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How To Beat The Winter Blues

How To Beat The Winter Blues

Your Healthy Home Show Listen Live - Friday 11:00am on WSAR 1480 AM or Online

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How To Beat The Winter Blues!

Steve and Joe talk about how to beat the winter blues! "There is a lot to be thankful for; we are in between storms!"

Has the winter season brought you down?

Are you having difficulty waking up in the morning? Are you over oversleeping and over eating? Are you lacking energy and having difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks? Are you withdrawn from friends, family, and social activities? These symptoms and much more may suggest that you are experiencing a mood disorder called Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. If you are, you are not alone. There are many reasons for what causes SAD and there are many ways to help combat the winter blues.

What causes Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

According to Prevention Magazine and many experts, SAD affects up to 20% of Americans and 3/4 of those affected are woman. Some factors that cause SAD may include:

  1. Biological clock (circadian rhythm): Reduction of sunlight can affect disrupt your body's internal clock. Less sunlight in the winter months may cause SAD.
  2. Serotonin levels: A brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood may decrease and might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause serotonin levels to decrease that may cause SAD.
  3. Melatonin levels: Melatonin is a natural hormone produce by our body to help induce sleep. The change in season (less sun light) can affect the body's level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

What can we do to combat the winter blues?

We recently talked about sledding as a winter sport that not only promotes physical activity and social interaction with family and friends, but it gets you outdoors which allow you to get natural sunlight. here are some tips for combating winter blues:

Expose Yourself To More Light

Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. Sit near windows as much as possible. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs. Blue light is a full spectrum light which is similar to sun light. Blue light will help your body's natural production of serotonin. Blue light are more stimulating and produce less glare than white light.

Eat Healthy

Nutritious foods can help you beat winter blues and the winter flu. Eat more fruits and veggies. People who eat more Fruits and veggies are less likely to be anxious and depressed. Reduce you consumption of processed foods.

Stay Hydrated

We often don't take in enough fluids during the cold winter months. When hydrated, your appetite is better controlled. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired, and become more susceptible to winter colds and flu.

Change Your Surroundings

Simple changes like painting the walls a brighter or lighter color, hanging cheerful images, and moving your furniture can keep your spirits up.

  • Work on projects that help prepare you for you for spring
  • Hobbies, projects or activities that help you prepare or think of spring can help uplift spirits!
  • Family activity like learning about different places in terms of food, culture, and history
  • Decorate ornaments used in in the warmer seasons
  • Researching ideas and planning for landscaping and gardening

Organic Essential Oils

Organic Essential Oils can help combat winter blues. According to aromaweb.com, natural fragrances using simple blends of citrus oils are emphasized because they are energizing and uplifting oils. Orange, lemon and grapefruit oils are oils favored by many people, so your whole household may enjoy the aroma when diffused.

Blends To Ease The Winter Blues:

  • Blend (1) 3 drops Orange and 2 drops Grapefruit
  • Blend (2) 4 drops Orange and 1 drop Ylang Ylang
  • Blend (3) 3 drops Orange and 2 drops Ginger
  • Blend (4) 3 drops Grapefruit and 2 drops Cypress

This is nice natural way to introduce aromas without introducing chemicals into your home.

Exercise (Take your dog for a walk)

Exercise is great for relieving the stress. Exercise increases energy and improves mood throughout the day. Outdoor physical activities also promote exposure to sunlight as well.

Dress Accordingly

Whether you work outside in the cold or just walking to school or work, you should be dressing accordingly to minimize discomfort and stress. No one likes to be cold. (Avoid cold hands and feet) Try to ware three layers for better comfort.

Volunteer & Help Out

Look for volunteer opportunities where you can make a difference. Help out a neighbor, family or friend. Volunteer your help at an organization. This will get you active and feeling good about yourself when helping others.

Embrace Winter

Do something outdoors that embraces winter like sledding! Sledding has been a long lasting tradition of good old fashion American fun! Take advantage of these types opportunities during the winter season. Staying active will boost your energy and keep your spirits high.

If you have the winter blues, there is a lot we can do to change it. It takes action on our part.

Listen to show for more tips:

Online Listen to Podcast Now

References:

prevention.com

webmd.com

aromaweb.com

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On the Healthy Home Show, Steve Andras and Joe Pires of Pioneer Basement discuss topics that affect the health and safety of your home.

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