The winter months in most of Canada can be depressing, to state the least. Day after day of bone-chilling temperatures, very little sun and all those necessary layers easily bump people off course and away from those new year’s resolutions- especially those that are food-focused or habit-oriented.
We naturally lean towards finding comfort in foods and destructive habits, that are often those we are trying to shake off. Many who suffer from depression indicate that winter is their most difficult season to cope. According to Healthline, there is a scientific reason for this. Rachel Nall, a registered nurse, shares what that is:
“Decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to major depression with seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye. Sunlight cues special areas in the retina, which triggers the release of serotonin. So, you’re more likely to experience this type of depression in the winter time, when the days are shorter.”
If a friend seems more blue than usual or you, yourself, are struggling with moodiness and a groggy disposition, you now know why. It’s not just in your head and there are ways to change this. Lack of sunshine and Vitamin D is the main cause, so ensure to take a Vitamin D capsule each day. Although the vitamin will assist you, the warmth and brightness of the natural sun has its benefits also. You can purchase a light therapy box to have at home. The box mimics the rays of the sun and gives that comforting feeling that the sun creates for us in warmer and brighter months.
Another way to ensure that your mood is elevated is to figuratively make your own sunshine by keeping yourself busy with activities you enjoy most, surrounding yourself with the people who bring joy into your life and by challenging yourself to do something new daily, or weekly. Take that spin class you have always wanted to, go for spa treatments more often, cook that recipe you have always intended to. And don’t just say you are going to, actually plan to by noting on your calendar a new activity you will do each day. It is my own experience that some form of exercise a few times a week, results in an uplifted mood- anything from taking daily walks to training for a marathon will have an impact on mood.
Above and beyond any new year’s resolutions you may have, staying healthy is primary. Often, dark days mean resorting to the behaviours that keep us addicted to a certain habit we are trying to break. Determine the best way to make your own sunshine- whether that be by way of fun activities, exciting new challenges, being more social or exercising more. Also, take those vitamins and then get back on track to reaching your goals and kicking any destructive habits you may be tempted to continue. Even more specifically, visit Vape4Change if you need counseling to make the change to vaping from smoking, or about any other addictions.