It’s no surprise that when the days become shorter, people find themselves feeling more in the dark. Symptoms of low mood or depression include a wide range of experiences including anxiety, loss of interest, sadness, appetite changes, irritability and fatigue. If you’re feeling a bit of the winter blues or know you’re susceptible to feeling that way this time of year. There are several ways to help beat it. Here are our top five recommendations.
- Brighten your environment. The days are shorter, and sunlight is scarce. Opening the blinds, turning on more lights and sitting closer to the windows can help enhance your mood during those short, overcast, or dark days.
- Take Vitamins. Inconsistent mood can sometimes be related to a vitamin D deficiency. Consult with your doctor to determine if there’s a need for additional supplements.
- Eat smarter. It’s important to fuel your body with healthy foods. Remember to eat smart and avoid foods such as sugars or carbohydrates which can give you an immediate feeling of relief but lower your mood in the long run.
- Be social. Creating meaningful connections and having meaningful conversations boost oxytocin and other ‘feel good’ hormone levels. Make plans to go out with friends or family. Consider attending church or volunteering for a local cause you’re interested or passionate about.
- Stay physically active. Physical activity helps pump more oxygen to the brain and aids in the release of several mood boosting hormones. In other words, being physically active directly affects your brain and mood for the better.
If you or a loved one finds that you’ve tried these things yet are still suffering, seek help. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member or talk with a professional therapist. Millions of people suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. There’s absolutely no reason to suffer alone.
Do you think you might benefit from being active in a supportive, judgement free group setting? Work on your mental wellness in our beautiful fitness center.