If you oversleep, have low energy and feel down, you could have the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can affect people differently. Researchers say that it’s due to the decrease of serotonin levels and the change of circadian rhythms brought on by the lowered amount of sunlight.
These tips can make a difference if you’re feeling the seasonal blues.
1. Install indoor light bulbs that mimic sunlight
Light therapy can ease SAD symptoms and affect brain chemicals linked to mood. Replace your warm halogen light bulbs with natural white light bulbs around your home. Bulbs with a higher degree on the Kelvin scale will omit a light similar to daylight, which is what you need to feel the effect.
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2. Get 30 minutes of light exposure early each morning
Since it’s usually dark out when leaving for work, you can use a full-spectrum “sunbox” light with special florescent tubes to get your body clock in its springtime cycle during the winter. Timing is very important so the sunbox can be placed on your kitchen table at breakfast, or on your desk at work to get the full effects.
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3. Be active and add exercise to your schedule
Having a regular exercise routine can diminish the SAD symptoms and get you trimmed for the summer. The happy little endorphins that will pump through your body after every workout will definitely put you in a brighter mood. Try something different with a friend like, an aerobics or Zumba class, or perhaps a Tough Mudder Bootcamp workout to kick your butt into shape!
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4. Get your dose of negative ions
There are negative ionizers that are sold commercially, which produce invisible particles in the air called ions that help perk up your mood. You can also take a 30-minute visit to the seashore, if you live near the ocean, because there are high concentrations of natural ions at the beach, which could explain why people love lounging by the ocean! Take a trip south if you can!
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5. Take vitamin supplements everyday
Taking vitamin D daily will help your vitamin D deficiency. Taking other daily vitamins like vitamin C, B6 and B12, as well as taking omega-3 fatty acids will also help your immune system, which is key to avoid a cold or flu this season. There is also 5-HTP and melatonin, which can help boost your mood, but you should talk to your doctor first to hear his recommendations.
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6. Maintain a healthy and strong immune system
Nourish the body with healthy food and wholesome nutrients. Eating lots of veggies and fruits will keep your body energized with clean fuel, as well as eating lean protein and healthy fats. Eating junk food won’t help you much, but if you must fill your craving remember that moderation is important so you don’t regret it later.
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7. Plan to visit family and friends to boost your mood
Seeing loved ones can really make your day shine so make a plan to visit or make a day trip to spend time together reminiscing and having fun. You’ll be surprised by how much positive energy you can receive from other people who are happy to see you. Smiling and laughter is contagious!
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8. Try a new hobby or fuel your passion
Enroll in an art or pottery class to make something creative for yourself. You might really love it and make it your new hobby! If you’re already a creative person, try to challenge yourself to a new side project for the winter like paint a large abstract painting that will keep your mind busy and inspire you positively.
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9. Treat yourself to massage therapy for stress reduction
There are many ways to reduce street with mind-body therapies, such as meditation, acupuncture and of course, having a massage! There are many clinics around that offer a range of services. Try out a session and experience the physical relief; you’ll be surprised by your positive mood change.
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10. Create a lemon and water morning ritual
By having a large glass of water with lemon juice every morning, your body will thank you! This detoxifying mixture can help with digestion and bloating, it kick- starts your metabolism, and it can even help keep sickness away from its cleansing effects that increase the alkalinity in your body. A healthy body is a happy body!