Wellness — January 17, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Is the Grey Getting to You?


We’re officially coming down from the high of the holidays around the world. It’s not always happiness and joy for everyone, and it can be a tough time especially for those living in the Northern Hemisphere who, for the next two or more months, must also contend with gray, chilly days, and the long, dark nights of winter.

Forecasts for a wetter, greyer season to come in some areas across North America that have already experienced a significantly wetter and cooler 2023 than usual are going to be a test for even the most positive out-lookers out there. Understanding that it’s not just the winter’s chill that sends species of all sorts (including humans) flocking south this time of year, means the realization that we’re all beings of light.

More than some new age slogan thrown about in mainstream marketing, light has guided this planet and every species on it since its inception. Light is a key shortlist ingredient to unlocking creation and facilitation of most life here on earth. It’s how we measure time; it shows us the way, and I mean hello, our entire galaxy orbits around it.

When we lack light, we can see all sorts of changes in both our mental and physiological well-being. So, if the grey is getting to you already, here are some tips to help chase the light until spring:

Travel: It’s totally doable even on a budget. The slower pace of winter is a great time to get away and travel to a destination somewhere in the southern hemisphere or near the equator. Just remember you’re not going to be the only one with this idea.

Light Therapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder, a.k.a. SAD, is a very real condition that can have serious impacts on mood, sleep patterns, and mental health. Bright Light Therapy continues to be a beneficial option to help combat this seasonal affliction, just be sure to do your research before choosing a light that’s right for you. You know you best, and if it feels like a bigger issue reach out to a professional.

Vitamin D: This is the body’s superpower behind immune, neuromuscular, and calcium metabolism functions, and is one of the only vitamins synthesized through our skin from the sun. Nearly half of Americans and millions of Canadians are deficient just because of their geographic locations and access to sun year round. Look for high quality dietary supplements, or be sure you’re drinking fortified beverages, eating fish, yogurt, and those egg yolks.

Melatonin: This hormone is pivotal to our circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. Studies are now showing how morning light is most beneficial for a good sleep at night. If sleep eludes you, a high-quality supplement could help, but it could also be an increased exposure to the blue light emitted from devices too close to bedtime. Try avoiding screens at least three hours before bed.

Other non-light related, but natural endorphin mood boosters you can try are:

Exercising – and getting outdoors to do it packs a double punch

Meditation – find a comfy place, grab your earphones, and the app downloads abound

Music – time to put that pump up playlist on max volume. Dancing it out counts as exercise too!

Laughter – queue up some of your fav comedians and comedy movies or TV series and…

well let’s just say there’s more babies after a long winter for a reason folks (wink)

Written By Melanie Robitaille

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