Do you find yourself feeling inexplicably gloomy once the winter months roll in? Well, you’re not alone. A significant number of people report experiencing a dip in their mood, energy levels, and enthusiasm during the winter.
This phenomenon is so widespread that it even has a name, the winter blues. Although it’s completely normal to feel this way, it’s absolutely crucial to take proactive steps to keep your spirits high and stay positive.
In this blog post, we’ll look into its causes while providing ways of lifting mood naturally during these bleak winter days and nights to help you beat the blues.
Conquering The Winter Blues
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as Seasonal Affective Depression, typically strikes during winter. SAD is believed to be caused by insufficient sunlight, which can lead to reduced serotonin levels, an essential neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation. This causes levels of this neurotransmitter to drop recklessly, leaving those affected feeling depressed, with low energy, oversleeping or even changes in appetite or weight.
So, how can we feel better? First up are some supplements that could take the edge off your winter blues.
Adding In Supplements
Maintaining a balanced diet is absolutely crucial to mental wellness. But, during winter, it’s highly likely you’ll be lacking some pretty essential nutrients. This makes supplements or add-ons a huge benefit.
Here’s our selection of some of the greats:
- Vitamin D – To get enough Vitamin D through food alone can be a difficult mountain to climb. And with reduced sun exposure during winter months, our bodies produce even less vitamin D. So supplementation might just be able to bridge this gap.
- CBD and THC – Derived from cannabis plants, CBD and THC are natural compounds. CBD’s non-psychoactive nature has made it popular as an anti-inflammatory remedy, providing stress relief. THC’s psychoactive element brings feelings of relaxation and euphoria to many. Available in a variety of forms, from oils to D9 gummies, simply do some research to find the right one for you.
- Magnesium – Magnesium is an absolutely essential mineral found in nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and whole grains, which regulates neurotransmitters that impact mood.
- Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is essential in producing serotonin. Most forms of B12 can be found in animal products, so vegetarians and vegans could really gain from taking B12 supplements.
- 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) – 5-HTP is an amino acid found naturally in our bodies that acts as a precursor for serotonin production. Supplementing short-term with 5-HTP can increase serotonin levels and boost mood.
But remember not to view supplements and add-ons as replacements for eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough rest. And always consult a healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Uplifting Tips And Tricks
Aside from supplementation, there are a few things you can do every day to make winter a little bit easier.
Soak Up the Sun
Natural sunlight can be an extremely effective mood enhancer. Our bodies produce vitamin D from sunlight exposure, essential for strong bones, immune function and even mood regulation. So make an effort to spend some time outside each day. Even if that means just wandering outside your office during your lunch break.
Embrace Physical Activity
Exercise releases endorphins into your brain that act like natural painkillers and mood boosters. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Outdoor workouts offer more advantages compared to indoor ones, but if you can’t get out, there are hundreds of online workout programs.
Nourish Your Body
Diet plays an essential part in how well we feel. Aim for a balanced diet featuring fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon. Don’t feel restricted from enjoying comfort foods now and again, though. Just strive to achieve more of a balance.
Social connections are vitally important to mental well-being. Even if it means keeping in touch via telephone calls, video chats, social media updates or virtual events, don’t overlook all these excellent resources for staying in contact.
Incorporate Mindfulness and Relaxation
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can be an excellent way to reduce anxiety and boost overall happiness. Try including meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga into your daily routine. There are plenty of great apps, and online resources exist to make it easier for you. It’s an excellent way to reduce stress.
Winter can be tough. But with just a little effort, you can boost your mood and come out the other side more positive than you were the year before! Remember to soak in sunlight, stay active, eat healthily, foster relationships and practice mindfulness/relaxation techniques. Plus, supplements can bridge diet gaps, but always consult a healthcare provider first to ensure it’s the right path for you.
Do you have any tips or hacks for beating winter blues? Share them in the comments below!