by Emma Clark
Ahh, winter. Cue dry skin, staying inside, annnd… seasonal depression. Fun. If you live anywhere that has a brutal winter (like Toronto), you’re probably familiar with all of the above. Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder is a real thing, and our bodies typically don’t adjust the best to this particular change in season. Once the temperature drops and the hours of daily sunlight diminish, it’s easy to become susceptible to some not very fun changes in mood. Add on the stresses of daily life to this change in seasons, and things can get pretty all over the place.
The good news though, is that there are lots of options to help mitigate it. More time indoors also means more time for pampering yourself and practicing self-care. It can be helpful to make some changes to your daily routine as soon as it starts getting dark earlier Here’s a few to try if you’re experiencing the same thing:
- Invest in a happy light! These lights provide full-spectrum light that helps boost serotonin, just like sunlight does in the warmer months. Try using it every morning for about 20 minutes to help wake you up and maintain a circadian rhythm.
- Make your home a nice place to be – treat yourself to a new candle or blanket. These little additions can make getting through winter so much easier (and cozier!)
- Supplement with vitamin D to make up for the lack in sunlight. (Check with your doctor before doing this, of course!)
- Try infrared sauna – the extra dose of warmth and light are lovely in the winter months. Can also help aid sleep, improve fatigue, improve circulation, and clear skin! Is there anything an infrared sauna can’t do?
- Stay active! Get those endorphins pumping. Sometimes just walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes is enough to provide a pick-me-up when it’s too cold to be outside.