You wake up feeling fresh—you’re ready to take on the day. You have a sunny disposition and nothing can stop you. And then you open the curtains. Rain, wind, dark grey skies. It’s a dreary day here in the beginning of February.
We all know this kind of day and the feeling it brings. Seasonal depression is a real struggle. And that cheery colleague with the “Someone’s got a cause of the Mondays” cup isn’t helping. But thankfully the days of going to work and coming home in the dark are almost behind us. It’s staying lighter out longer and the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds more frequently.
But while Mother Nature continues to test our emotions, here are a few wellness tips to help you shake the winter blues.
Eat good healthy food, always
Sad ice cream. Comforting carbs. Many people crave unhealthy food when they’re feeling down in the winter. But they aren’t long-term helpers for your health or mental wellbeing. You’re much better off with hearty soups and stews, if you’re craving something heavy, but good for you. A good diet and well-balanced nutrition is key to weathering any storm.
In fact, tryptophan is a natural amino acid that acts like a natural mood regulator. It promotes better, more sound sleeps, improves energy levels and calms your nerves. Foods that are high in fiber, protein, riboflavin and vitamin B6 tend to contain high amounts of tryptophan. Fish, eggs, meat, whole grains, veggies, legumes, bananas, chocolate and nuts are all high in tryptophan. So before you ditch the diet because the weather has you down, consider eating good food to help lift your mood.
Get moving and get outside (when you can)
Physical activity—especially if it’s outdoors—is so good for your mental wellbeing. If you live close to your office, bundle up and walk to work. If you have a short bus and then a long train ride, do the same and skip the bus. Go for a brisk walk in nature in the morning or on the weekend. If the sun pokes out from behind a cloud, take your next meeting outside and insist a walk. Some of the best ideas often come during exercise. Get your heartrate up and get your endorphins going. If you have a favorite workout routine, roll out of bed and do it. You’ll feel so much better afterward, we promise.
Force yourself to be social
Staying connected to your friends, family, loved ones and even colleagues is essential for mental wellbeing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to that dreaded party, but maybe it means eating lunch with your colleagues or snuggling up with a loved one and a good book. Playing a board game with friends. Trying out new local restaurants for dinner, you name it. Reaching out to people even in small ways, such a text, email or phone call helps. Grab a tea with a friend and share a laugh or a cry. It’ll do wonders to break the rain cloud overhead.
Brighten up your living and work spaces
Natural light helps brighten your mood, literally. Some people use SAD lights in their common and workspaces to get some vitamin D, simulate the sun and brighten their mood. But also, why leave your favorite items at home if you’re spending most of your time in the office? Bring your favorite items to work and surround yourself with them. For instance, I have a favorite hand cream that smells of lavender, mint and all things fresh. It lifts my mood when I put it on. I also have my favorite teas and cup with me at all times. I even carry essential oils on me to boost positive energy or reduce stress with aromatherapy.
Do what makes you happy
I was going to say to take some time away from your phones and computers, but perhaps surfing the net or playing online games in your free time makes you happy. Set aside some time in your day or week to do whatever lifts your mood. Some people get their energy from others, so they love being around people, socializing and doing activities and hobbies together. And some people get energy from being alone, so having a warm bath, reading a good book and sitting by a cozy fire helps them. You know yourself best. Do what makes you happy.
Seasons come and go, often bringing new challenges with them. All we can do is find our wellness balance and seek happiness. Here at Foodee, we help you find better work-life balance by bringing good, healthy and local food to you. Because sometimes the best way to your heart is through your stomach.