy these opportunities while they last—after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Staying active will boost your energy. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high.
|Winter land in Brighton|
Switch on the Social Support
Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, co-workers, and neighbours. Who can you turn to when you’re down and need a pick-me-up? Keep a mental list of these special people and don’t be afraid to ask for help or encouragement when you need it. Something as simple as a phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice email or letter can brighten your mood.
Catch some Sleep
People naturally want to sleep a little bit longer during the winter time. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. With a little time management, and some self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalize and you’ll have more energy. Although try not to oversleep—those 12-hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you MORE tired. Don’t forget naps! A short (10-30 minute) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize midday.
Enjoy winter time from Little Jasmine Therapies in Brighton!