I grew up in the Northeast and I loved a snowy winter when I was a kid. As I got older, I really noticed that the winter months were tough. Cold, dark and very long winters really got to me. These days, living in Sunny San Diego, I have many more sunny days in winter, which helps a lot, but I do know that Seasonal depression (technically Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing. If it is for you too, here are three simple ways to help:
Eat more fatty fish
The Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty or oily fish have been found to fight depression by boosting the production of dopamine and serotonin. Adding fish like salmon, albacore tuna, and sardines to your regular diet can help to fight seasonal depression. These fish also contains vitamin D, another mood enhancer that comes in handy during the winter months.
Take a Vitamin D supplement
If you’re in a cold climate, you’re most likely staying inside much more than usual. The lack of sunshine in the winter in general means that we probably aren’t getting as much free Vitamin D as we usually get from the sun in the warmer summer months.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk for depression, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, and anxiety, so make sure you make it a point to get outside on sunny days.
You may not always feel motivated to exercise, but if you’re interested in helping to treat seasonal depression, you may want to prioritize exercise.
Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, natural brain chemicals that enhance our sense of well-being. If exercising outside in inclement weather isn’t an option for you, joining a gym or investing in a good exercise bike is great and if this is doable for you, plan on doing that ASAP. If not, there are lots of great exercise apps that you can stream from the comfort of your living room that will get your heart pumping even when there’s snow up to the windows.
You can even make your own heart-pumping workouts using your own stairs. Try this: Climb your stairs 25 times up and 25 times down) without stopping. Add 10 squats at the top and 10 squats at the bottom. When completed, drop down for 25 pushups. Do this 3x/day.
These three habits, if done consistently, can help you enjoy winter again.
Here’s an easy 5-ingredient recipe full of mood-boosting Omega-3’s, fiber, and my all-time favorite Everything Bagel seasoning. Get bonus points for doing a stair workout, before taking this dish outside and eating it in the sunshine.
One Pan Everything Salmon & Brussel Sprouts
3 cups Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsps Everything Bagel Seasoning (divided)
12 ozs Salmon Fillet
2 tsps Dijon Mustard
Note; Feel free to season with more herbs and spices as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and season the Brussels sprouts with half of the everything bagel seasoning. Toss to coat evenly.
- Place the salmon on the pan and spread the Dijon mustard evenly over the top side of the fillets. Generously coat the top side of the salmon with the remaining everything bagel seasoning. Continue to bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.