Living in a state where winter takes up half the year is pretty freaking hard. Especially if you struggle with the winter blues, more formally known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. For the past several years I have experienced a shift in my mental health every winter. I didn’t realize until recently that this occurrence is very common in states that have a long and dark winter.
Winter of 2019-2020 was particularly difficult for me because I went through a deep depression. The things that went through my head were honestly scary. I believe that the winter blues combined with the fact that I was in my first trimester of my second pregnancy, contributed greatly to this depression.
I wrote a blog post last year about this same topic, which you can find HERE. But the article you’re reading now offers additional tips!
By the way, this article contains affiliate links, so if you purchase through my links I get a small commission!
Try light therapy with a light like THIS ONE. During winter we get a lot less sunlight than in the Summer. It gets darker earlier, and even during the day the sun doesn’t always shine. These lights mimic the brightness of a sunny day. You can have it on next to you while you get ready in the morning, when you’re sitting and eating, or on your desk while you’re working. Light therapy can also help with sleep issues!
Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. The science behind the winter blues has a lot to do with the natural Vitamin D that we get from the sun. As I mentioned above, we don’t get nearly enough sunlight during winter and that means that we also aren’t getting as much Vitamin D. The sun is the absolute best source for Vitamin D. You can take a supplement, or you can also focus on consuming vitamin D rich foods like pasture raised eggs, pasture raised butter, grass fed beef, and salmon. Studies show that a large number of people are Vitamin D deficient. The best way to know for sure is to get a blood test. If you want a really awesome Vitamin D supplement, check out MARY RUTH’S! If you purchase through my link I get a commission!
Winter Bucket List
Make a winter bucket list- If you give yourself something to look forward to, and keep yourself busy, you can keep your spirits up more than if you were just planning on sitting at home watching TV all winter. Some of the things on my winter bucket list include baking cookies, going sledding, visiting the science museum in Boston (if COVID doesn’t interfere), and redoing the kitchen with my fiance!
Nutrition for mental health
Pay close attention to what you consume! Food plays a big role in how we feel and how much daily energy we have. This is one of the major changes I made last winter that I believe helped me come out of the depression I had. I have done, and continue to do, a lot of reading and research about the food and mood/energy/brain connection! I have a $10 E-book all abut getting started on your nutrition for improved mental wellness! You can find it HERE! I promise you will learn so much!
That’s about it folks! Like I said, I have a post that I wrote last year, which you can find HERE, with more suggestions for dealing with the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder!
Go check out my @foodbyiva for meal ideas, and a smorgasbord of food, nutrition, health and wellness!