Health & Diet

Don’t Get SAD This Winter

By Katrina Caruso

We all know that winter can be bleak. With the shorter, darker days, it’s the time when many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and even if you don’t get SAD, you may still find yourself feeling down, tired, or foggy-brained. Here are some ways that you can fight the winter blues.

 

Upgrade your atmosphere:

  • Awaken your senses. Aromatherapy can be very helpful for fighting the symptoms of SAD, helping to boost your mood. All you need are some essential oils and a diffuser or two—or three.
  • Wake up with light. In the winter, we often rise before the sun. Some alarm clocks now have built-in lights that brighten in the morning to help you wake up. If you’re missing that morning glow, this might be a solution for you.

Get out more:

  • Be social. Rather than staying cooped up inside all alone, make time for your friends and family—it’s good for the soul and fends off feelings of isolation.
  • Reap the benefits of sunlight. You don’t have to go outside to experience sunlight—just open your curtains. If you can, sit by a window.

Move your body:

  • Exercise regularly. Especially if you notice yourself having a harder time waking up in the mornings, it might be a good idea to start your day with a little exercise. Movement helps your body to produce serotonin, which will make you feel good (and you’ll look good, too!).

Diet and nutrition:

  • Take Vitamin D. Your skin makes Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but it does so less efficiently as you get older and we Canadians don’t get a lot of sun between October and April; Health Canada recommends that people over 50 take a daily supplement. It’s a good idea to get a blood test to find out your Vitamin D levels—doctors can prescribe a higher dosage of Vitamin D if you’re deficient—but even if your levels are in the normal range, it’s still good practice to take a daily dose, as it’s proven to help with your mood.
  • Get Your Omega-3s. Foods like fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Limit caffeine and vices. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can spike your stress, so it’s a good time to cut down or even cut off your consumption.

Photo: iStock/amriphoto.