During the winter months many clients come to see me for strategies to help them cope better with the seasonal blues. They start feeling down, less motivated, and on many occasions a little depressed.
Many of us start feeling this shift, especially since we start staying indoors more often with less exposure to sunlight. Sunlight and being outdoors helps to give us a dose of healthy vitamin D and of course naturally lift our moods.
So one of the first things I recommend to people is to be sure they are getting their daily intake of vitamin D from either supplements or food. We should aim for at least 600 IU daily of this sunlight nutrient. So, this would require between 4-6 servings daily of a tolerated milk or milk alternate fortified with vitamin D.
If you are like most people, many of us are far from reaching these daily intake levels. Other foods rich in this vitamin are fish, eggs and margarine.
To make things simple, it would be a good idea to supplement with a vitamin capsule, drops or with a balanced multivitamin containing 400-600 IU/dose. This will help top up your vitamin D levels, and if you choose to take a multi, your D and B vitamins will be kept in check.
Other important strategies to help the winter blues would include eating meals that supports healthy blood sugar levels. This means including a lean protein, a healthy fat and a healthy carb at your main meals. Be sure to include fish often for its active omega 3 fatty acids, and the vitamin D.
One of my favorite feel good meals would be baked salmon, with steamed wild rice and some grilled zucchini, easy to digest, rich in protein and healthy carbs, with some extra omega 3 s for the noggin.
Other beat the blues remedies include getting more active. Engage in more outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, walking, and or snow ball fights. Whatever gets you outdoors, with fresh air, some sunlight, and fun will definitely help.
When you move around and exercise more it helps counter stress and increases endorphins, the natural mood enhancers that are nature's gift for exercising.
Last but not least is to ensure that you are taking time to meet up with some good friends, or just simply doing some things that you love to do; but make time to schedule it in, you will be amazed at how soon you forget that the blues were even there.