5 Ways to Fight off the Winter Blues
Cold weather, difficult resolutions, heavy foods and shorter days can all add up to feeling overwhelmed and drained. While this is a common feeling for many, it does not have to be your reality. Winter is a great time to reflect on how your life is going and what changes you want to make in the next year. With intentional planning, it can also be a time to rest and spend time with those you love.
With that being said, here are 5 ways to help you get out of your winter blues.
Number 1: Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
While you are probably tired of hearing me talk about anti-inflammatory diets over and over again, it is with good reason. While there is no “perfect diet” for everyone, virtually every nutritionist can agree that a diet aiming to lower your ongoing inflammatory response is considered the “gold standard”. Regarding your mood in the winter, an anti-inflammatory diet has shown in a few recent studies to work favorably with certain neurotransmitters that regulate mood, showing results in as little as a few months*.
Number 2: Boost your BDNF naturally
Now I know what you might be thinking - what is BDNF? It stands for Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor and is key in supporting mood*. When BDNF is low, there is a higher chance of low mood outcomes*. Some ways to increase this include aerobic exercise, stress support, stabilizing your blood sugar and a diet rich in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol and turmeric*.
Number 3: Use light therapy
We have evolved with the sun*. There is no way around it*. Without the sun, existence is not possible. This energy and light source can also have a strong impact on the health of your brain, specifically the neurotransmitters that influence mood*. With shorter days and longer nights, as well as the cold weather, it is difficult to get the needed sunlight to live well*. That is where something like a lamp that mimics sunlight can come in handy*.
Number 4: Focus on serotonin production
While serotonin is widely known for supporting sleep habits due to its conversion to melatonin, it is also key in supporting your mood and your “feel good” vibes*. To increase serotonin, you can follow similar advice for increasing BDNF, such as engaging in exercise, stress reduction, and eating a balanced diet*. To increase serotonin specifically, you will need to prioritize your gut heath, as up to 95% of serotonin is created by the bacteria located there*.
Number 5: Work with a practitioner that can take a holistic approach in your care
Just as you are unique, so is your personal plan for healing and finding balance in your body*. When working from a holistic approach, a practitioner may assess your diet, digestion abilities, lifestyle, medications, supplements, or even run labs to determine imbalances and blocked pathways*. When necessary, they may refer you to additional specialists so that you have a team of support in your health journey.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.