Welcome to the beginning of Winter and the return of the light!
Winter is here and the days only get longer! While that is good news, it is still easy to feel the effects of the winter blues. Many people in North Idaho love the winter for its snowy ski days and beautiful views of the mountains.
However, some people may not love winter as much as others. There is actually a reason for that. Some people experience what is called “SAD” or seasonal affective disorder. Here are a few ways to combat the winter blues as we enter the winter season.
- Movement – moving our bodies creates endorphins which positively affects the mood hormones of our brain. This in turn helps us feel happier or more content even if it’s still dark out. So do something fun; dance, go for a walk (at lunch), do some yoga, etc.
- Light therapy – sometimes called happy lamps, there is a specific lamp that emits light which mimics natural sunlight. This has been shown to help many people who work in offices without windows or people who experience seasonal affective disorder
- Eat foods with vitamin D – Low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of SAD, because we don’t see the sun as much in the winter. Hence, why it is so important to make sure you are getting enough of it. Vitamin D can be found in egg yolks, milk, mushrooms, and bony fish. If you have dietary restrictions, there are also vitamin D supplements you can take.
Hopefully these tips are helpful for you and will keep you smiling all through the winter. If you have questions regarding SAD, reach out to your primary care physician for more resources.
This information is meant only as a recommendation and should not be substituted for good judgement or a consultation with your primary care physician.