With the holiday season behind us and thoughts of New Year’s resolutions looming over our heads, it is no surprise January is the month where people often begin to suffer from a case of the “winter blues”. It is understandable – especially for us Canadians - as the lack of sunlight and colder temperatures make us even more susceptible to emotional struggles this time of year.
The good news is there are many things you can do to help combat the winter blues – and most of them don’t cost a penny! Here is our list of the top five things you can do to help you stay positive and productive this winter season:
- Eat the Right Foods
Dust off that slow cooker, friends! Winter is a great time for soups, stews and slow cooked delights. Try including mood boosting ingredients such as squash, sweet potatoes, and eggplant while incorporating spices such as turmeric and cinnamon. Have you ever tried making a slow cooked roast chicken? This recipe is easy, and absolutely delicious! Remember to incorporate low glycemic, slow release alternatives whenever possible, especially when it comes to snacking. This low GI sweet potato and lentil soup is delicious, and makes a wonderful lunch!
- Stay Active
Studies show 60 minutes of physical activity per day is just as effective at fighting off seasonal affective disorders as light therapy lamps. Grab a friend (four-legged included!) and take a walk around your neighborhood. Visit a local YMCA and go for a swim, or take part in a beginner’s yoga class. Take advantage of a three day free trial with our friends at Goodlife Fitness. Head up to your local ski hill and hit the snowshoe trails. It is a great cardio workout! Some communities even offer Nordic trails for snowshoe and cross country ski enthusiasts by donation, so be sure to check with your local tourism office to see what is available in your area.
- Brighten Up Your Wardrobe
The winter months are dark enough, so dig through your closet and dust off those bright, summer prints!Wearing colours such as green, purple, yellow, orange and pink may help keep your spirits cheery and bright.
- Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Make up for the lack of sunlight during the winter months by taking a vitamin D supplement. Check with your local pharmacist as to which type, brand and dose is right for you.
- Organize Yourself and Your Home
Start the new year off with a clean slate. Declutter your home by donating or selling items you no longer use.Then, organize what’s left! Is your closet bursting at the seams? If you’ve never heard of a capsule wardrobe, check it out here.