For many people, winter is not all about snowmen and ice skating. Along with cold weather, winter can also bring bad news for your physical and mental health. Knowing why winter can negatively impact your health can help you make small changes to combat some of the changes.
Gloomy Weather Can Increase Depression
Winter generally means less sunlight and less daylight overall. This lack of light can cause a lot of people to suffer from seasonal affective disorder in the winter. In many places, the cold temperatures tend to keep people indoors more, causing people to feel cooped up because they can’t enjoy a nice walk the way they can in warmer months. Many people benefit from using a sunlamp in the winter. These special lamps replicate the glow of the sun and can be helpful when the sun goes down early. There are also special alarm clocks that simulate the sun coming up to help you ease out of bed.
More Viruses Spreading
Another way winter is bad for your health is that more viruses spread around in the winter. With more people inside, viruses tend to thrive in the air and on surfaces. This is especially true in confined spaces like many offices. Keeping your workspace clean can prevent you from picking up viruses. You should frequently wipe down surfaces at home including light switches, door handles, and remote controls, to keep these often touched surfaces clean. Wearing a mask and social distancing in public places can also reduce your risk of catching anything from a common cold to COVID-19.
Lots of Eating
The winter months bring holidays that involve the consumption of foods high in sugar and fat. Beginning with Halloween, grocery stores are filled with candy, cookies, carbohydrates, meats, and more to have at holiday meals. While there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence, Americans tend to consume more calories in the last two months of the year than they normally do. Try to create balance in your diet, and get some exercise too. You do not want to cause yourself health problems later on from developing bad eating habits this time of year.
While winter blues, weight gain, and illnesses abound in the winter, there are still things you can do to take care of yourself. Staying active and finding ways to stay entertained safely indoors can improve your health in the colder months. Even with less sunlight in the winter, you can still find a little bit of cheer.
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