With daylight savings time ending, winter is right around the corner. Although there can be a lot of excitement during the winter with the holidays and school vacations, many people begin to feel more down or depressed at the days getter shorter and darker. Some people may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression.
Sunlight stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which elevates mood. In addition, darkness increases Melatonin in the body, which promotes sleep. A combination of less serotonin and more melatonin causes seasonal depression.
These “Winter Blues” can be combated naturally and we have some tips to keep your mood and motivation up through this season!
The best thing you can do in the winter is stay active. Walking outside is a great way to exercise your heart, get some fresh air, and improve your mood. Just make sure your dress warmly and in bright colors, and avoid walking in any icy areas.
If you have access to a gym, going to different classes can be an excellent way to stay active and remain social. Exercise classes are often offered through senior centers as well. And don’t forget to check out the yoga classes offered at our office.
A gym may not be available to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some physical activity in. Walking in the mall is just as good as walking on a treadmill- and you can do some holiday shopping at the same time! You can be active at home by researching work outs On Demand or on YouTube. If you have kids, get outside and play in the snow with them, or build an obstacle course in your house and complete it together.
Keeping active through the long winter months can really work to improve your mood. Be sure to stay social- get together with family or call up friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. If you find that the winter blues have become overwhelming and you begin to feel down or depressed regularly, make sure to call the office to speak with a provider and see if there may be a better plan for you.