Although some of us might not want to hear it, winter is right around the corner. We have had short little teases of cold bursts, and noticed how quickly it gets dark. Going into the coldest season, some might not be as pessimistic or just plain dreading the cold. However, there is no need to worry, because here are five easy and effective ways to avoid the winter blues.
- Get enough Vitamin D
You don’t want to get scurvy, right? In all seriousness, Vitamin D deficiencies are very common in winter and are very often the culprit for a nasty cold. According to Eat Right Ontario, “Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium and Vitamin D work together to help you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps your muscles, nerves and immune system work properly. Recent research has shown that Vitamin D may be linked to lowering the risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and some cancers.” In the spring or summer months, our bodies should absorb enough Vitamin D from sunlight, but this is not the case in winter. Canada’s Food Guide recommends drinking 500 mL (2 cups) of milk or fortified soy beverage every day to get enough Vitamin D. Margarine, orange juice, egg yolks, and vitamin supplements are adequate alternatives.
- Dress properly
This seems like it should not even be said, but how many people do you know refuse to put on that bulky winter coat for sake of style, then call you next week sniffling? While it may not be the best choice for your sense of fashion, swallow some pride and make sure you bundle up this winter when the temperatures dip below zero. Exposure to the cold weakens our immune systems and makes us vulnerable to pathogens. Getting sick is an automatic case of the winter blues, and we all know how inconvenient it is for students to get sick in the middle of the semester.
- Enjoy the little bit of sunshine that you get
On December 21, 2017, we will get eight hours, 55 minutes, and 46 seconds of some wonderful sunshine. While it may feel that the sun sets before we even know it, that’s still more than an entire work day of sunlight. The sun is set to set at 4:45 p.m. for the rest of the semester. But it rises before 8:00 a.m. every day. Try to get up earlier and seize the day before everyone else. The early bird gets the worm, and starting your day with a walk in fresh air and bathing in sunlight can set you on the right path.
- Partake in some fun winter activities
One of the best things about having a cold winter with snow are all the related opportunities that arise when the calendar turns into the New Year. It can be as relaxing as taking your significant other on a romantic ice-skating date or to check out the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights. If you are feeling a bit more extreme, try some exhilarating winter sports like downhill skiing, snowboarding, or even tubing at nearby locations such as Glen Eden in Milton. If the spontaneous and goofy juices are flowing, just take a day to just go play in the snow, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make some snow angels and then come back inside and snuggle up with some hot chocolate.
- Enjoy the indoors
It is unrealistic to stay outside for hours on end and eventually we need to come back inside. That does not have to mean that the fun stops at the door. Get into the holiday spirit and put up some decorations, transforming that dreary room into a winter paradise. Decorate a gingerbread house, drink some eggnog, and binge watch some classic movies, or a television show you have been dying to see. Don’t let the Winter Blues bring you down, because of course, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”