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How to Beat the Winter Blues

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is type of depression. Also known as the winter blues. It happens during certain seasons of the year—most often fall or winter. It is thought that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain leading to symptoms of depression.

But the end is in sight for us. Today marks February 29th, a leap year. And a sign of longer, sunnier days to come.

But until the sun is back and the days are warmer, what can we do for ourselves to help tackle winter blues?

Here are some tips to make your winter blues a bit brighter:

  • Supplement with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk of depression. Find my favorite Vitamin D supplement here! 
  • Get as much light exposure as you can.. Spending time outside or near a window can help relieve symptoms.
  • Light therapy. If increasing sunlight is not possible, exposure to a special light for a specific amount of time each day may help.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise causes your brain to release ‘feel good’ chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that help improve your mood. It also improves your fitness, which can help lift your mood. Doing physical activity can also distract you from negative thought patterns
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. A varied, healthy diet improves your memory, concentration and can even increase your level of optimism and protect you from depression
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Do things that make you feel better. Going to a movie, gardening, or taking part in religious, social, or other activities may help. Doing something nice for someone else can also help you feel better.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you start to suffer depression during the winter, many people do. Take back control and bring back some happiness to your SADness.

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