By Lynne Goldberg
All of us that live in a northern climate know how important it can be to beat those winter blues.
The sunlight hours are relatively short – we get approximately 10 hours of sunlight. We have a tendency to hibernate – getting dressed to go out in the cold night can seem like too much of a chore. We tend to crave heavier, richer foods – we’ve all had that feeling – bring on the Mac and Cheese.
Winter affects our eating habits. We have a tendency to pack on the pounds between holiday parties and cravings for sugary processed or carb-rich foods.
According to the British Journal of Health Psychology, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables improves mood and energy.
So next time you reach for a sugary processed snack, realize the results are short-lived. A complex carbohydrate like a fruit or a vegetable will be much longer lasting and make you feel better too keeping you out of the vicious cycle of cravings sugary highs and lows.
Serotonin, the happy hormone, is in short supply in winter. The sunlight hours are shorter, and of course, light exposure triggers serotonin in humans. Researcher Russel J. Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center says “ it’s important that people who work indoors get outside periodically, and moreover, that we all try to sleep in total darkness”
So get outside – Go for a walk at lunch!
The exercise, as well as the sunshine, will boost serotonin.
No surprise here – Meditation helps boost serotonin levels. So take a breath!
Make meditation part of your daily routine.
Spend just 20 minutes a day. You will feel blissful!
We all know the benefits of relationships. They are good for our health, literally. According to the University of Minnesota, healthy relationships make you live longer and deal with stress better while unhappy relationships increase depression and decrease your immune function. So, make sure that hibernation doesn’t stop you from making time for friends.
Ask yourself what am I passionate about – and then do it. Each of us is born with a unique set of gifts and talents. Sharing those passions give our life meaning and purpose. When you take yourself out of your day to day grind and focus on the stuff that gives you joy, you feel better – not just in winter.
Infographic was created by betterhelp.com