Cold weather has a lot to offer. Football season, ugly sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, the list goes on and on. But like most things, we must take the good with the bad. After all, no one gets too excited about flu shots and frozen fingers.
But physical discomfort isn’t the only downer. Many experience an unexpected wave of depression during the holiday season. If you’re one of those people, don’t feel alone. Here are three reasons why you might feel blue, and tools to help emotionally warm you up.
It’s Freakin’ Cold
If you catch yourself feeling sad, you might actually have winter depression or SAD, seasonal affective disorder. It’s not uncommon to get down in the dumps when sunshine is taken away and replaced with the bone chilling cold. Our bodies are stiff, causing us to use valuable energy just to remain sedentary. People who aren’t comfortable in this climate can shut down mentally.
One way to combat this is awareness. If winter is a trap for you, prepare. Set a yearly Google alert for mid-October that reminds you to practice extra self care. Attach a helpful article to refresh your memory of certain pitfalls around this time. The more you know, the more you can take preventive action.
Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away
So how can we replace the vitamin D we’re not getting from the sun? Dr. John D. Day, MD. suggests:
“Eat two servings of fatty fish each week, like wild salmon, from November to March. For vegetarians or those who hate wild salmon, drink 3 cups of a vitamin D fortified milk (cow, almond, soy, etc.) each day from November to March (liquid vitamin D is better absorbed than the pill form).” *Read his full article here
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a slight headache during the winter, only to realize I haven’t drank any water. Although our bodies aren’t craving a refreshing beverage to battle the heat, it doesn’t mean we don’t need water. In fact, when the temperature drops, the air gets dryer and our bodies need more moisture. Not to mention our brains are composed of 85% water! No wonder dehydration can lead to depression. If you’re like me and tend to forget until it’s too late, set an alert on your phone every couple of hours to drink a full glass. Read our previous article on dehydration here.
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