I read this article and I thought it would be pertinent to all of us lucky people who live in the cold and darkness and need a boost at this time of year.
It may be gloomy outside, but your outlook doesn’t have to be. “”There are simple things you can do to stay positive,” according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and author of “The How of Happiness”. Of course she lives in sunny Southern California, probably easier for her to feel brighter this time of year than most of us cold country Minnesotans.
It’s important to keep your mood up she says, because it can help you avoid everything from gaining extra pounds to feeling lethargic.” Try these techniques to stay sunny all winter long, no trip to the Bahamas required! Not sure I buy that but as I talk to my travel agent I am also noticing that the article has some really good points.
1. Winterize your workout; consider braving the elements: Research shows that exercising outside can lift your spirits, so dress for winter stay warm and get outside! Having said that, if the weather just won’t cooperate, keep a go-to exercise DVD on hand or some great dancing music and shake your booty up in the comfort of your own home.
2.Eat your way upbeat; Try to resist the call of fried/fatty, sugary comfort fare. Highly refined carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which can leave you feeling cranky. Whereas other comfort foods, can double as healthy pick-me-ups, especially if they contain mood-boosting nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, good carbohydrates-think whole grains, legumes and vegetables, protein, and B vitamins.
3. See the light ; A lack of vitamin D could be to blame for your dim view. Your body produces D which has been shown to help regulate mood when your skin is exposed to UVB light. In the winter, the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough in the northern half of the United States to power D production. Ask your doc for a simple blood test to see if you’re deficient, and talk to him/her about taking a supplement if you are.
Beyond the D factor, sunlight increases levels of serotonin and also works to suppress melatonin, a chemical that makes you drowsy, explains Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues. To get your fill, consider investing in a light box, which can help combat sluggishness. And be sure to pop outside whenever you do spot some rays.
For more winter pick me up ideas, check out this article