Around this time of year, especially in Canada’s climate, where we can see extreme bouts of snow, sleet, humidity and rain through the changing seasons, we are often at the mercy of Mother Nature.
How many of us have put off taking that run or bike ride outside because of frigid temperatures or teaming rain droplets? Many would call them ‘excuses’ but there’s actual research that shows it’s not just those with Seasonal Affective Disorder who may get the ‘blues’.
SAD symptoms include a loss of energy, inability to focus, cravings for sugar and “bad” carbohydrates, along with an overall sense of defeat and feelings of worthlessness.
Some suggest that people who are emotionally influenced by weather are actually healthier because they’re more in harmony with Mother Nature’s natural rhythms. They suggest that the winter blues mimic the ‘sleep’ that some trees and shrubs experience and some animals hibernate, suggesting maybe some people need a ‘long winter’s nap’ as well.
So what’s the answer? How do we survive? This has been one of the worst Canadian winters on record. How do we remain motivated and not fall victim to becoming sedentary and unhappy?
Experts suggest a few things:
1) Open up your home and/or office to more ‘natural’ light. Our tendency is to keep the blinds closed when the weather is cold and dreary but apparently, it can help just to get a view of the outdoors.
2) Eat well. SAD makes us crave carbs or ‘comfort foods’. Adding more fruits and veggies, and subtracting items laced with white sugar and white flour may aid in turning your frown upside down.
3) Get moving. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, or dropping a letter in the mailbox, getting off the couch can drastically change your mood.
4) Make your bed. Yep, one expert suggests that this is an easy way to get a sense of accomplishment when you feel overwhelmed and trapped inside.
5) Get dressed up. Even if you’re just checking email, sometimes overdressing is just the ticket!
And one of the most important thing experts suggest is keeping in touch with family and friends, even if it’s just a Skype call, connecting with those you care about and that care about you, can bring a lift to your mood.
The sun and heat should be upon us soon and with the recent time change, it will be here before we know it.
Reach out, we’re always here for you!