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6 Tips for Combating the Winter Blues - Naturally!

As the days get shorter, the weather turns colder and it feels like you never see daylight, it is sometimes difficult to stay energetic and uplifted. Some experience the “winter blues” which can feel like a depression of sorts. Some people may have low energy, lack of motivation, mood swings, a “chill” in your body.

There are many natural ways to get you out of this “funk” or “rut” you may be in. Find the right resolution for you.

Exercise is great way to stay fit, heart healthy, lift moods and relieve stress. Try yoga, pilates, or walking, joining a class or a gym to develop new friendships and support systems. The effects of exercise helps to release the “feel good chemicals” in your brain and body that can last for hours.

Diet is important all year round. What you eat greatly affects the way your brain and body function. Avoid processed foods and refined sugars, as they can zap energy levels, increase negative moods, decrease the ability to concentrate and increase depression. Fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies and proteins provide you with essential nutrients your body requires. Also, don’t forget to hydrate! Your body needs both water and nutrients to function well. Seek support from a registered dietitian if you have dietary restrictions or you need recipes and ideas.

Don’t forget your Vitamin D and essential B vitamins. These are known to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters which help to boost mood. Be sure to discuss supplementation of these vitamins with your healthcare provider to determine how much of each you need and to guide you to high-quality manufacturers/brands.

Home Changes
Making subtle changes in your home can also help to boost mood. Try opening up your rooms by choosing light colors for the walls of the home, accent your bed or couches with bright pillows or sheets, changing the lighting to “natural light” bulbs to attempt to mimic the natural light of outside. Open the curtains and shades to allow the natural light indoors. It might even be as simple as lighting a candle and taking some slow deep breaths.

Do Something for You and RELAX
What have you done for yourself lately? A very wise person told me that you have to take time for yourself, and she is 100% correct. Try acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, spend time in a sauna, or maybe just go shopping and splurge a little.

You are human, after all.

Embrace the Winter Season
There are so many fun things to do in the winter whether you are a snow lover or not. For those who don’t mind the snow and cold try skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey, sledding or snowshoeing. For those who prefer to stay indoors, consider painting, drawing, reading, knitting, book clubs, scrap-booking, or spending time with friends and family. Anything that you do will stimulate your body and mind will keep your spirits high!

By Amanda DeNicola, RN
Allergy Nurse at Visions HealthCare in Dedham & Needham, MA

Visions HealthCare is an integrative medical & wellness organization offering dozens of services in Dedham & Needham, MA. For more information visit, http://www.VisionsHealthCare.com or call (781) 431-1333.