Winter is fading, but the blues may take a while.
It’s common to feel the effects of the “winter blues” as the season ends, but there are ways you can kick them to the curb.
Winter blues, though the season is drawing to an end, is not uncommon well into March. Many people, especially women, are left feeling sluggish, tired, sad or down, and even depressed or experiences a variety of moods.
In fact, it is very common for women to experience SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Of course this isn’t just women, however there do seem to be higher reports from women. SAD symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days. So they do definitely still stick around during the end of winter and start of Spring.
Between the colder weather and long nights – it gets dark so early – it’s no wonder our mental health is affected. Many people report feeling as if the grey skies just won’t end, making it very difficult to remain cheery and happy.
Combat the Winter Blues
There are a few tips that have been tried and recommended if you are suffering from SAD or even just mood swings or tiredness right now…use these tips to combat the winter blues.
Go to bed early
Listen to your body vs. the clock. If you are feeling tired earlier than normal, take the opportunity to get some needed rest. One of the biggest complaints which is attributed to stress, to weight gain, to depression and more is lack of sleep. We are guilty of trying to push ourselves to get one more thing done. Truth is when your body and brain are shutting off, let it rest. A good night’s rest can do wonders for your mood, energy overall and also your ability to focus or think.
Diffusing oils can have a profound effect on mood. There are numerous studies and expert opinions supporting this. They are a natural and safe way to increase your energy and boost your mood. Essential oils that have clinical research supporting claims that they may increase energy and relieve fatigue include: peppermint, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary and lemon. Some other popular oils used for this purpose are citrus blends, frankincense, helichrysum, myrrh, lavender, and bergamot.
This is a light that is thought to mimic sunlight without the radiation. The light can be turned on to infuse energy, give your mind a sense of waking up, increase productivity, and help the sleep cycle. One of the effects of SAD is tiredness or lack of energy, which can be due to lack of daylight. This Happy Light may help. It’s important to note though, the lightbox or “happy light” doesn’t provide Vitamin D, as sunlight does. Its purpose is just to expose you to more light, which may help SAD.
There are a number of supplements that may be beneficial for mood and energy or focus. However, the B vitamins, particularly B6 and B12 are great for boosting energy as they both play a role in cell production. B12 is often offered in health and wellness centres as a shot or IV drip to increase energy or treat chronic fatigue.
It’s not news the exercise increases endorphins, and endorphins are the hormones that are involved in bringing about a feeling of happiness. Aside from the happy hormones, exercise also gets your blood circulating and, in turn, more oxygen flowing through the body and into the brain. This helps to decrease fatigue or brain fog. (Tight on time? Try these 10-minute exercises!)
Talk it Out, Vent or Get Social!
Simple and free, talking to peers, friends or family can not be undervalued. Keeping feelings bottled up can lead to further mood disorders, anxiety or stress. Talking to someone can release unwanted emotions, help put things in perspective and also release inner tension. Let it out! A good talk with a trusted person or an afternoon out with friends can really help on a gloomy day.
Though you may feel sluggish and dread leaving the house, make it a point to still schedule appointments. This can include a facial, manicure/pedicure, massage, a coaching call, or even a visit to your dentist. Do not let appointments for your self-care slip. Why? Simply because doing things for yourself physically has an impact on your emotional state. It shows you value yourself… so important!
Know that if you suffer from SAD, or if you’ve just been feeling the “winter blues”, you are not alone. There are things you can do to help ease (and even reverse) these feelings while waiting for sunnier days.
Take good (self) care!
Mother of toddlers, foodie at heart, city-loving, blogger, writer, marketing specialist, and overall busy-bee, that is Christina Chandra in a nutshell. Christina lives in Vancouver where she is a freelance writer & marketing specialist, and also blogs at ChristinaChandra.com. In her spare time, you can find her exploring local eateries, cafes and local hot spots.