I’ve talked before about how much I love the summer and really struggle with the winter blues. There are a number of items that help me get through this dreary, cold, dark season. These are my top five winter essentials to get me through until the clouds clear and the snow melts. Just 65 more days ’til spring.
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1. Happy Light
I purchased my happy light three winters ago, and I have noticed the difference in my mood. Light therapy is used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, nonseasonal depression, and some sleep disorders. A study has shown equal effectiveness to antidepressants while light therapy is considered safer and much less expensive. Patients also had faster results and less adverse side effects. The mood and energy enhancements and regulations of the body’s circadian rhythm can be gained by anyone though, with or without a diagnosed condition.
I have been using a nebulizer for nearly as long as I can remember in my adult life. I use it all year around, but it has particular uses during the winter. When the change of seasons comes, I begin diffusing a blend of essential oils that are boosting to the immune system to combat cold and flu viruses. It’s also nice to diffuse warming Christmas scents during the holidays or calming and antidepressant patchouli when I’m feeling down. Nebulizers are also air purifiers and humidifiers which is beneficial when all the windows are closed up and the air is dry in the winter.
3. Dawn Simulation Alarm Clock
I have used this all year around for a number of years. I do find it especially helpful though in the winter months when the mornings are just so dark. I love how it slowly brightens the room with it’s warm sunrise glow tricking my brain into thinking the sun is out. My clock also has the option to have birds chirping as the alarm which starts very quietly and progressively gets louder. I feel so much better when waking up in this gradual way instead of a sudden shock of a beeping tone or even the radio. The brightness in the room also prevents the grogginess I feel when waking up in the dark.
Philips Wake-Up Light (I couldn’t find my exact clock, but I use a Philips brand one also)
4. Ethically Made Gloves and Toque
I love that everything at American Apparel is made in the USA and sweatshop-free. Unfortunately, I generally find the women’s clothing to be over-the-top trendy and ridiculously unflattering (on me). Basics are something American Apparel can be good for though – it’s hard to screw up a plain t-shirt or leggings. I’ve been pleased to find their winter gear is normal and functional. I’ve been using these gloves and toque (as we say in Canada) for a couple seasons now with no visible wear, and they keep me warm when I venture outside. Plus, the toque is made from recycled materials. Bonus!
5. Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D is produced through our skins exposure to the UV rays which significantly decreases from October to April. This is even more pronounced if you live in Canada or other parts of the world that are further away from the equator. Vitamin D is vital to our body’s functioning and has been shown to prevent cancer, increase growth in children, promote bone health in adults, and work against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Fish are a good food source of vitamin D, but as a vegetarian I don’t get it that way. This is why I choose to take a vitamin D supplement in the winter.
What are your winter essentials for surviving this season?