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How To Fight Winter Depression: Part 2

Posted by Dr. Donna Restivo on Dec 21, 2018 10:23:00 AM

In Health Tips, mental health, stress management

If you are like most of the population and you suffer from winter depression, you will be happy to know that there are several ways to battle the blues. Here are a few more from our go-to list…

 

1. Try something new. Over time our brains change and adapt and become far different than the brain that we were born with. When we learn a new skill, our neurons become wired together, and our brains become much more efficient at sending and receiving information. This all takes place when our minds adapt to a new task or hobby, and it proves that taking on something new does wonders for the rewiring of our brain, making us sharper mentally. With this said, try taking up a new hobby or activity to get that brain adapting. Maybe it’s a new card game or as simple as trying out a new recipe. Either way, spend your time indoors wisely and get the most benefits for your brain while you’re at it.

2. Load up on Vitamin D. Considering the sun is a prime maker of Vitamin D, its absence tends to leave our bodies craving it during the winter months. Depression and several diseases are related to low vitamin D levels in the body, so it’s best to get yourself a good Vitamin D supplement. According to The National Institute of Health, the recommended dietary allowance is 600 IUs (International Units) per day, however; some doctors have suggested that you take as much as 3,000 to 5,000 IUs per day. Keep in mind that you can get your vitamin D in foods as well, especially fish and eggs.

3. Start a project. Starting something that you’ve been putting off for a long time is a great way to get your mind and body moving. They say that “busy hands are happy hands” and by tackling an indoor project while it’s undesirable outside, you will get the satisfaction of checking something off your to-do list. It can be as minor as cleaning out closets and cabinets, or if you want to step it up a notch, maybe it’s time to change the color of your walls. A painting project is sure to keep you moving, and before you know it, you’ll forget why you were depressed in the first place. The feeling of satisfaction alone, is enough to boost your mood.

4. Add a sunlamp to your life. Known as “Bright-light therapy,” sun lamps have proven to be effective if they are used at the same time each day for 30 to 60 minutes, preferably before 10:00 am. Because we have less sunlight during the winter months, our circadian rhythms are off, which causes some people to feel down in the dumps. If you don’t want to purchase a sunlamp, you may be able to have access to one at a health club in your area. 

 

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