Some people dread winter like no other time of the year. If you know you struggle with your mental health in the winter, remember that you’re not alone. However, getting ready for the darker days early is in order for you. While you have the whole season to adjust, some things are best to have ready ahead of time so you’re prepared for winter blues.
If you suffer from seasonal depression or anxiety, read on for some essential self-care tips this winter.
Take your vitamins
You probably know that there are certain vitamins your body needs in the winter more than in any other season. The thing is, when taking vitamin supplements, they can take a few weeks to really kick in. Due to the lack of sunlight, we seriously lack vitamin D in the winter. The sooner you can start taking this, the less chance you have of suffering the effects of deficiency.
Another nutrient you may want to consider topping up on before and during winter is magnesium. Magnesium supplements help with anxiety. Magnesium regulates the adrenal and pituitary glands, which are linked to stress and anxiety.
Invest in a light therapy box
Also known as a SAD lamp, light therapy boxes can be an effective way to manage the negative side effects that come with a lack of sunlight during winter. SAD lamps have been known to positively affect sleep, energy levels, and mood. As they are affordable, but not particularly cheap, you may want to save up a bit of money first.
Doing your research ahead of time will also be in your best interest, as you want to make sure you’re buying a product that is genuine.
Don’t forget the food
We often forget the importance of food for our bodies. Yes, we enjoy eating it, but foods actually provide us with a service and can affect our mood more than we know.
Stomach health awareness is emerging in recent years as something that is closely linked with psychological well-being. Live yoghurt, sauerkraut, olive oil, almonds, kombucha, and bananas are just some foods and drinks that will nourish your stomach.
Preparing some varied, nutritious and comforting (but not over-indulgent) recipes for those cold long nights ensures that you get the grub you need. This won’t just replenish your energy and keep you warm, but also the feeling the achievement that comes with cooking a wholesome meal.
Put some activities in the diary
Everyone feels a bit brighter about life when there are things to look forward to. Start looking for some fun activities you can do over winter with family and/or friends. Maybe there are some craft markets to visit, or there’s a new movie coming out that you’re excited to see. You could even organize a winter barbecue for a weekend.
It’s not just recreational activities that will benefit you, but physical exercise, too. It can be incredibly hard to motivate yourself to exercise when it’s cold outside, but if you can find some classes or a nearby gym, it will make cardio or free weight lifting seem less overwhelming.
Although there are some lovely aspects to the winter months, not many enjoy the freezing weather. One of the best things you can do is reflect and recognize how your mood changes during winter and try to prepare accordingly.
It might be hard to admit that winter is getting closer, but you’ll be better off if you prepare to take care of yourself way ahead of time. By following some of these steps, you can start to view the season through a brighter pair of specs, and (dare I say) enjoy this part of the year.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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