The change of seasons, the holidays, the end of the year’s pressure, and to top it all, gloomy weather – these can all lead to a change in your habits which could impact your dopamine level. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate, amongst others, mood, motivation, and attention. And this is why you could be experiencing the winter blues.
Even though this is a period that will pass, it is still important to take care of yourself, and we are here to back you up with a few tips that are easy to add to your routine and that can help you recapture your mental and physical balance.
First, exercise regularly! You aren’t a sporty person? No worries, just don’t underestimate the power of long walks. The feel-good given by physical activities helps ease stress and anxiety, and strengthen the immune system.
Seek the sun (and the sun will seek you). Even if it’s winter, don’t completely overrule the sun therapy. Even in this gloomiest season, the sun still makes some visits. Use this time to go outside and let the sun awaken your body and regulate your sleep-wake cycle. And always apply your sunscreen!
You also need to regulate your sleep. Getting too much or too little sleep can have an important effect on your moodiness, as well as your focus and thinking. Try to aim for a sleeping pattern of 7 to 8 hours each night. Waking up is never easy, but we can guarantee that you’ll feel refreshed!
Start a balanced diet. No one says you have to start an extremely healthy diet that never lasts more than a few weeks. It’s natural to crave sugary, fatty, and carbohydrate foods when feeling blue. They may give you a temporary feeling of satisfaction but moodiness and tiredness catch up and intensify eventually. Instead, try a diverse diet where you include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains to restore your energy levels. You can also boost your mood with some dopamine supplements like: probiotics, Ginkgo Biloba, curcumin, oregano oil, magnesium, vitamin D, and ginseng. We advise you to consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplements.
Surround yourself with people you love. Social interactions are important to boost your energy and encourage you to engage in things you enjoy to lift up your mood. Why don’t you ask a friend to be your gym partner or have a long walk with you?
And last but not least, practice relaxation techniques to ease the anxiety and tensions in your body. You can start with 5 minutes of meditation per day. It may sound little, but it does help to improve your mood.
Feeling overwhelmed? Start with tiny changes to make them habits. They will add up to big changes afterwards!