January is considered the most depressing month of the year. The days are short, the weather is cold and miserable, daylight is in short supply, not to mention the post-holiday blues. If you are like me, all you want to do is to curl up on your couch, eat comfort food, binge watch Netflix and dream of sun-soaked beaches.
Bad news: If you feel sad and lethargic during the shortest days of the year, you may have the winter blues. Add an excessive sleeping, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and weight gain to your symptoms, you may be actually suffering from elements of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), seasonal depression caused by the cold, dreary, dark months of winter.
Good news: It’s easily treatable. Whether it’s SAD or just a common case of the post-holiday blahs, there are some proven remedies that can have you feeling happier and more energetic fast.
Turn on more lights. Simply turning on extra lights in your house or office can help improve your mood. It’s not a coincidence that we associate darkness with depression. The days really are dark this time of year, so brighten up your space and your mood by letting in natural sunlight when possible and turning on the lights
Eat smarter. Certain foods, like chocolate (in moderation!) can help to enhance your mood and relieve anxiety. Eat fish and seafood that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Taking Omega-3 and Vitamin D supplements is also a great idea, as our levels are lower when the sun isn’t shining as often.
Move your body. Physical activity is crucial to avoiding and combating winter blues. Get involved in exercise, sports, or other forms of fun psychical activity (you know which one I’m talking about 😉 and you’ll get a natural high from the release of endorphins.
Turn up the tunes. Music has the power to soothe, centre moods and rejuvenate spirits. Music therapy can be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of disorders, including depression.
Stay social and laugh. Interacting with friends and family is just as important for our moods as working out at the gym or going for a run.
Plan a vacation. Dreaming of white sands and salty skin? The simple act of planning a holiday causes a significant increase in overall happiness.