Winter Moods and Seasonal Blues
Abby Mudd, Certified Nutrition Consultant & E-RYT
November 16th, 2021
As the season begins to change, so can our energy and mood. With winter fast approaching, temperatures dropping, and the time changing, you may begin to feel anxious, nervous, or even develop seasonal depression, especially as it gets closer to the holiday season. For some, this is a magical time and a reason to slow down, but for others, winter can be daunting. It’s easy to ignore your health priorities and lose motivation during this time, especially when it gets dark at 5:30pm. Maybe you feel like you’re hungrier than usual or have been craving foods that are comforting. While it is important to prioritize your health, it is also 100% okay to experience these physical and mental changes as the season shifts. There are several ways to help boost your mood and energy this winter that will also allow you to keep track of your mental and physical health.
- Soak in the Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient the body needs in order to promote bone health, reduce depression, and reduce risk of heart disease. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight, food, and/or supplementation. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D and just 15 minutes a day has been shown to be beneficial. Food sources of vitamin D include fortified milk, fortified cereal, fortified orange juice, salmon, eggs, shrimp, and sardines.
- Move your body
There are several benefits to exercise. Physical activity can help boost your mood and energy, promote better sleep, manage stress, manage weight, and help fight against certain diseases. Even just 15 minutes a day could significantly improve your overall health. Walking, doing yoga, or joining a fitness studio in town are great ways to promote movement and help fight against seasonal blues. Dancing like no one is watching is also a great way to move!
- Incorporate 3-5 fruits and veggies into your day-to-day
Eating high vibrational foods can positively impact your health. Adding 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies a day will not only make you feel better, but will also help reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies, which can increase your risk of developing diseases. Making sure you’re getting enough nutrients is important this time of year, especially with all of those sweet treats and starchy foods available during the holidays.
- Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water! It’s important to give your body the ample amount of water it needs to function properly. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar dehydrate you quicker and may be at a higher intake during the winter months. Foods that are hydrating include cucumbers, celery, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
- Limit social media/ screen time
Scrolling on your phone can sometimes reinforce negative thoughts and promote a low vibrational mindset. Research shows that consuming negative media can increase anxiety, depression, and sadness. Have you ever noticed how much you mindlessly scroll on social media because of boredom? Instead of defaulting to the screen, try replacing with healthier habits like reading a book, going for a walk, or being creative.
- Get plenty of sleep
The CDC recommends getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Getting adequate sleep is important for mood, energy, and productivity. It also helps lower stress levels.
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