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Have a Joyful Winter

December 23, 2012

Luckily enough we live in Florida where winter is much kinder to us than our friends and family in the north. Seasonal depression commonly occurs in many people when days gets shorter and colder keeping us indoors longer. There are things things that can be done to give you the best chance to have a happy healthy winter.

Working out while being outside has shown to help improve mood. It can be tough to find that get up and go during winter months. Setting goals and holding yourself accountable can increase the likely hood you'll get out there and move.

Decreased light has been proven to increase ones desire to oversleep and overate, particularly carbohydrates (sugars and starches). This can start to pack the pounds when coupled with decreased exercise. Paying extra attention to eat foods like oat meal for breakfast and omega 3 rich foods can boost mood too.

Humans are meant to be social and that is one of the important facets of a healthy life. Setting up scheduled diners or lunches to meet with friends, family, or coworkers can dramatically improve mood.

As Floridians we love to enjoy our warm weather activities like going to the beach and swimming. Well, cooler weather provides a different set of fun activities to enjoy. Finding an outdoor ice skating rink or sitting around an outdoor fire is something that you just cant do in the summer. Find those things that a cooler weather can allow you to do and enjoy them.

The start of a new year means getting down to business and working hard until the holidays next year. Instead of thinking about the holidays coming to an end, start to plan your next vacation. The mental escape of future planning results in a happier mindset.

Vitamin D is proving to be more important that previously thought. Sure you can take the supplement, but your body produces more than enough if your out in the sun. When the rays are out you should be too. Increased vitamin D has been shown to increase serotonin (happy hormones) and decrease unhappy hormones which make you drowsy.

In most cases of depressed seasonal mood, decreased light exposure is believed to be the largest factor is patients who suffer. There is another form of therapy that has been shown to improve seasonal depression in less than 20 minutes. Bright light therapy uses white or green light having the patient sit close to the source, but not looking directly at the light. Unfortunately this form of therapy doesn't work for everyone, but does have a high success rate.

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