Beating the Winter Blues
SAD – seasonal affective disorder – a well-known documented phenomenon that occurs with change in season especially in winters owing to shorter & colder days. This time of year that has shorter days, less sunlight and heavier foods, all combine to create a less positive outlook and lower levels of serotonin – the mood changing/enhancing chemical.
Diet can be one of the many ways to boost this “serotonin” simply because carbs help to stimulate serotonins. But for weight watcher and diabetics it becomes tricky and they need to take precautions in case of sweets & simple carbs. Other than this caffeine poses to be “serotonin suppressant”.
So what needs to be done!
We need to eat wisely. Try some simple ways to uplift your spirits and improve your mood.
- Get some exercise, 20 minutes of walk/mild exercises can help to go long way to banishng stress and decrease depression. This will also ensure that you get daily dose of sunlight.
- Add proteins three times a day. Nuts, egg white omelette, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc help elevating moods.
- Important rule, eat atleast 4-5 portions of brightly colored veggies a day (they are slow releasing carbs).
- Try elimination white starchy foods like breads, rice, potatoes etc.
- Substitute chocolates, revari, gajak with fresh fruits.
- Swap your coffee for green tea. It contains about one-fourth of the amount of caffeine as coffee providing a mild mood elevation without depression.
- Popcorns also known as “timepass snacks” is a complex carb, it boosts serotonin and also provides sustained energy and feel good feeling.
- Make rest a priority and get enough hours of sleep. More than that try of stick to a routine-sleeping and rising at roughly the same time each day.
- Don’t forgot to drink plenty of water. It’s a basic necessity especially in winters when one doesn’t “feel like” drinking water. Drinking a glass of water over a “slump” always restores energy.
- And last, but not the least, timings are very important though quite individual, prefer small frequent meals.
So final take home message is eat regular healthy meal throughout. Don’t let yourself get too hungry in order to keep your mood and energy up especially when both the thermometer & mood are falling equally fast. There are many other ways also to alleviate “winter blues” like use of “essential oils” for massages. All said and done, it is also a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure you are in a good health.