How Are You Dealing With The Winter Blues?
It’s the same every single year; we celebrate the holidays, we relax during our time off work and we spend time with our closest friends and family. Then, all of a sudden, it’s back to business and we’re poorer, less productive and less joyful than ever. Despite the fact this happens to each and every one of us every single year, it still sometimes comes as a surprise.
This phenomenon of feeling sad and moody throughout January is most commonly known as the winter blues. On the face of it, winter blues are caused by high holiday bills and low temperatures but there are plenty of different factors that combine to make us feel sad during this time of year. It isn’t just in our minds either, as some of the factors, including a lack of sunshine and the cold, can lead our bodies to stop producing the hormones and chemicals we need to feel happy. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to turn this around and raise our spirits.
You knew it was coming! Instead of keeping New Year’s resolutions that involve eating less to lose the holiday weight, we think people should start promising to exercise more to erase the winter blues. In 2005, Harvard University released a study that proves simply walking at a fast pace for around 35 minutes a day, 5 times a week can improve symptoms of depression significantly. Plus, since we imagine you’ll be walking around during daylight hours, the natural light will boost the effects, with one study suggesting that bright light can improve our mental health, social abilities, vitality and depression symptoms.
The post-holiday season can really leave us feeling beat down so why not try winning to boost your mood? If you’re brave enough, you could try playing outdoor sports but, since the weather is so awful at this time of year, you may simply want to visit an online casino or play some video games. There are literally thousands of games to choose from so, whether you’re a fan of solitaire, slots or new blockbuster releases you’re sure to find something that’ll help you improve your mood. One simple win will cause your body to start producing all sorts of mood-enhancing hormones such as dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure, excitement and happiness. So, next time you’re feeling down and a walk is off the cards (let’s be honest, it’s probably raining) boot up your PC, laptop or tablet and see if gaming helps. Although, maybe don’t try the new Resident Evil II when that comes out as that might give you a fright instead.
While everything else may be a bit rubbish at this time of year, there is one thing that remains as wonderful and delicious as always: food. Now, we don’t suggest you go eating entire boxes of sweets or French fries for the brief euphoria but some foods are scientifically proven to produce positive and long-lasting emotions. Our favourite of these is chocolate, which is well-renowned for lowing anxiety and enhancing moods. Other healthy foods to try include salmon, which is packed full of omega-3 and lean proteins, berries and eggs. Not all at the same time though; we can’t imagine that would be very tasty.
With these 3 simple tricks up your sweater sleeve, you’re sure to come out of winter feeling happy, positive and ready for summer. Of course, if you have any other winter blues-busting tips to share please let us know in the comments below.