As the temperature drops and the weather becomes a little bleaker, many individuals start suffering from fatigue. Whether it’s due to chronic fatigue or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as many as 60% of Americans suffer from winter depression or SAD.
Even if your fatigue or seasonal depression is mild, taking these four easy steps can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health during the chilly months:
- Soak Up the Sun
Of course, you can’t sunbathe on the beach in December, but you can open your blinds and allow sunlight into your home. Sunlight is important to your mental health as it stimulates the production of Vitamin D in your body.
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Researchers believe that sleep and immunity are directly related. By sticking to a regular sleep schedule, you can promote your body’s natural defenses against illness. Fatigue, from a lack of sleep, can also lead to illness and depression.
- Pump Up Your Protein
During the winter, lean proteins (like chicken and fish) and complex carbohydrates (such as whole grain breads and beans) can help you gain long-lasting energy. To avoid the sugar energy drop (which often leaves you feeling even more fatigued) avoid too much sugar from holiday treats.
- Try to Unwind
Stress is difficult to avoid during the holiday season. To combat your natural stress levels, try to find activities that help relax you. Hit the gym, schedule some appointments with a personal trainer, schedule a quick massage, or explore meditation.
This time of year can be exhausting for a variety of reasons. The holidays, the weather, and other stresses can take a physical and mental toll on your body. But a few positive lifestyle changes, including a well-balanced diet and immune system support, can help you feel more energized and healthy throughout the season. If you think you need more help, your primary care physician may be able to recommend a nutritional supplement to help boost your immune system and lessen your symptoms of fatigue.