Winters can be taxing on not only our bodies but also our minds. The shorter and colder days cause many of us to retreat and feel depleted the majority of the time. While many individuals feel alone in this, it is actually is a common struggle that is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder and it affects over 10 million Americans.
Caring for something like a pet or plants can also help us feel a sense of responsibility and love. Indoor plants bring nature indoors and caring for something small allows us to shift our attention elsewhere even if it is only for a few minutes. Embracing Hygge and bringing coziness indoors helps us feel a sense of warmth and togetherness. Turning on the fireplace, lighting candles, eating or baking a delicious treat, having thought-provoking conversations with loved ones, and reading can all help take our minds off of the gloomy weather.
Many physicians also believe that vitamin D deficiencies can further worsen the feelings of depression. It is easier to get our daily dose of vitamin D in warmer weather, but our bodies don’t get enough when we spend so much time indoors during the winter. Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining strong bones and strengthening our immune systems, but most importantly it protects our brains and boosts cognitive function. This has a direct correlation with how we feel mentally. Physicians can test for vitamin D deficiencies through simple lab work and often will recommend taking a vitamin D supplement from a company like Douglas Laboratories or Life Extension.