Did you notice when you woke up this morning that the sun hadn’t come up yet? It won’t be long before we leave for work in the dark and arrive home in the dark. The lack of sunlight during winter months in Vancouver puts many people at risk for developing Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD). In a survey released in April by Statistics Canada, in 33 cities in Canada Vancouver ranked the LOWEST in life satisfaction! (http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/04/vancouver-unhappiest-city-canada-life-satisfaction-survey/)
If you noticed the weather effected your mood last year or if you are at risk for developing SAD now is the time to start thinking about boosting your mood and preventing the blues this year! Here are a few tips to help you stay happy and healthy this winter:
- Get outside: The effect of mood is actually not altered by the seasons but by at the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. Living in a dark city like Vancouver in the winter our exposure to sunlight is limited leading to increased risk of depression during darker months. Getting outside for 30 – 60 minutes a day during daylight hours helps stimulate the release of hormones that help you feel happy.
- Bring the light inside: If you need a little extra light or just can’t make it out side every day, you can bring the light to you. Mood lamps are a great way to stimulate (although artificially) the release of those happy hormones. A 10,000 lux mood lamp will only require 30 minutes of exposure a day to make a difference
- Vitamin D: Start now! Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is directly implicated in increased risk of developing SAD and depression. Supplementing with Vitamin D orally or intramuscularly is a great way to prevent sadness but don’t wait, start now.
- Exercise: Daily exercise is an important part of helping prevent depression and SAD. 30 minutes 5 times a week or 60 minutes 3 days a week is enough exercise to keep happy hormones high and help stave off the blues.
- Diet: If you are prone to low mood in the winter it is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant. Reducing alcohol consumption in the fall and winter will make a big impact on your mood. Also, increasing fresh, whole food like fruit, veggies and proteins that are nutrient packed and filled with the building blocks your body needs to feel great all winter.
If you or someone you know is affected by the winter blues book now to talk about the treatment plan that you need to help you feel healthy and happy all winter!
To book with Dr. Rootes call 604-974-8999 or book online at www.theIV.ca