Beat The Winter Blues

Winter can bring the blues to many of us here in Michigan with shorter days, nasty weather, stressful driving and cabin fever.  The MediLodge Whole Person Wellness Program has some suggestions to help you beat those blues.

  • GET SOME SUN  Expose yourself to sunlight as early in the morning as you can. Sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood.  You want to maximize the number of hours you experience daylight.  One of the symptoms of winter blues is increased difficulty getting up in the morning. Putting a light on a timer and have it turn on before your alarm goes off will help simulate an artificial dawn.
  • EXERCISE  Exercise helps your ease your mind by releasing those “feel good chemicals” that improve your mood.  One hour of aerobic exercise outside has the same therapeutic effect as two and a half hours of light treatment indoors. This is because it raises serotonin levels which tend to get low when you have the winter blues.
  • GET PLENTY OF SLEEP  Aim for seven to eight hours each night and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. Don’t forget naps. A short ten to thirty minute afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize.
  • EAT HEALTHY  What and when you eat has an affect on your mood and energy. Healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize our blood sugar and energy levels.  A multiple vitamin may also help with energy levels.
  • DRESS WARM  Many people say they hate winter simple because they are cold all the time. Make sure your hands, feet and head are kept warm.  Wear an extra layer and thick socks.  Cuddle up under a cozy blanket in front of a roaring fire.
  • EMBRACE THE SEASON  Take up a winter activity. Do something fun that you look forward to.  Look at winter in a positive light.  Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, sledding or walking.  Winter does bring a lot of things that summer months do not have, like winter sports, snowball fights, snowmen, hot chocolate and roaring fires.
  • COZY UP YOUR HOME  Paint your walls a warm, vibrant color. Hang colorful pictures on your walls. Toss around whimsical pillows.  Put out some fresh flowers.
  • GET SOCIAL  Don’t underestimate the power of friends.  Something as simple as a phone call, chat over coffee, a nice email or letter to brighten the day.  Break out of your rut by doing something fun like wearing bright clothes, changing your hair style or reaching out to a lost friend.
  • TREAT YOURSELF  Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated.  When you plan something exciting, your mood improves.

 

The goal of the MediLodge Whole Person Wellness Program is to recognize the unique individuality of everyone.  This approach to wellness is an active process in which everyone is encouraged to make choices towards personal growth in seven dimensions of wellness:  physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational/vocational and financial.  Most workplace wellness programs focus entirely on physical health.  With a whole person wellness approach, the physical needs will not be downplayed, but will be held in equal importance as the dimensions that involve mind and spirit.  In whole person wellness a high priority is placed on prevention, individual involvement and the responsibility we each have for achieving optimal wellness of body, mind and spirit.

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