With all the shortening of the days comes the winter blahs. Fortunately, there are easy ways to fight off the blues.
Exercise: regular exercise, from a brisk walk around the neighborhood to more strenuous workouts at the gym, to everything in between can help keep one feeling alive and perky! The euphoric feelings that working out provides carry over into the rest of one’s life and can definitely help with feelings of depression and anxiety.
Nutrition: The Harvard School of Public Health published its Food Pyramid as an alternative to the flawed USDA pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid is Daily Exercise and Weight Control as the key to good nutrition, but right above that is a diet full of whole grains, plant oils, fruits and vegetables. Good nutrition helps the body function at its optimal state and staves off the winter blues.
Care of the spirit: A practice of meditation or self-reflection can stimulate the body’s systems to lift mood and elevate one’s spirit.
Massage: You knew I couldn’t leave this one out, right? Being touched in a caring and compassionate way soothes the body and calms the mind. It’s very good for both client and therapist. Studies by the Touch Research Institute show that massage can “enhance attentiveness, alleviate depressive symptoms, reduce pain, reduce stress hormones, and improve immune functions.”
This is all very good advice. I'd also like to add - for those in areas where there is not a lot of sunlight in the winter, getting a full spectrum light can really help. Apparently, a lot of those winter blahs are caused by lack of sunlight. So getting some sunshine during the day (if you can) may help, as well as using a special light when you are indoors.
Yes, I agree, but it's not good enough just to be outside with only face and maybe arms exposed. The more pale areas of the body need to receive the sunshine for our bodies to process the sunlight most efficiently. Wintertime sunbathing, anyone? LOL