February in Vancouver is enough to make anyone day dream about relocating to an arid and sunny local. For most of us, that day dream won’t become a reality, so in the mean time, when skies are grey we need to find other ways to cope with the winter blues. I’m sure the majority of you, like us, would query via Google, ‘natural ways to get out of the winter slump’ at least once a winter, so we’ve taken the liberty to compile some of our favourites.
Indulge in Massage Therapy
For decades, massage therapy has been associated with decreasing stress levels and mood improvement. There are countless articles out there explaining the ability that getting a massage has on decreasing stress and depression and improving those winter blues! Similar to working out, getting a massage can increase the brains production of endorphins, that are proven to get our moods dancing.
There are three main chemicals in our brains: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Massage therapy has been proven to have a marked effect on these levels, increasing the feel good chemicals and lowering stress hormones. Massage therapy has also been linked to the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which lowers your blood levels of cortisol – a hormone that triggers stress and anxiety. And these little guys, let us tell you, are associated with mood stabilization such as lowering stress, anxiety and depression that get us in these ruts in the first place.
Incorporate massage therapy in to your wellness routine. As a top spa in Vancouver, our team of massage therapists use long, slow rhythmic strokes to relieve built-up tissue tension. Indulge and watch your winter blues vanish.
Brighten Up with Vitamin D
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to brighten your mood in the winter months is by taking the beloved vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is amazing in the sense that it is one of the only vitamins our bodies can produce when we get sun exposure. It is one of the those vitamins that we simply know is beneficial to just about everyone. In Vancouver however, especially when we seem to spend 3/4’s of November, December, January and February in the clouds, our bodies are not getting enough sun light to naturally produce Vitamin D.
This is where taking a Vitamin D supplement comes in. Vitamin D has been proven to increase serotonin levels and thus elevate our moods. However, not only does it help with mood, it is also important for numerous cell functions, maintaining bone density, enhancing our immune systems and even helping to prevent diseases such as cancer.
However, be kind to your body! First, remember that Vitamin D supplements are not all made equal. Research which Vitamin D supplement you should choose as they typically do not all contain the same ingredients. Tip: Ensure that D3 is present in your supplements as this is the natural form of vitamin D that your body produces from sunlight. Second, although we want to bask in the sun during the little time we have here in Vancouver, don’t overindulge. Enjoy the sun moderately and incorporate proper sunscreens and skin care products to avoid nasty burns.
To learn more about Vitamin D and its benefits, the Vitamin D Council has some great, up to date info.
Spruce Up with Exercise
Regular exercise is also a really great mood enhancer. When working out, our brain releases endorphins, the ones we spoke about before, that are proven to get our moods dancing. These chemicals also induce uplifting feelings and endorphins can cause euphoria and promote a sense of clarity.
Exercise is also a great winter blues coping mechanism as it improves your self-confidence and gives you a healthy mental break from what ever is making you feel blue. And common’, we both know that this little thing called exercise is often easier said than done, BUT, next time your feeling blue remember the benefits associated with exercise and reconsider.