Jacinda Haines and Detour here to help you figure out some easy ways to combat that feeling we sometimes get when the leaves fall off the trees and the sun sets way too early and we start unpacking our winter gear in preparation for those hibernation months of winter... brrrrrrrrrr
But first, why am I talking about beating the winter blues?
Depending where you live—Chicago versus Alabama—winter will either be something you dread or something that passes you by without noticing.
Sometimes even people who live in the warmer states like California, experience cyclical changes that affect their moods and disposition.
The extreme form of this is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a cyclical form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm—a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical processes in the body.
For some people, as the hours of sunlight decrease in the fall and winter, their circadian rhythm cycle can become disrupted. The hormone melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin suddenly drop in the winter and this causes lethargy, depression, irritability and weight gain.
So what are my top 10 tips for beating the winter blues?
1. Find a movement class that makes you sweat:
Getting your body moving floods you with feel-good endorphins. So find a high energy dance class like Pole Fitness or Lit- N- Stilettos here at Detour Fitness Studios and get your groove on. Then treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate afterwards with your new dance buddy.
2. Take Vitamin D3:
Vitamin D3 is not actually a vitamin, it’s a steroid hormone manufactured in the body from direct exposure to sunlight. Because sunlight is weak or scarce in some winters, be sure to buy Vitamin D3 supplements to make up for lost sunlight!
3. Invest in a high quality light therapy sun lamp:
Light therapy sunlamps are often household necessities in states that suffer from lack of winter sunshine like Washington. Be sure to invest in a high quality sun lamp that you can use throughout the day for 15 minutes at a time.
4. Hibernate happily:
Sometimes it’s best to surrender to winter and take up hibernation like a bear. You can watch movies you’ve always wanted to see or curl up on the couch with a good book you’ve been meaning to read or get all cozy by the fire in your favorite woolly socks.
5. Eat warm, nourishing comfort foods:
Use this time to make those