When the skies are gray, people feel blue. But you can beat the winter blues with these 4 Seasonal Affective Disorder hacks!
The New Year isn’t such a happy time for many people who experience the winter blues and those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In the early months of the year when temperatures take a nosedive, so does joy and motivation for those who are effected. SAD aka Winter Blues is a state of seasonal depression that occurs when cold weather sets in, we are depleted of sunlight and deal with the shorter days and longer nights of winter.
Symptoms of SAD include drowsiness, difficulty waking up in the morning, low energy, less concentration and productivity, frustration with self and others, social withdrawal, and cravings for carbs and comfort foods which results in weight gain. Most of all, the cold weather affects our drive and enthusiasm to exercise, which results in even more depression.
Serotonin, the chemical that helps keep happiness levels up, drops in the wintertime resulting in feelings of sadness and gloom. The good news is there are ways to stay cheerful and warm in the winter! Here are some solutions to overcoming the Winter Blues:
The most powerful player in the fight against seasonal sadness. Exercising releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical, resulting in feelings of happiness and a healthy level of well-being. It’s a free drug, and it’s the best one! Endorphins set in after only thirty minutes of activity. Strength Training and Cardio activity will torch feelings of depression like no other! So get to the gym and grab some weights for a no-fail strategy in beating the blues.
Yes, it is technically a form of exercise, but dance is so much more than that! It takes a lot of energy, but dancing will actually result in an increase of energy levels. Dance warms you up and pumps the spirits by raising the heart rate and getting a sweat on. Studies show dance increases feelings of self-esteem, confidence, and happiness while zapping feelings of stress. Dance boosts mental health and is a therapeutic activity. You can join a dance class, hit the dance floor, or bust out some of your favorite tunes in the privacy of your own home.
It’s the “The Sunshine Vitamin”. Your body produces it naturally when exposed to sunlight. This is a hormone that supports your immune system, cardiovascular and heart health, boosts mood and mental health. 20 minutes of sunlight a day is plenty for a good dose of D. Adding a Vitamin D supplement can help during the sunless days of winter.
Contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is a natural anti-anxiety fighter and mood booster. It is a calming agent, which revives and refreshes the body and mind. A decaffeinated green tea supports sleep and relaxation, and fights depressive symptoms.
You are not alone in the fight against SAD. Try some of the treatment options, especially exercising. Before you know it, your days will be warm and sunny long before summer actually comes!
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