Punxsutawney Phil Proclaims Six More Weeks of Winter
Long winters can be especially challenging when days are gloomy, with little or no sunshine. Last month, we went more than eight days without the sunshine. And more gloomy days are expected over the next few months.
Winter gloom can get even the most optimistic person in a funk. But the cause may be more physical than emotional. Studies have shown that long gloomy winters can result in low levels of Vitamin D and may even lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
THE VITAMIN D LINK
A vitamin D deficiency can wreak havoc on your mood, sleep, and eating habits and may lead to more serious health problems over time.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms during winter.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO COMBAT WINTER BLUES
Looking for ways to combat winter gloom, we turned to our winter-loving friends in the far northeast – the Norwegians. In the following article published by FastCompany.com, Norwegians share some of the ways they deal with long winters. As gloomy as our weather is here in the Midwest, Norwegian winters are far worse. Yet Norwegians have fewer cases of (SAD) than Midwesterners do.
This Everyday Health article also has some great ideas to overcome winter blues.
STAY AS ACTIVE AS POSSIBLE
Most professionals agree that physical activity, a healthy diet, and social interaction are best for chasing the blues away, provided serious underlying depression issues are not overlooked.
WINTER GLOOM CAN CREEP UP ON YOU & YOUR FAMILY
Pay attention to yourself and your family. The best way to minimize winter blues includes early detection and a plan to offset the effects, should they arise. A late winter or early spring family vacation can do wonders to stave off cabin fever.
FOCUS ON HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Can’t take a vacation? Take on a home improvement project. Since you are home more during winter months, this could also be a great time to consider projects you may have put off. Not only will these projects keep you active, the time and money invested will no doubt increase the value of your home. Getting the whole family involved can be fun and generate memories that will last a lifetime.
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