When the weather gets cold and the days become shorter, it’s far too easy to blame season affective disorder (SAD) for a depressed mood. But wait, don’t jump too fast to this conclusion. While SAD is a real disorder, it doesn’t affect nearly as many people as some may think, according to researchers. There are a few other reasons you may be feeling down this time of year, but maintaining a consistent workout and eating plan can help you stay on the healthy track.
Other reasons you may be feeling blue:
- You’re overwhelmed with the holidays: The constant spending of money and time with friends and family could put you in overload mode. When you’re in overload mode, it’s easy for your body to want to feel lazy and sad, however getting up and moving whether it’s a walk around the block or a trip to the weight room, exercising can help to take your mind off of a problem.
- You’re not eating or drinking right: The holiday parties bring carb-laden and sugary foods and drinks, and it can be difficult to hold back in front of friends, co-workers and family. Instead, plan for your parties and stick to fruits, veggies, high-fiber foods and water during the hours leading up to the party.
- You’re turning into a hermit: Don’t let the cold and snow keep you from going out to dinner with your friend or going to that boot camp class at the gym. Slip your boots on and get your butt moving, literally. You’ll physically and mentally feel so much better.
- You’re exhausted: Running from store to store to get that holiday shopping done and going from holiday party to holiday party and not to mention work during the week—all of this can wear you out. One in three adults (according to the CDC) already don’t get enough sleep on a normal night, throw the stress of the holiday season in and things can get dangerous. Adults should aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, at least.
However you deal with holiday stress, working out should be one of your solutions. Exercising not only releases beneficial hormones, making the body feel good, but it’s a stress-reliever and excellent distractor from the day-to-day busy lives we all have.