By: Guyanese Fit Chick, Certified Fitness Instructor, Registered Practical Nurse(specialized in Mental Health)
Living in Canada means adjusting to the four distinct seasons that the country experiences. Summer is a time when people enjoy their backyard pools, barbeques, and trips to the beach. This season typically runs from June to August. As Fall approaches, temperatures begin to drop, and by November, leaves begin to fall off the trees. In December, snow starts to fall due to the dropping temperatures, and in January, the sub-zero temperatures can affect people's moods, behaviors, cognitive thinking, motivation, and even body size. Some people may experience the Winter blues or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during this time.
What is Winter blues?
Winter blues is a low level of sadness lasting through the Winter months. It can take
over your physical and mental health.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is when you feel depressed when the season changes. This can happen during the Fall, Winter, and even Summer.
Difference between Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Sadness during fall and Winter months.
Lack of motivation
SAD (Seasonal Affection Disorder)
Severe sadness during the Fall and Winter months
Frequent sleep and eating issues
Depression that limits normal functioning and motivation
Here are some helpful tips to get you through your Winter blues
Take a break from the News
Taking a break from watching television. Watching the News sometimes can create your mood to become lower and your social media feed could have tons of drama situation. So take a break the tube and start taking short little walks outside, enjoying the fresh air that can clear your mind and lift your spirits.
Enriched your diet with Vitamin D and Protein
Foods that are high in Vitamin D help decrease the risk of depression and weight loss. Start introducing fish oils, yogurt, milk, and breakfast cereal to help balance your moods. Don't forget to add proteins to every meal.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important to your body. When you sleep you are allowing your brain and your body to recover what it has gone through the day to give your a clear mind and strong body for the next day
Watch this video below are more insight:
Create a 30 to 60 minutes physical activities
Doing exercise during the Winter months will not only boost your motivation and energy level. Exercise is a great way to lift your spirits. try short-duration workouts to keep you motivated and help maintain your energy, Workouts that are 20 minutes in length are very effective. Set your timer to short intervals your mind and balance your moods giving you clarity,
Example of a workout during the Winter
Indoor Cycling: https://www.facebook.com/reel/1094987375260702
Weight Training: https://fb.watch/pNl5s9ZG60/
Surround yourself with a positive support system
Everyone needs to have someone they can confide in. A strong and positive support network plays a crucial role in overcoming difficult times by simply lending an ear and providing comfort.
The presence of sunshine brings joy to everyone, as it has the power to alter people's emotions and mindsets, making them more positive and motivated.
Light therapy, a widely recognized treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), effectively enhances alertness, energy, concentration, and overall happiness.
Seeking medical attention for your mood disorders
If you require it, seek medical attention for severe Winter Blues or SAD. Receiving the correct guidance will provide you with reassurance and a sense of calm.
Low levels of Serotonin are often associated with depression, as it is the hormone responsible for regulating feelings of happiness, similar to the post-workout high. Serotonin is a naturally occurring substance found in both the body and the brain.
If your Serotonin levels are low, your GP may prescribe SSRI(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) medication such as Zoloft or Pazil to help regulate it.
It is of utmost importance to prioritize self-care in the Winter season.
Make sure to dedicate enough time to take care of yourself.
For additional information on maintaining your mental health, please refer to the tips provided by CAMH - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.