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Green Tips: Fighting the Winter Blues with Nature

Green Tips | January 9, 2020

There is no better way to start a new year and a new decade than with outdoor activities. Getting fresh air is incredibly important for your mental and physical health, so be sure to bundle up and head outside this winter.

About 20% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) which typically occurs in the winter and creates a recurring period of depression that lasts for several months. Even those who may not have this diagnosis can become dispirited or fatigued at times during the winter. Long hours in an office with harsh lighting and little daylight can also be particularly draining. We recommend anyone who has or is experiencing symptoms of S.A.D. to consult a doctor for treatment.

If you’ve got the winter blues, read the following tips to learn how you can promote your wellness.

Get Out

Going outside—including walking, running, or biking—is a great way to keep the winter blues in check. Exercise not only helps maintain physical health, but also boosts serotonin levels. Getting fresh air minimizes screen time, too. Prolonged phone or computer use has been found to deteriorate eyesight and cause headaches, and social media activity on these devices has been linked to depression

With this in mind, grab a friend or family member and check out where you can hike this winter. You can find information about hikes near you on the NY Department of Environmental Conservation website.

You might also consider skiing or snowboarding on any number of hills and mountains across New York. Check out the Ski Central website to learn where you can hit the slopes. 

Throughout the winter, amazing events continue to happen around the state. Visit the I Love NY website to locate events near you.

Get Your Vitamin D

Our Vitamin D intake drops significantly in the winter when there is less sunlight. To stay healthy, try to eat food that is rich in Vitamin D to make up for the lack of sun you’re getting. Examples include tuna, salmon, and eggs, or fortified foods such as milk, cereal, and yogurt. Eating these foods can make you feel better and keep your bones and immune system strong.

Bring the Outside In

Adding plants to your home is great for your health. Succulents, vines, or potted flowers not only brighten your home, but also clean the air of your living space and enhance your mood. Pick the perfect plant for your home on the Bloomscape website to begin creating your indoor garden!

Let the Sun Shine

Keep your windows tightly shut, but keep your curtains open! You can take advantage of the few hours of daylight that we have in the winter to help retain heat and cut your electric bill. Utilizing natural light will lift your spirits, too.

Be sure to look out for more of our Green Tips this winter to discover how you can make your 2020 even more earth-friendly!

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