Being trapped indoors by a perpetual polar vortex might have you feeling a little blue. This winter has been exceptionally icy, snowy, salty, cold, and harsh; chances are good that your vitamin D levels are low and your levels of that feel-good-feel-happy-brain-chemical, serotonin, are even lower. Now, even if you’re feeling totally deep in a funk, I’ve got a few good ways to pull out of the miserable blues and into happier hues.
1. Boost your vitamin D: Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, and it tends to run a little low during the winter months. Ideally, you’ll get enough sun during the spring, summer and fall to get you through the bleak midwinter. If you’re low in D, you’re going to feel a little low, down and blue. While the best way to boost your D is to get more sun, sub-zero temperatures might keep you from basking in the rays. To boost your D, try a few foods rich in this important vitamin like eggs, salmon, tuna, swordfish, and shiitake mushrooms.
2. Get more light: Light is a great way to boost your levels of serotonin without antidepressants. I love the Verilux Happy Light. A few minutes in front of a happy light is clinically shown to reduce seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and beat back those winter blues.
3. Eat your omega-3s: These fabulous essential fats are known to improve mood. Incorporate more walnuts, cold-water fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), chia, hemp and ground flax.
4. Learn to love those leafy greens: Vitamin C found in green veggies is known to not only bolster your immune system but can also increase your energy and decrease anxiety.
5. Mount your amounts of magnesium: Magnesium can play an important role in mood management. Be sure to to fill your plate with foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, black beans and quinoa.
Don’t let your healthy motivations drop with the temperatures! Rock this winter. You can totally do it.