By the time mid-December arrives hibernation is in full effect. And without preparation and forethought, I scarcely emerge until April. Don’t get me wrong, I love snow days, bundled up with my kids, sipping warm drinks. There is nothing like that first real snow storm. I truly enjoy the holiday season. And there is nothing quite like a stroll in the woods just after the snow. When everything is calm and peaceful. There is a sense of quiet in body and mind that is some how equal to, perhaps greater than, a warm summer morning’s walk on the beach.
But with shorter days and colder nights comes risk. Winter Blues. When being stuck inside creates anxiety. So much dark makes us sleepy and lazy. When lack of exercise turns our bodies and minds to mush. And ultimately we just become Blue. Sullen. We muddle through our days. Long for Spring when everything is new and fresh.
It can happen unexpectedly. Without notice. Even when we try desperately to avoid it. But lack of sun and fresh air eventually depletes our reserves. Thankfully there are things that can help!
Our diet can have a drastic effect on the outcome of our battle with Winter Blues. Foods containing vitamins A & D and fatty acids like cod liver oil, iron and minerals all can help reduce or reverse seasonal depression symptoms.
Here are some ways you can beat the Winter Blues –
- Take a good Cod Liver Oil everyday containing vitamins A & D
- Add iron rich foods like meats, beans, clams/oysters, morel mushrooms, lemon grass, spinach, olives, blueberries…
- Bananas are known to help fight anxiety and mood disorder
- Cook with cast iron to help get more iron in your diet
- Bundle up and go outside! Just a few minutes of fresh air and limited sunshine will help
- Get plenty of exercise – find something you enjoy and be sure to do it 3 or more times per week
- Herbs such as St. Johns Wort, valerian, hops, nutmeg, borage, nettle and skullcap help fight mood and sleep disorder
- Schedule regular “play time” for yourself. Visit friends, laugh and enjoy company. You will be helping them beat the blues too.
- Increase your indoor lighting if it gets really bad. We all want to save electricity, so use it as a last resort.
- For serious cases light therapy devices called light boxes are available for home use. But they can be expensive. Try moving a chair near a window or buying a standard CFL bulb with a color temperature of 4100 Kelvin.
- Magnesium is powerful in overall health including emotional health. Many do not get enough magnesium.
- Change things up – redecorate your space, add color to your world, buy flowers. Do something different!
- Buy snow shoes! You will acquire a brand new perspective of winter while bundled up on a long stroll through the snowy woods
- Embrace what you can’t change!!!
Enjoying the winter… or just getting through it… can take some effort. But life is short! Don’t waste any of it sulking and whimpering. And be prepared and start before it’s too late.
How do you beat the Winter Blues?