Autumn and winter depression and how to fight it

Almost every one of us has experienced it – first the sun is scarce, than the positive green leaves turn from yellow and red to brown and then finally disappear completely after a few weeks. And it hits us that winter is here and we can´t see to shake of the blues. To escape this feeling, I thought I should make a few suggestions in order to beat those negative feelings. 🙂

Let´s move

During the summer we are almost always on the move – we go jogging, we go for trips, we practice outdoor yoga, we use some outdoor workout, we swim or just walk through pretty parks or forests. With the arrival of winter, however, these activities are no longer feasible, so we prefer to clinging to warm duvets and reading a book / watching movies. Our body withers, and the same happens to our psyche. Over Christmas, we add plenty of sweets, and our body gets even worse. Let’s try to change it.

Try to regularly include yoga classes in your program. It does well for both your body and your mind. Yoga is the ideal means to relax the muscles, which get tense during winter because of the cold weather and cause headaches, trapezius pain or lower back pain. During a yoga class your body will heat up, strengthen and expel endorphins, the hormones of happiness. Your mind will concentrate on the right positioning for a while, so it will take a break from all the problems that are constantly swirling in your head. During the final savasana you will be completely relaxed.

Of course, you can also choose other sports. What about running? Start with fast walking and gradually add both the speed and time. If you are not used to running, I do not recommend starting out with running outdoors in the winter, but in a fitness centre.

If you don´t like running either, you can choose any sport suited for you. You can try working out from home along with one of those online videos which are easily available. Alternatively, you can go for a swim or to a fitness centre. Fitness centres are currently full with various group lessons, so try to figure out what could be the best exercise for you.

Loneliness is one of the greatest enemies of a happy life, fight it!

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Add the vitamins

During the summer we always have the sun, so we take plenty of vitamin D. At the same time, we prefer fresh and nutrition-rich foods – fruits and vegetables from the garden / farmer´s markets. With the advent of winter the sun shines less, so the supply of vitamin D decreases. In addition, vegetables that are not completely fresh bring less nutrients, so our body gets much less energy. Both these factors make us weak and sad. They play a negative role in the pursuit of our happiness. To top it all, we end up sick in bed pumped up with medication, which is obviously full of chemicals. Let’s prevent it.

Add energy by carbohydrates and fats, but the health ones. Sweets and cakes will not help your body and your mood. Make a breakfast of gluten-free porridge with fresh fruit, seeds, nuts and a square of bitter chocolate. The nuts have a positive effect on our mood, it has a lot of healthy fats and innumerable of minerals. Eat a few almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts daily and the depression will soon be gone. Likewise, bitter chocolate contains many essential minerals and antioxidants, which protect the heart and brain and brings pleasure. But you should not exaggerate it a lot because of the large amount of sugar, try to eat chocolate with the highest content of cocoa, ideally over 75%.

Try to include food in your diet that will stir up slow metabolism. Use herbs and spices such as cayenne pepper, chilli, curcuma, ginger, cloves or cinnamon. Warm yourself with a strong vegetable broth.

Use fresh sprouts and sprinkle your food with it. Fresh sprouts contain an incredible amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins, which boost immunity, detox your body and help fight depression. Sprouting is very simple, everyone can handle it. There are many techniques on the internet, find one of them. I personally prefer sprouts of chickpeas, lentils, radishes, alfalfa and mungo beans.

In addition to a healthy diet, be sure to have enough water. Lack of hydration is the root cause of headaches. As soon as you get up, drink a glass of warm water with squeezed lemon or lime. It starts up your metabolism – water will provide hydration and lemon will supply plenty of nutrients. Drink tea during the day. In a winter time I strongly recommend a fresh ginger tea. Ginger warmth the body, it has a beneficial effect on our digestive system and immunity. Good organic fruit tea is also excellent, in which you can extract the whole piece of cinnamon and a few cloves. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, cleanses the digestive tract, strengthens the heart, and fights the cold. At the same time, it adds a sweet taste. Cloves are also known for their antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

If you reduce the time spent in the sun, try adding vitamin D through sun-dried mushrooms or vitamin supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is often underestimated, a large part of the Czech Republic is currently suffering from this, and according to some research, it affects up to 50% of Europe’s population. Lack of vitamin D causes depression, weakness and failing of immunity.

Relax

Many of us focus mainly on working and solving the problems of others. If you do not take a moment for yourself, you will go crazy.

Go for a sauna, whirlpool or massage. If you do not want to spend money on it, do a wellness experience right at home! Take a hot bath, add sea salt or Himalayan salt or a few drops of essential oil. For reducing stress, you can for example use lavender or some kind of citrus. For reducing cold you can use eucalyptus, mint or thyme. Be careful and mix these essential oils with coconut or other base oil before adding them to the bath – adding a concentrated essential oil can cause skin irritation. Enhance the atmosphere by lighting some candles. Close your eyes for a while and turn off altogether, or bring a book with you to fully enjoy this spa. Enjoy a pleasant evening with a cup of lavender tea or a glass of red wine. 🙂

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Smile

This is such a Czech classic. You are in public transport or walking down the street and everyone is frowning at you. Then it will happen quite quickly that you will take all of this negative energy from them. You know what they say “what goes around comes around.”  A smile can turn things for the better. It´ll make you feel better and It´ll make also others feel better. Perhaps, I am naïve, but I am dreaming of a Czech republic that smiles.

Have fun and plan

Being cold out there does not mean you cannot have fun and you have to stay at home. Go to pick mushrooms, rose hips or chestnuts during autumn. You will cleanse your head and your lungs. In the winter, let the child in you come alive – go for ice skating, and when it snows, go for skiing, snowboarding or build a snowman, or just slide down the hill opposite to your house by toboggan (or plastic bag :-D). Schedule a winter or spring holiday, for example a hike to the mountains – for skis, cross-country skiing or just for fresh air and wellness. When you have something to look forward to, you will have a lot more energy and a good mood.

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Do you have your proven tricks to help you fight with autumn and winter depression? Share them in the comments!

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