The winter months bring with them cold weather, darker nights, and lots of time indoors. It can be easy to get stuck indoors trying to escape the chilly days. However, it’s important to stay healthy this winter to maintain your physical and mental health for the new year.
Learn how you can stay healthy this winter with tips from your McAllen pharmacist at Saenz Medical Pharmacy.
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a form of depression triggered by a change in season. This can start in the fall or winter when the weather gets colder and you’re stuck inside more.
About 5% of adults in the U.S. suffer from SAD each year, with 75% of those adults being women. With the right treatment and help from a professional, you can get through your seasonal depression.
Ways to Stay Healthy in the Winter
During winter, it’s important more than ever to maintain your physical and mental health. Although this should not replace the advice of a medical professional, there are some tips you can follow to stay healthy this winter:
1. Keep Your Body Active
Exercising during the winter months is a great way to ward off seasonal depression. Regular exercise can boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals that can help fight off the winter blues.
Other health benefits of winter exercise include minimizing the risks associated with weight gain, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and certain types of cancer. If you want to enjoy the benefits of exercise in the winter months, but don’t want to brave the cold, you can try the following exercises:
- Rock climbing
- Indoor sports
- Weight training
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your workouts in the winter. Making it enjoyable can help motivate you and allow you to get the most benefits out of it. If you’re still unsure where to start, start with a simple walk indoors or outdoors and add more exercise as you go.
2. Feed Your Body Superfoods
Winter is a great time to improve your diet and give your body the nutrients it needs. The right foods can help you lose or maintain weight and protect your body from winter ailments. Some winter superfoods to try adding to your diet include:
- Winter squash
- Citrus fruits
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
These superfoods can give you a large number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Many contain omega-3 acids that can help combat seasonal depression. Feeding your body these superfoods can improve your overall physical and mental health this winter.
3. Protect Your Mental Health
Being stuck inside during the cold, winter months can have a negative effect on your mental health. The days get darker faster and it can be easier to get stuck in a rut.
In order to stay healthy this winter, it’s important to protect your mental health. Some ways to protect it include:
- Figure out what makes the holidays meaningful to you
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Read or listen to uplifting music, podcasts, or audiobooks
- Remind yourself that winter is temporary
- Schedule activities you look forward to and enjoy
- Make sleep a priority
- Reach out to a trusted individual to talk
Your Local McAllen Pharmacy Is Here for You
Making your health a priority this winter can help you enjoy the holidays and set you up for a great year. These tips may help protect your mental health, but you may need to seek the help of a medical professional or mental health counselor if you’re not seeing an improvement. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants or other medications that can improve your seasonal depression.
If you have questions regarding your medications, reach out to your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy. Our local pharmacists can answer any questions you may have and give you advice on the best medication for your case.