Winter woes, begone! If your smile seems to be drooping along with the temps, it’s probably not your imagination. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a reaction to reduced sunlight, affects up to 20% of Americans—and three quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, and being bummed can spell disaster for your health, but you can beat it. Here’s how.
Take a sunny stroll Go walking in a winter wonderland! Sunlight-drenched strolls help clear your SAD symptoms by giving you a boost of vitamin D, which most of our bodies are craving (especially in gray weather.) D deficiency has also been linked to an increase in headaches in the fall and winter, say researchers in a Journal of Headache and Pain study.
Shed some light The dark gloom of winter dampens your body’s production of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter. Rejuvenate with a light box that features blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with a peak wavelength of 470 nm. They’re more stimulating and produce less glare than white light boxes. For a simpler fix, open up the blinds!
Burn calories for warmth We know it’s tempting, but resist the urge to hibernate until spring. A study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that women moved the least in December, January, and February, burning 10% fewer calories than they do in summer. Push yourself to get some exercise—your heart and head will thank you.
Do a weird workout Combine the benefits of light and exercise with a new workout called “Lighten Up”, specifically designed to cause winter cheer. These classes, offered at New York Sports Club in select cities, combine high-intensity intervals with light therapy meditations for seriously happy oms. If you’re not a member, train outside in the morning or with a light box for the same effect.
Pump up your produce The secret to happiness may be at the end of your fork. People who ate the most fruits and veggies were less likely to be anxious, depressed, and show signs of other mental disorders, according to a study of 80,000 people. The more produce people ate, the happier they were.
It will feel like the calendar has been turned back to winter instead of moving ahead to May as snow sweeps across the central United States into Monday.
The temperature roller coaster ride in the northeastern United States will continue on Monday, setting the stage for severe thunderstorms over a part of the region.
After a dry and mild dry across the country on Sunday, rain and cooler air will return by May Day.
Despite flooding rain from this weekend departing by Monday, rivers across the central United States will continue to rise and threaten homes and residents this week.
While the recent cold snap will be over, bouts of rain will persist and threaten to disrupt outdoor plans across the United Kingdom during the bank holiday.
Severe thunderstorms capable of causing property damage and flooding will swing into the southeastern United States and Ohio River Valley into Sunday night.
Dangerous thunderstorms and flash flooding will continue to threaten lives and property across the central United States through Saturday night.
While a storm will douse outdoor plans and lead to flooding on some of the Hawaiian Islands, enough rain may fall to ease drought conditions into the start of May.