Health & Wellness Blog
Live a happy & healthy lifestyle
Stay Happy & Positive During Winter
The winter season is often not all holiday cheer, especially for the estimated 10-20% of adults who suffer from symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Those who suffer from debilitating cases of SAD may benefit from speaking with a psychologist, but for those of us with mild symptoms, self-care can help.
To ward off a case of the winter blues, try these tips to stay happy during the gloomy winter season.
Or for those of us who aren’t afraid to brave the cold, try winter sports, like skiing, ice skating, and yes, even running in the snow.
Even if you choose not to participate in winter sports, seeing some amount of sunlight is essential for our body’s production of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential in protecting the health of our bones. Moreover, light is closely linked to mood, and lack of light is thought to be one of the triggers of SAD. For those who live in an area of the world that doesn’t see much daylight during the winter, it may help to invest in a light box, which mimics natural outdoor light to aid in improving mood.
Eat Hearty, Healthy Foods
To prevent sugar crashes, eat hearty, healthy foods to sustain us. Warm bowls, such as fruit- and nut-filled steel cut oats or butternut squash and quinoa bowls with roasted vegetables, can keep us full enough to prevent overconsumption of holiday treats. When we are craving a seasonal treat, hot chocolate can be a healthy indulgence that may boost our mood when made sugar-free with pure cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate (70% cacao content or higher).
Even when it’s impossible to leave the home, technology can aid in social activity by allowing us to FaceTime friends and family around the world.
The quiet of the post-holiday winter months may be an ideal time to invest in a creative hobby. Whether it’s painting, writing, playing an instrument, knitting winter sweaters, or baking healthy treats, being creative can boost our moods. Depending on the hobby, our creativity may even be an outlet to make gifts for others, and the practice of being generous can also boost our happiness.
Along with each holiday season comes opportunities to volunteer in our communities that don’t have to stop after Christmas ends. Volunteering can quickly boost our moods in addition to making us feel more socially engaged.
Research shows that among 2,705 adults who volunteered, 79% reported reductions in stress levels and 93% reported improvements in mood. Food pantries, schools, senior centers, and public libraries are all examples of community locations that may readily take volunteers.
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