If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve noticed that winter often brings a touch of loneliness, sadness, or lethargy. And in some people, these “winter blues” can morph into a full-blown depression, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Unfortunately, the symptoms of SAD can cause you to withdraw and lose interest in things that were important to you, such as your weight loss plan.
The interesting thing is that your weight loss plan can actually prevent depression! So if you stick to your routine, you can prevent the very thing that might interfere with your routine. It sounds like circular logic, but it’s true!
Now more than ever, you need to combat depression. So as winter continues, remember these four steps to keep your mood uplifted and stack on track toward your goals.
Get enough sunlight. The winter blues are caused by lower levels of sunlight, so the “cure” might seem fairly obvious. Make an effort to get outdoors more than usual, and consider sitting under a UV light in your home or office. Yes, you might feel a bit like a lizard basking under a lamp, but it really works! Just remember to mimic the natural cycles of daylight; don’t sit under your UV light at 11 pm or you might have trouble sleeping.
Exercise. Exercise is the most natural mood-booster we have at our disposal. Any exercise at all will release endorphins that energize you and help you to feel a bit happier. So if you don’t have time to hit the gym, get up and walk on your lunch break, do some jumping jacks, perform squats at your desk, or otherwise get your blood pumping for a few minutes. Every little bit counts.
A healthy diet. Now is not the time to stray from your eating plan. Focus on filling fiber, protein that helps to stabilize blood sugar, and omega-3 fatty acids that can boost mood. Avoid sugar and white flour, which trigger energy spikes and crashes.
Socialize. Sometimes the best way to boost our mood is to talk to a friend or even a stranger. Remember to make eye contact, smile at people around you, and offer a few kind words. What you get back in return will help you to feel more connected, and can be surprising.
Of course, if you’re concerned that your weight loss plan is suffering from recent mood swings, give us a call right away. We can offer the support you need to get back on track.