Fighting The Winter Blues
The alarm clock goes off, but you would rather roll over and continue sleeping. Sometimes, there are days that you could literally sleep the day away. You get up, look in the mirror and you feel dumpy and grumpy. You go to the cupboard and instead of something healthy to get you started, you search for one of those sugar cereals or you give in and head right for a chocolate bar. You are not sure what is happening, but there are days when life is definitely more of a challenge. Could it be the winter blues?
Reportedly 65% of the Canadian population notices a difference in their level of mood and energy in the fall and winter compared to the sunny days of summer. These Canadians are fighting the winter blues. This decrease in mood and energy colours the way in which we handle the other areas of our life that compete for our energy and attention.
What Causes The Winter Blues? Is Fighting The Winter Blues Normal?
Research into the direct causes of the blues is ongoing. However, the more severe form, called Seasonal Affective Disorder, is thought to be related to seasonal variations in light which negatively impact the production of neurotransmitters and hormones that affect our sleep, mood and appetite.
What Are The Symptoms Related To The Fighting The Winter Blues?
These blues are usually characterized by varying degrees of sadness, anxiety and energy. Symptoms may also include irritability, a tendency to oversleep, cravings for sweet or starchy foods and possibly weight gain. Winter blues differ from SAD in that the symptoms do not last as long and do not interfere significantly with everyday living.
We need to spend more time outdoors for at least 20 minutes twice a day. It doesn’t matter if it is a glorious winter morning or a dreary cloudy afternoon. We benefit from that light. Click to tweet
How Do You Combat The Winter Blues?
Since the winter blues may be a result of a lack of light, some of the coping strategies used are to increase our exposure to light.
- Spend more time outdoors during the day – at least 20 minutes twice a day. It doesn’t matter if it is a glorious winter morning or a dreary cloudy afternoon
- Arrange your indoor environments so that it receives more natural light. Move your furniture so that you sit near a window
- Install full spectrum lights to lamps and lights
Additional Stress Busters Can Reduce The Winter Blues And For Celebrating Stress-Free Holidays Month
- Eat regularly and nutritiously
- Get regular amounts of sleep
- Exercise – especially if it can take you outdoors
- Deal with stressful situations
- And if you can, take a sunny southern vacation
By increasing your exposure to light and monitoring your diet, sleep patterns and exercise levels you will be able to maintain your health, increase your energy and combat the winter blues during these holidays.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!