Beating the Winter Blues
By: Josephine Cruz
Canada in the wintertime is absolutely stunning, but by this point in the season I have to admit I’m getting pretty sick of snow and subzero temperatures. I don’t ski or snowboard, so I really have nothing to look forward to during these 6 months (yes, in Calgary winter lasts for basically half the year) besides a lot of time spent indoors, enjoying the comforts of my home. And while the days are slowly getting longer, the nights are slowly getting shorter, and the weather is slowly improving, the reality is we still have a little ways to go before warmer temperatures come to our rescue. If you’re like me and susceptible to the winter blues, here’s a few things you can try to keep you from getting down over the next few months:
1.You are what you eat. Good old fashioned comfort food is the best when it’s cold outside – mac n cheese, baked potatoes and chicken pot pie are some of my favourites – but eating heavy or junky food too often makes me feel even more sluggish during winter months. Refined foods like sugar and white bread/rice are not only lacking in nutrients, they also bring your energy levels way down. Complex carbs such as whole grains, brown rice, veggies and fruit will give your mind and body the nutrients they need while stabilizing your blood sugar and energy levels.
2.Keep busy. Start a project or set out to learn a new skill. Having goals or milestones not only makes the time pass, it does so in a way that is useful and fun! A girlfriend of mine learned to crochet this winter and she and all her friends and family have new toques, mitts and scarves as a result.
3. Get some sun. I think most everyone knows that sunshine gives us vitamin D, which is great for our bodies for a variety of reasons. Luckily Calgary gets quite a bit of sunshine even when it’s cold, but even if you live somewhere that’s a little cloudier during the winter it can still be done. Sit near the window at school or while eating out at restaurants, or get a lamp with a full spectrum light bulb. These special light bulbs mimic natural light and can have the same affect as the real thing.
At the end of the day, it’s important to simply take care of yourself. Seasonal depression is a serious problem for a lot of people, so just know you’re not alone in feeling a little down around this time of year. If you feel you’re in a funk you just can’t get out of, be sure to seek the advice of a professional.
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