Solving seasonal scaries and banishing blues

Winter is a beautiful season. Watching the snow fall outside your window as you curl up under a warm blanket is one of the best feelings in the world, and there are few things more entertaining than a snowball fight with your friends on a day off. This chilly season, however, isn’t all snowmen and hot chocolate. The cold has a way of taking a toll on many people’s health, both mental and physical.

Here are a few ways to keep yourself happy and healthy in the coming chilly days. Benefitting the brain Many people can relate to the feeling of grogginess and irritability that lingers throughout the winter months. It manifests itself differently in each person; striking some as simply cabin fever and the desire for warm weather, while others experience what is called “seasonal depression.” Preventing such mental states can be difficult, since we can’t change one of the main causes: weather.

It is possible, however, to take a few precautions that may be able to decrease negative symptoms caused by the climate.

One: Go outside. At first glance, this doesn’t make much sense. The reason we feel bad in the first place is because the weather isn’t great, so why spend more time in it? Actually, heading outdoors is a great way to alleviate the stress that builds up when we spend increased amounts of time trapped inside. Bundle up and take a brisk walk, embracing the fresh air and space to clear your mind that can’t be found cooped up indoors.

Two: Get moving. Taking a brisk walk outside is a great way to increase physical activity which in turn benefits mental well-being. Any kind of physical exercise releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins; the chemicals that are proven to reduce stress and trigger positive feelings. Not only can this benefit mental health, but it increases the strength of the immune system as well.

Benefitting the body

Colder weather is often associated very closely with sickness. The common cold is rampant during this season, as people are in closer quarters and viruses spread more easily amongst those trapped inside.

Many accept the fate of a cold at one point or another throughout the season, but here are a few small things that may reduce the likelihood of you falling ill.

One: Take the time to sleep. Life doesn’t slow down during these chilly months, and for many it may become increasingly overwhelming and busy. Busyness leads to the sacrifice of sleep–a critical mistake for those wishing to remain healthy. Sleep is one of the most crucial components of a healthy immune system; cutting out just a few hours can be detrimental, so don’t slack on sleep.

Two: Tea. Lots of tea. This warm beverage has countless benefits on physical well-being. Any kind of tea will help to clear out your head if you’ve already got one. If you’re feeling a little stuffy, brew up a kettle and feel the warm steam chase away the cold.

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