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10 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

In the last few days when the weather in the Northeast has been nothing short of brutal, I did not leave my house except to drive my kids to school and soccer. And even then I never got out of my nice, warm car. Perhaps it is not a full-blown case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I am what they call a “winter hermit.”

With the weather screaming “stay inside,” it is not uncommon for people to become a little down. The short days and bitter temperatures may reduce your energy levels, making you feel less chipper than usual.

Rather than just enduring the annual winter blues, you can take several steps to maintain your happy attitude year-around. Here are 10 natural remedies for the winter blues:

 

  • Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues 1 of 11
    Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    Avoid the winter blues this year with these simple and natural ideas.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Keep exercising. 2 of 11
    Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    Moderate regular exercise not only treats depression, but studies show it can help prevent depression too. Whether you prefer to work out in the gym or get your steps in at home, keep on moving during those winter months.

  • Get outside! 3 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the WInter Blues

    Okay, so maybe you are not a huge fan of snow or the cold winter weather, but that does not mean you can't have fun and burn some calories too! Getting out there and playing can lift your spirits. Here are 8 fun winter activities that double as workouts.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Watch your sugar intake. 4 of 11
    Watch your sugar intake

    Drinking sweetened beverages is linked to an increased risk of depression in adults. People who drank significant amounts of soda or sweetened drinks (such as fruit punch) per day are more likely to develop depression than those who consume non-sweetened drinks.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Stay on track. 5 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    Eating a healthy diet has been linked to a lower risk of depression. Keep eating your fruits and veggies, as well as those whole grains and lean proteins. And in case you haven't heard, a Mediterranean diet has also been shown to lower symptoms of depression.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Resist the fast food drive thru. 6 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    There is so much more of a temptation to hit the drive-thru so you do not have to get out of your car in the freezing cold. However, while research shows that a healthy diet lowers risk of depression, it also shows a strong link between fast food and depression. So if you are prone to a bit of seasonal depression in winter, you may want to avoid fast food overload.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Shine the light. 7 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    Serotonin is a vital chemical in the brain that lifts our spirits, and we naturally make more serotonin on sunnier days. During the daytime, open the shades. On those days when it is just too darn cold to spend much time outdoors, at least you can let the sun shine in!

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Consider supplementing your diet. 8 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    If you do not have a well-rounded diet and are prone to seasonal depression, you might want to consider taking a supplement. Studies show that a lack of Vitamin B-12, folic acid, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to an increase in depression.

     

    Consider speaking with your doctor or pharmacist before taking supplements to ensure that they do not conflict with any current medications or concerns.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Use essential oils. 9 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    There is little research on essential oils, but many users swear by their results. Common oils used for depression include peppermint oil, grapefruit, and lavender. Christine Young at From Dates to Diapers just published this terrific post about conquering anxiety and depression with essential oils.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Have a glass of wine. 10 of 11
    Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    No kidding. Drinking wine in moderation may help to lower one's risk of becoming depressed. Be sure to proceed with caution and remember the term "moderation." No binge drinking in the name of winter!

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

  • Get cozy. 11 of 11
    9 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

    Just because you are indoors more often in winter time, it does not mean you can't use the time wisely. Cuddle up with your loved ones. Enjoy a new book. Light the fireplace. Make a huge pot of yummy soup. Shhhh. I think your sofa is calling.

     

    (Image source: Morguefile.com)

 

Jessica also recently wrote:
Practical Tips for Mindful Eating
Shop Healthier! 13 Common Food Labels, Decoded
Virtual Training via Skype: The Next Big Fitness Trend?
Love TV? Binge Watch Your Way to Fitness
8 Winter Activities that Really Burn Calories
9 Simple Ways to be Kinder to Your Body in 2014

Read more from Jessica at FoundtheMarbles.com.  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

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