5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
by Henrike Müller - Yoga Therapist
A Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to change in seasons, with the symptoms for SAD usually staring to show in fall and continuing through winter.
Here are 5 tips on how to beat this winter blues:
Exercise and sports have been proven to be a perfect „antidepressant“.
A 2005 study by Harvard University states that only 25 minutes of daily exercise relieves depressive moods. Sunlight is the natural supplier of Vitamin D, so try to be outside as much as possible. The perfect scenario would be to exercise outside in daylight.
- Cozy Time
- Create a „top-ten“ feel-good-music-playlist. Every time you feel a bit down, listen to it.
- Read a good book.
- Take a cozy bath.
- Treat yourself to a massage or go to the sauna / steam bath.
- Watch an uplifting movie.
- Bake or cook and enjoy the smell of it.
- Do exactly that what is good for you and which positively influences your mood.
- Practice Mindfulness
Focus on the here and now. Be aware of your movements. This can be done with the help of Pranayma, a breathing exercise:
- Sit upright;
- the Spine should be straight and upright, Shoulders are relaxed, feet are in contact with the ground;
- your hands lay on your legs;
- breath in slowly through the nose - count 3 – and breath out through the mouth – count 6;
- feel how your ribcage lifts and expands;
- find your own breathing rhythm, just make sure that the exhalation is longer then the inhalation;
- try to do 5 to 10 breathing cycles, and if you like close your eyes.
When you’re done, let the breath flow naturally again. Close your eyes for a moment and feel the change in your body.
- Eat Healthy
Your diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose a great recipe and cook something healthy for yourself.
- Get Regular and Restful Sleep
A restful sleep is important for your mental and physical health. The average person needs around 7 hours sleep per night. So you might want to invest some time to find the right sleep / wake balance that works best for you.
It can be overwhelming to receive so much information about Yoga teachings and lifestyle advice and trying to integrate them all in our everyday life; plus, the fast rhythm in which our society is functioning is not very helpful either. However, it is crucial to understand that to fully benefit from the yogic practices and teachings, we cannot rush through a practice. (...)