6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Jan 31, 2017

There’s no denying it, Canadian winters can be harsh. They leave our bodies cold and shaky and can do a number on our state of mind and well being. For many of us, dreary winter days can lead to the winter blues. For some this may mean feeling a little down, for others it can trigger true depression. Winter can be a bummer for anyone, but don’t let it get you down. Here are a 6 ways to beat the winter blues from the team at Timbercreek Communities.

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Stay Active Outdoors

Harsh winter weather may make you feel like hibernating, but it’s important to get outside and stay active. Studies have shown that 1 hour of aerobic activity outdoors is as effective as 2.5 hours of light therapy indoors. You don’t have to do jumping jacks outside in a snowstorm to reap the benefits of getting outside this season -- go for a brisk walk, run, ski, sled, do whatever you enjoy. Exercise of all kinds helps to improve mood, reduce stress and can combat feelings of depression.

Light Therapy

If it isn’t possible or convenient for you to get outside for an hour of activity during the winter, light therapy may be an effective treatment for you. This simply means sitting, even working, near a light therapy box that simulates outdoor light. It’s believed that this treatment affects your brain’s chemistry and eases symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Stay Warm

Something as simple as staying warm during the winter can have a positive effect on your mood. Being cold can make you depressed. Stay warm by keeping your home between 64F and 70F (18C to 21C), wear warm clothing and footwear, and enjoy hot drinks and food. Studies have shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by as much as 50%.

Eat Well

The cold weather can cause many of us to crave more carbohydrates. Too many carbs can lead to weight gain, which can reduce energy and negatively affect mood. A healthy diet full of vegetables and fruit can make you feel much better. Be sure to eat enough hot, nutrient dense foods, especially during the winter.

Maintain or Cultivate Healthy Relationships

Feelings of isolation are not good for our mental health. When we feel down, we are less likely to socialize, and when we stop socializing, we feel down. Break the cycle by seeking out and talking to friends and family, or by joining a club or team. If you are experiencing the winter blues or feelings of depression, don’t keep it to yourself. Reach out and talk to someone you trust, or talk to a mental health professional, or a doctor.

Stay Active and Engaged

A little solitude can be a healthy thing, depending on how you spend that time. Rather than sitting still and watching TV, stay active, even when you’re home alone. Take up a new hobby, make something, meditate, do some yoga, or write a song. Do anything that makes you feel engaged and active mentally and/or physically.

Timbercreek Communities hopes that these ways to beat the winter blues improve your mood this season.

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