Winter Blues? Tip #3

Good Eats

Although I am not usually a big fan of turnips, I recently discovered how tasty they can be in a slow cooker soup with butternut squash, potato, onion and pear.  Yes, I said pear!  We have learned more and more that there is a strong connection between our physical health and our mental well-being.  Nourishing yourself with fresh healthy foods, including a variety of vegetables, grains and lean protein is a great way to combat the winter blues.  If you enjoy cooking, take this opportunity to try a new recipe with a winter vegetable.   Even if you don’t enjoy cooking…look for easy ways to get a variety of vegetables into your meals.  

Check out this article for more on the connection between nutrition and mental health:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

 

Winter Blues? Tip #2

Stay Active

Colder and shorter days mean it may be more difficult to find time to exercise.  But, don’t let the drop in the temperature stop you from getting your weekly dose of endorphins, a natural mood booster. Try a new gym membership…winter may be the perfect time to perfect your swimming stroke at an indoor pool.   Learn to rock climb at one of Atlanta’s rock climbing gyms. Or, embrace the winter sports and find an ice skating rink! It doesn’t have to be complicated or pricey, bundle up and take a walk in your own neighborhood, or pop in one of those old-school workout DVD’s with your rainbow leg warmers and get your endorphins flowing from the comfort of your own home.  If it has been a long time since you were active, check with your doctor about any new exercise routine!

Some more info on how exercise can reduce depression:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depression

Winter Blues?

During winter months, sunlight is limited and especially this year in Atlanta, we have had some extra-grey, cloudy, rainy days. For those who are sensitive to this change in light it may feel more difficult to get out of bed and to stay positive over the winter months. Today is a rare sunny day….and the perfect opportunity to talk about the #1 item in beating the Winter Blues:

1) Chase the Sun–or at least stumble slowly towards it 
Even when it feels too cold to stay outside, find a way to bask in sunlight each day. Look for patches of sunlight through the window; open the blinds in your office, or step outside during your lunch break. If you are able, consider taking a few days away to a sunnier spot. If getting up in the morning is a struggle, consider using an lamp that mimics the sun’s rays or an alarm clock that incorporates gradually increasing light…sending the signal, it’s time to wake from your Winter slumber.

My favorite winter sunlight spot: Backyard hammock, with a blanket if necessary.
What is yours?