Banish the Winter Blues
It is now the end of March in New York City. Spring is on it’s way but the lack of sunshine is literally giving me a huge case of the blues. Anybody who lives in a climate that is not sunny all year round will understand this. And even thought I am from Chicago, I completely forgot that this is a real thing that happens to people. I lived in sunny Los Angeles for the lat 13 years of my life. I took for granted how amazing I felt every single day lol. Now that I have been hurled into winter and long days of no sun, I just feel like I want to cry all the time. And there is nothing wrong with my life. It’s actually going pretty well. I just wanted to share my experience because, I am sure there are others out there that feel the same way. Through my struggle to “be happy”, I did a little research on sunlight and what the effect on the body are and it’s amazing how important sunshine is vital to our survival as humans. The sunshine creates vitamin D within our body, which is a “happiness vitamin” for us. And when we go for long periods without sun, that vitamin is obviously not produced in our bodies. Therefore creating all sorts of crazy feelings such as sadness and depression. So, I have come up with a list of things that we can do to help ourselves feel better until the sun comes back.
1.Make your life bright
What I mean by that is, wear bight clothing-bright colors have a very positive effect on our health and mental stimulation
Keep the curtains in your house open. Let whatever light is out there into your house. Don’t block it right now.
If you can, buy light colored furniture. Or change all your bedding to all white. I know that sounds weird, but seeing the bright white color will lift your mood instantly. Anywhere you can manage it, make the coloring white. White tablecloth, napkins, plates etc.
Keep the lights on in the house. Even in the day time when it’s gray outside, I turn on all the lights inside my house. I think I’m subconsciously tricking my brain into thinking it’s sunnier than it truly is. Otherwise, I will be sitting in a pretty grimly lit home working on my blog and that doesn’t feel happy.
2. Exercise daily/Get Outside
I know this is a no brainer, but I have realized more than even how important exercise is to happy brain function. Exercise releases dopamine, which we all know makes us feel good. Even if you exercise inside, or go for a walk outside, getting the oxygen into your blood stream in not only good for your physical health but your mental well being also. Getting outside even if it’s cold = soo good for you. If you must, bundle up and go for a stroll. The oxygen and sun rays (yes they are even there on cloudy days) will lift your mood right away.
3. Plan a Vacation
Planning a vacation to a sunny location is probably the key to survival through these winters. The amount of vitamin d you will receive with a week in the sun is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. And not to mention, planning a trip is good for your mental health. You will be planning ahead and looking forward to it. I think this will help keep your serotonin and dopamine levels more regulated, versus not planning a trip to a sunny locale and not going anywhere.
4. Eat for your brain
When the brain is in lack of certain vitamins and nutrients, it only seems fitting that we would eat food that would help to make that in our bodies. I would highly suggest a diet of as many fruits and veggies that you can consume, along with fish high in omega 3. Something like salmon. I know its super easy to keep drinking through winter, but don’t. It will make you feel even more sad. And this goes without saying, stay away from sugar. Alcohol and sugar will make you feel better in the moment that they are being consumed. However, long term this will not do any good for your mood boosting abilities.
5. Happy Music
There are so many studies about how positive music can be for the brain and as a mood booster. Pick out some songs that have an upbeat tempo that you feel amazing when you listen to. Make a playlist and whenever you’re not feeling good, play it. I have a playlist called “Feel Good Vibes”. I listen to it almost everyday lol.
I haven’t tried supplements yet. But I’m going to. I have read that taking a vitamin D and a magnesium supplement are life savers in the winter months. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Those are all my tips for banishing the winter blues. I am not a doctor and I am only sharing my experience with you about what I’ve experienced. And I hope you will continue your own path in wellness and research to find your health and happiness.