Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one remembers to turn on the light. - Albus Dumbledore
Long-term stress can cause ongoing muscle tension, cardiac issues, and infertility problems. It can also cause inflammation in the brain, which can spark memory loss and lead to depression. - Popular Science
We all probably feel the tug this time of year – it’s dark most of the time when we’re not working, so sunlight is hard to come by; it’s so cold all the time, it’s hard to be enthusiastic and excited about life. I’ve been there. It’s hard to feel much of anything when you’re beaten down by the doldrums in deep midwinter. I remember winters that just dragged on and on, and I could tell I was in a funk, but felt powerless to do anything about it. Spring is so refreshing after that, but we shouldn’t have to wait until Spring arrives to stop feeling miserable.
Here are some ideas proven to help change your outlook this winter. Try at least one or two, and see what a difference it makes:
- Get outside. Even in the freezing cold. If it’s sunny, take a walk, stand with the sun on your face for a moment, or even just sip your coffee in the morning light from a window. It will help.
- Stay active every day. If you occasionally or regularly work out, keep it up and make sure you’re hitting the gym/pool/class/pavement at least five days a week. If you’re not too active right now, studies have shown that a daily one-hour walk mid-day can be just as effective as light medication for the winter doldrums.
- Enjoy a hot drink. Surprisingly, being cold can make you more depressed, but drinking hot drinks, eating hot food, and wearing warm clothes can all help reverse the effect.
- Change your cravings. What I mean is, instead of eating sugar and carbs when you want a snack, have some veggies with salad dressing. Eat some juicy fruit. You’ll slowly change the food you want to eat, while dropping inches and helping your mood as well!
- Start a new hobby. Anything that engages your mind a bit – singing, knitting, a new class at the gym, or writing every day. It gives you something to look forward to.
These are just a few ideas to try. If you’re really struggling to be yourself this winter, please seek out help – a counselor, doctor, or even just a couple of friends who check in with you.
As you continue in the new year, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. If that means you have a health issue you’ve been meaning to get looked at or you’d like to get your annual checkup in, both are great ideas.
Schedule a visit today with the button below. We look forward to hearing from you!
Dr. Julie Drolet
P.S. It’s sometimes the small things we don’t pay attention to that make a big impact on our health. Make sure to schedule your visit today!