HUMP DAY: EMBRACING THE WINTER TO BEAT THE BLUES
Oswego’s winter comes in strong, for the bitter cold has the harsh winds to accompany it. Once it gets cold here, it seems as though it is cold forever. Unfortunately, there exists such a thing, called, the “winter blues”, in which people may experience mild depression, in addition with some other symptoms. However, you can prevent these winter blues and stop them in their tracks by embracing this season of white!
Exercise is key. You will maintain your weight and stay on your healthy flow. Exercising will help you release some stress that you have built up, and you do not even have to leave your house! The results of a good homemade workout can last many hours, even after you have showered. It is guaranteed that you will have an increase of energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will be on point too. Exercise connects to your mind because those “feel good” body chemicals will do its work and change your frown into a smile.
To complement your exercise, follow up with a healthy diet. What you consume throughout the day has an influence on your mood and energy level. Challenge yourself to avoid junk foods because they do not give your body any type of nutrition. Instead, try to include foods, such as: fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. Plus, make sure you are keeping hydrated with plenty of water. With such a healthy lifestyle, you will bring upon yourself a healthy mind.
Go outside and get some Vitamin D in the form of sunlight. Since the winter months are shorter and darker than any other month, it is important that you spend some time outside. Vitamin D is known to improve moods, which is good for those who are feeling down. A little step to take is to open up your blinds to the sun to let the light shine in upon your beautiful life.
Avoid drinking heavily. Alcohol is a depressant, which worsens any mood. Thus, turning away from alcohol when you are already feeling low is a great step. Legally drinking in moderation will not do harm for most people, but binge drinking will. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women. It is not a healthy choice because the next day you will definitely not feel well.
Pamper yourself once in awhile. When you have something to look forward to, it can elevate your motivation. For instance, if you plan a get together with friends, your mood will be improved due to the anticipation. In addition, it is good to be surrounded by the people you love. Receiving support from your loved ones can empower you on your life’s journey, and we all need that throughout every season.
Please keep in mind that when you feel like you need to relax, do relax. Allow yourself some time to just do absolutely nothing, or do a simple hobby, like reading or listening to music. Additionally, catching up on some zzz’s is ideal. Try to consistently get about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. (Include a ten to thirty minute naps throughout the day to boost up your energy., and avoid oversleeping because that will drain your energy.) Chilling out for a moment can reduce your stress and leave you at a calm energy level. Furthermore, it produces a positive mentality, which is key to when you are experiencing depression.
Lastly, embrace the winter season!!! Work with the weather instead of avoiding it. Winter brings some of the best activities and sports. For example, you can ice skate, snowboard, play hockey, or sled. Take the time to enjoy this opportunity of fun because once the snow starts to melt it is something else…Again, being active will change your negative mood into a positive one, and you will be in the winter spirit! 😀
Researched and Written by: Angelica Perez, Peer Educator