Wellness Wednesday: Winter Blues

Wellness Wednesday: Winter Blues

Winter is among us and whether or not you’re for or against the cold weather, as Canadians, winter is a part of what we go through every year. Besides, dealing with – 20° windchill, snow and/or ice, a major adjustment to the winter season is the fact that it gets darker sooner resulting in a greater decrease of sun exposure. On top of that, once November 3rd hits the clocks are reset to standard time, leaving us feeling as though the days are longer due to an added hour to our regular day.

Living in Canada, a place where we undergo the changing of seasons four times a year, it’s easy to get caught in a rut as a result of change being a regular thing making it hard to ever really adjust to something. Common in the colder months, “when sunlight levels are low” (Donatella et. al., 2018), we tend to find ourselves in a bit of a slum, commonly feeling “sluggish, sad, tired, and low in energy” (Mayo Clinic, 2017). In milder cases, known as Winter Blues, the sappy energy and moody feelings are “caused by the malfunction in the hypothalamus gland” (Donatella et. al., 2018), a component of the brain that is responsible for regulating responses to external stimuli. What that means is due to cold seasonal change the human reaction is slower followed by feelings of sadness and discomfort. 

Tips to cope with Winter Blues:

  • Light therapy (lamps that mimic sunlight) 
    • Fun Fact: Four days of daily light exposure, has 80% of individuals experience relief from Winter Blue symptoms 
  • Increase physical activity 
    • Attend a Fitness Class (dance, yoga, spin)
  • Sleep restrictions 
    • Limit numbers of hours slept in a 24h period that way you feel less drowsy throughout the day 
  • Aromatherapy 
    • Influence the area of the brain responsible for controlling mood, and body’s internal clock – influences sleep and appetite (Key Scents: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint)  

 

 

 

 

Written By: Bailie Norville 

Citations

Donatella, R., Froelich Chow, A., Kolen, A. (2018).  Health: The Basics, 7th Ed.  Pearson, North York, Toronto.

 Mayo Clinic. (2017, October 25). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Retrieved November 7, 2019, fromhttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651 

Orenstein, B. W. (2017, June 5). 12 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression Symptoms. Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/treatment/ways-to-ease-seasonal-depression/