Work on your mental health this winter: three ways to beat the winter blahs
The rainy season has set in hard in Oregon. This dreary time, combined with no immediate prospects of vacationing, is causing everyone to feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder – or SAD. SAD is the clinical term for the depressing jag you can fall into when you don’t get enough sunshine, exercise, and positive social interaction.
Working on your mental health during the long, blah, winter months takes everyday effort. Try these three ways to feel better today.
Embrace the weather and just get outside. Exercise can work just as well as an antidepressant in fighting mild to moderate depression. If you can, check out a new winter activity like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Or, simply get those muck boots on and hit any number of local trails.
We’ve put together a series of stretching videos for those who don’t want to brave the weather. Find them on our Instagram at @tpc_portland under our IGTV.
The winter is an excellent time to embrace slowness and nurture your spirit. In Denmark, where they experience one of the longest winters around, they call this hygge. Loosely translated as “coziness,” hygge is all about embracing the good, slow, things in life. Light a fire, wear comfortable clothes, and curl up with a good book.
Bright light has been proven to help people diagnosed with SAD. A lightbox that produces a full spectrum of light at a high enough intensity can help regulate your body’s natural rhythms, improving your mood.
With these simple steps, you should find yourself with more energy to get up and face even the shortest days. But remember, if your depression symptoms are severe or persistent despite your best efforts, seek professional help.
By Dr. Bryen A. Bell, a Board-Certified Chiropractic Physician with over 20 years of professional experience. Contact Dr. Bell at True Potential Chiropractic family care facility. Call 503-574-4872 or visit tpcportland.com.