Battle the winter blues this season


Could the winter blues be in your genes?  Are you experiencing low energy?  Are you bored? Do you sleep more than normal?  Other signs could include losing interest in friends or activities that you enjoy.  If you have some, or all, of these symptoms you may be battling the winter blues.

Winter blues can also include sadness, weight gain and will definitely affect relationships. Many families that have a history of depression or drug abuse seem to suffer more during the winter months.  Some ways to help conquer the effects of the blues include going to bed and waking up at the same time. This will help set a good sleep pattern.  Another way is to eat three meals a day, but avoid starchy foods or sweets.  Sadly, there is no one plan that works for everyone.  So finding your perfect fix takes time. Trying different things to boost your mood and improve your outcome will not always be easy.

Before trying prescribed medications, here are additional suggestions from health care providers. First, enjoy as much natural sunlight as possible; sit by your office window or in your car where the sunlight can warm you up. Watch your diet and eat healthier foods that are high in folic acid like leafy greens. Foods high in folic acid include  spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus and broccoli. A side benefit is that these foods also help to alleviate fatigue. 

Adding supplements to your diet like vitamin D, B6 and B12 helps boost your mood as well. A couple more simple ideas to help combat the blues include spending more time outside walking the dogs, skiing, other winter activities or enjoying time with your loved ones.

Taking up a hobby like woodworking, painting or volunteering in the community will give you other things to focus on. Exercising with a friend or a group helps you to stay committed to them and not just yourself. Yoga is relaxing and great for your body.

The most important thing is to stay motivated and active whatever you choose to do. Here is another great option, visit your local library to see what winter programs are available or check out the new books on the shelf.  Whatever you decide to do, keep trying different things. You will conquer the battle of the winter blues.

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