How to deal with the Winter Blues
How to beat the “winter blues” this winter!
Winter can be a rough time for some people. It’s dark so early in the evening and the morning light is often late to rise. Depending on where you live, you may not even see the sun for days or if you live far North, you may have several weeks without sunlight. This can really be depressing and take a toll on your wellbeing. The condition Seasonal Affective Disorder or more commonly known as “SAD” is more frequently diagnosed and there are a lot of ways for you to combat this and make it through those dark winter months. We’ve got a few tips below on how to make it through this winter - great for anyone with or without SAD!
Purchase a SAD light
Getting sunlight is so important, but when we don’t get it from the bright yellow orb in the sky, we turn to our SAD light. While we are not diagnosed with SAD, we still feel the positive effects of an SAD light. Just 10-15 minutes of the day - usually in the morning we will sit under the light, drink our warm beverage (herbal tea blend or fresh lemon and ginger with hot water). This morning ritual really helps with the symptoms of SAD and can put a brighter step in your day - even when it’s dark and gloomy. Check our SAD light here!
Eat warming meals
Eating certain foods during the winter season will also help pick your spirits up. Creating warming, healing meals that satisfy and nourish your body is essential to keep your immunity up, and your happiness meter running. I really love Lee Holme’s detoxifying green soup (Heal Your Gut) and the anti-inflammatory cauliflower soup (Heal Your Gut) and Julie Daniluk’s chicken tikka (Hot Detox) recipe. They are all filled with nourishing plants and protein, providing you with much needed nutrients. We also drink a lot of warm beverages like golden milk - (coconut and turmeric latte), lemon and ginger tonic, and sweet licorice tea - all refrained from refined sugars. I totally agree with Julie Daniluk here that in the winter months we should be consuming as much warming foods as possible and leaving the colder foods such as raw fruits and veggies and smoothies for the warm summer months. In the winter, our bodies crave that comfort that warming meals provide.
Just sweat 30 minutes a day
Another key to beating the winter blahs or blues is to get a good sweat on! We try to get at least 30 minutes of cardio a day. Whether that’s a run at the gym, a high intensity interval training session (HIIT), indoor cycling, xc skiing, we try to get the minimum of 30 minutes a day and it really helps to give our bodies a positive boost!
Spend time outside even when it’s not sunny
A lot of us tend to spend too much time inside during those dull winter days. But that fresh air can do so much good for you. And even though you may not see the sun, you can still absorb it through that thick cloud cover. Apparently a complete cloud cover only cuts the energy of ultraviolet rays in half. UV rays trigger Vitamin D production, which will help you beat the winter blues. So bundle up, go for a long walk or snowshoe trek and embrace the cold!
Get yourself a diffuser and essential oils
This may seem a bit hokey to some people still, but the smell of essential oils such as peppermint, cedar, pine and lavender can be very effective in lifting our moods. The authors of Your Brain on Nature are strong advocates for the use of essential oils in making us feel better and they back it up with some solid scientific research. Diffusers are one of the best ways to spread that smell in your home. This is our favourite made by the folks at Young Living, but if you want to go with a less-expensive option, check out this wood-grain diffuser.
What are you doing to beat the ‘winter blues’ this year?