As we say goodbye to Daylight Savings and gain that precious hour by turning our clocks back on Sunday, November 4th, the days will be getting shorter and the nights a bit longer. Don’t be surprised if you just want to curl up in front of the television, eat and sleep for the next couple of months. Seasonal depression is not all that uncommon. If you find yourself overly tired, gaining weight, having low energy, trouble sleeping and just feel irritable this time of year, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)… but there’s hope!
Here are six ideas to help get you through the winter blues:
1. Light Up Your Life! There are many light products on the market today specifically designed to assist people with SAD. While there are lamps, dawn simulators and light boxes that simulate the sun’s natural rays (emitting 2500 to 10, 000 lux), they may be a bit pricey. Instead, try getting full-spectrum light bulbs at the hardware store that emit a minimum of 2500 lux.
2. A New Dawn. Use a timer to turn your bedroom lights on a half hour before your alarm goes off, essentially creating an artificial dawn.
3. Let The Sun Shine. Expose your eyes to natural sunlight everyday by spending time outdoors or near a window with lots of direct sunlight. Yes, open those blackout drapes as soon as you get up. (Note: One hour of aerobic exercise outside, even on a cloudy day, has the same therapeutic effects as 2.5 hours of indoor light therapy.)
4. The Eyes Have It. They may look cool, but try not wearing sunglasses. The key here is to get as much natural sunlight as possible.
5. Food Is My Friend. Ah, not if your friend is a high-carbohydrate sugary junk food and/or soda! These kinds of “friends” may raise the serotonin levels, which get low with the winter blues, temporarily making you feel good, but the effect is sort lived and your energy will feel zapped! [Depending on your dietary needs, some suggestions are: foods rich in soluble fiber (oats, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, peas, beans) lessen mood swings; protein (skinless poultry, seafood, round or loin cuts of red meat tofu, eggs) helps slow absorption of carbohydrates; fish and foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, omega-3 fortified eggs) can be mood lifters. Also, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.]
6. Color Me Happy. Who says winter has to be dark colors? Take away the drab and ad some fab bright and bold colors to your wardrobe and makeup. Change your hairstyle. And while you’re at it, get out the paint and rollers and add some warm and vibrant colors to your walls! If painting is too adventurous, try hanging colorful artwork and using cheerful colored pillows and throws on the furniture.
Wondering which winter blues buster might work best to keep you from hibernating the weeks away?
Give a call and let’s find out!