Almost everyone knows what it’s like to experience the “winter blues”- a mood shift that occurs during the colder, darker days of the season. You may notice you feel more fatigued, down and gloomy than usual, but there are certain things you can do to ensure you’re making the best out of the winter season and staying as healthy and happy as can be. Here are 4 of our best tips for enjoying winter to the fullest.
1. Head to the Gym
The early sunset and cold temperatures are a great excuse to skip your gym classes, but it’s so important to keep active during the winter season. Exercising is especially important if you experience the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s related to changes in season, specifically the winter months. Along with keeping you healthy and fit, exercise boosts your endorphins, mental health and self-esteem. It also helps ward off sicknesses that are common during winter, such as the cold and flu.
The winter is a great time to bundle up at home and hibernate, but don’t forget to balance out your me-time with socialization. Staying in alone night after night or weekend after weekend can be isolating and lonely, especially if you have a job that requires you to work alone as well. Socializing has been shown to boost bad moods and lift your spirits. Whether you invite a friend to your favourite workout class, head to a coffee shop with your sister, or make an effort to go to holiday events with your co-workers, socializing is very important. That’s not to say that you should over-do it and say “yes” to everything. If you’re feeling run down and like you need a break, self-care is equally as important.
3. Drink Lots of Water and Get Plenty of Sleep
A good night’s sleep, while always an important element to optimum health, should be a top priority in the winter months when sickness prevails. Drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep supercharges your immune system, making you less likely to get sick. A good night’s sleep also reduces stress, boosts your mood and gives you more energy throughout the day. Creating good habits is the best way to stay healthy and happy during winter.
4. Fill Up on Important Nutrients
There are certain nutrients that are more important to consume in winter than any other time of the year. Canadians in particular are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, which becomes even more problematic in the wintertime when we get less sun. Take a vitamin D supplement and eat foods that are high in vitamin D, such as salmon, shrimp, egg yolks and mushrooms. Iron is also super important as we want our blood to be strong. Legumes, beets and dark leafy greens are high in iron, as is red meat. Add vitamin C and Zinc to your daily routine to boost your immune system and help prevent you from getting sick.
If you’re prone to the winter blues, use these 4 tips to stay healthy and happy this season!