With the holiday season behind us and the new year officially upon us, there’s no denying that the winter blues will inevitably start to kick in. As Canadians everywhere prepare for arctic temperatures, howling winds and piles of snow, the days can start to feel dull and lifeless. As an alternative to hibernation mode, which generally involves curling into a ball on a sofa, there are many ways to lift our spirits. If you are looking for ways to fight the winter blues (also known as seasonal affective disorder), try looking for healthy ways to regain energy. From light therapy to calming, soothing exercises, we’ve researched a few strategies that will allow you to stay mentally healthy throughout the wintry months. Even if you can’t afford that impulse vacation to a beach destination, these tips will help to make your Winter 2018 a productive and peaceful one.
Light Therapy Lamps
An early sunset unfortunately means a lack of sunlight. As our bodies crave that extra ray of sunshine to wake us up, a light therapy lamp can be used to make the environment around us brighter. To restore the body’s natural rhythm, the Harvard Medical School’s health blog recommends sitting close to, but not directly in front of the lamp for 30 minutes a day. Take these 30 minutes to enjoy the “sun” each morning, while eating breakfast for a great pick-me-up.
As cold as it is outside, a quick half hour midday walk around the block can reduce feelings of sorrow by mimicking the effects of light therapy lamps through exposure to natural daylight. When feeling cooped up in our built environments, a brisk walk outdoors is a great escape to energize and uplift us. As we walk, our bodies chemically release endorphins, which help to create a happy-go-lucky feeling. Just remember to layer your clothing all the way from wool socks to a thermal hat, to ensure the cold doesn’t kill those positive vibes.
All it takes is a quick visualization of a warm August afternoon to bring you back to the summer heat. Create a tranquil place in your home that reminds you of blue skies and green grass to shift your mindset from dark to colourful. By consciously accessing images associated with warmth for a few minutes a day, the body enters a relaxed state. Whether you’re trying to meet a deadline or simply keep your spirits high, there’s nothing quite like a serene state of mind to make your day easier.