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Don’t Let Winter Get You Down
You don’t have to suffer from SAD—seasonal affective disorder— to have the winter in Boise get you down and depressed. It’s cold, it’s dark and sometimes, there’s no sunshine! Rather than laying on the couch covered with blankets and binge watching your favorite TV series, you can fight back and have fun at the same time. You do need to look at this time of year as an opportunity to learn new things or push yourself to new heights. That can actually be a lot of fun.
It’s always sunny in the gym.
Okay, that’s made up, but it did get your attention and going to the gym will make you feel better. Sometimes, just getting off the couch and taking charge is all you need to boost your mood. But if you go to the gym, you’ll get extra benefits. Exercise gets your blood circulating and boosts your energy level. It also burns off the hormones of stress and stimulates the brain to trigger ones that make you feel good. You won’t want to go home and back to the couch, unless you’re physically tired, not just mentally down and out. Going to the gym and working out is like having your own ray of sunshine on a cloudy day!
Embrace the outdoors.
There’s a lot to do in the winter in Boise that you simply can’t do in the summer. Enjoy it! It won’t last forever. Skiing at Sun Valley, tubing at Bogus Basin and even cross country skiing or snowshoeing can burn tons of calories while providing a lot of fun. Going for a walk at a local park can be fun. The Boise Parks and Recreation also has some fun winter activities, including ice skating, hockey, volleyball and basketball to keep you active.
Winter is a time to eat healthier.
Not every minute can be spent outside, loving the snow and cold weather. For those who prefer a warmer pastime, learning to eat healthier helps. Eating healthy can be a real boost to your mood. Lean protein, food high in Omega-3 fatty acids, foods high in folic acid, B-12 and vitamin D help boost your mood and keep you healthier in the winter. Berries help combat stress, while foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can lift your spirits. Cut out the sugar entirely during the winter. It may give you a boost out of a low, but before long, you’ll be right back where you were or even lower.
- Think about others. Taking the time to help others can be gratifying. Not only will other people benefit, you will too.
- Get off the couch and boogie. Turn up the tunes and dance your way to feeling good. It doesn’t have to be a formal dance, make it up as you go. Just move.
- Clean a room and get rid of the things you don’t need. During the winter months, people often hunker down and wait for “spring cleaning.” Start early and you’ll feel better as you clear your life of clutter.
- Keep moving. No matter what you do, don’t just sit under a cover trying to stay warm. The more you move, the warmer you’ll be. It’s one of the keys to surviving winter.