They may have already grabbed you. For some, it doesn’t set in until February. For others, the Christmas holidays are tough to get through. The ‘winter blues’ can happen to any of us. And it’s no surprise. The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and even those of us who enjoy winter activities probably aren’t as active as we are in the summer. The holiday and winter blues can be mild forms of a diagnosable condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you’re generally feeling down, listless and unmotivated at this time of year, its likely the winter blues.
However, if your symptoms affect your day-to-day life, like trouble sleeping; weight gain; and ongoing sadness, guilt and/or depression; then you may have SAD and should consult your family doctor or a mental health professional.
4 Ways to Stop the Blues Before They Begin
If you’ve experienced the winter or holiday blues before and want to avoid them, start right now. Try one or more of the following suggestions, which have been linked to improvements in the symptoms of the winter blues.
- Get a Massage – Massage therapy has been shown to deliver a one-two punch to the winter blues. First, it lowers levels of cortisol, which is your body’s main stress-producing hormone. Second, it increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that can help boost your mood and emotional wellbeing.
- Try an Acupuncture Treatment – Also linked to increases in dopamine and serotonin, acupuncture can reduce pain and discomfort throughout your body too.
- Increase Your Activity Levels – Exercise that increases your heart rate can give you a shot of endorphins. They are responsible for the ‘high’ many people feel after a good workout.
- Get Outside – Yes, it’s cold out there, but there is evidence that simply being in the cold can increase blood flow and trigger endorphin production. And sunlight increases your body’s levels of vitamin D, which works like an antidepressant to improve your mood.
To learn more about beating the winter blues, or to find to set an appointment for acupuncture or massage therapy treatments in Markham, get in touch with us here at Active Health Centre.
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