Do You Have the Winter Blues?

Are you still in hibernation mode? That’s OK. Everyone knows it feels better to cuddle up now, watch a movie, and drink a warm, frothy beverage when it’s cold outside or during your chilly rainy season.

Many of us are feeling lethargic, fatigued, moody and maybe just a little bit lazy. Also, those thick woolly sweaters can hide your errant holiday resolutions.

Why is Your Bad Mood Not Going Away?

Signs of low winter mood can include:

  • Negative or guilty thoughts
  • Mental fogginess
  • Purposefully avoiding social interaction
  • Overeating and emotionally eating
  • Periods of starving and bingeing
  • Difficulty with concentration and memory

Because most people write off these signs and behaviors as “just being down,” they don’t take proper care of themselves; they don’t believe they need to do anything about it.

What Causes The Need to Hibernate?

A variety of things can alter or change your cold-weather mood, but there are a few distinct reasons why a change in climate can be responsible for – or the catalyst for – your shift into bad moods.

Decrease in Serotonin Activity

As the weather changes, and your ordinary schedule is thrown for a loop, your brain’s serotonin activity can decrease. As the brain neurotransmitter that plays a majority role in mood, serotonin falloff often is correlated to an upsurge in negative mood.

Fluctuations in Melatonin Activity 

This hormone provides your body with normal sleep cycles, and ebbs (and flows) can affect your mood. When sudden drops in this hormone occur, mood and sleep can get out of sync and contribute to mood swings. If your melatonin activity is out of balance, a melatonin supplement may help you feel more balanced and clear.

Vitamin D Deficiency

When you’re spending less time in the sun, which is true for most people during the winter weather, we make less vitamin D in the skin. Low vitamin D is linked to low mood and higher perceptions of stress and anxiousness.

How Can You Get Rid of Your Winter Blues?

There are plenty of ways you can naturally boost your mood or help to alleviate the negative signs and feelings that come with the winter blues.

Many of the negative feelings of winter blues are believed to be tied to lack of sunshine and UV rays, which results in the skin producing less vitamin D. One popular, proactive remedy to offset the moody blues is a “bright-light therapy” lamp or light box, which for some people helps combat moodiness, jet lag, and mood swings. They simulate noontime sunshine without the UV rays that can cause skin cancers; and the therapy lamps have several different settings to help you avoid eyestrain.  

A more cost effective alternative is to make sure you’re by a window with as much natural light as possible, for at least 30 minutes each day.

Sweat to the Beat

Try to maintain a healthy diet that fuels your more active lifestyle. Ramp up your will-power and adopt a moderate daily exercise routine. Also, be sure to stick to these healthy habits in order to maintain more even moods and a sense of mind-body balance.

If you’re looking for a mood enhancing supplement, BrainMD’s Serotonin Mood Support and SAMe Mood & Movement 400 are both scientifically designed to support the brain mechanisms that promote positive mood and emotional balance during your hibernation months.