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Beat Those the Winter Blues

by Ariana Boyce

It is over. The month with an endless supply of grey skies and sadness has finally come to an end. The excitement from the holiday season has started to wind down, New Year’s resolutions and the motivation to become twice the person you were in the previous year sets in. Most people seem to have this beaming energy towards the beginning of the month. People have been seen walking down the halls of WVU Parkersburg smiling, laughing and feeling confident with the New Year and the wonderful changes it is perceived to bring. Lots of excitement has boiled over pertaining to the New Year.

“I am taking this year head on, with strength and grace,” the bubbly WVU Parkersburg student, Alyssa Oliverio said.

The beginning of the year always seems to hold such promise. By the middle of the month, the sky has noticeably been the same shade of grey for what feels like forever. Then, reality sets in. Most of the New Year resolutions drop within this time, and people start feeling unmotivated. The bark on trees is exposed and there is not a trace of green anywhere to be found. During this time, people start to feel drained, stressed, hungry, moody, lethargic and unmotivated.

“I can literally feel all of the life being sucked out of my body at this point. This time of the year never fails to make me feel drained,”Liz Hamperian, a former student of WVU Parkersburg said.

There is scientific evidence supporting the fact that these feelings are all normal for this time of year. It has to do with the body’s circadian rhythm and the amount of light people are exposed to each day. In the summer, the sun is shining and people feel great after soaking up some vitamin D. In the winter months, it is harder to get sunshine that people are craving right now. There is one more month of winter that needs to be faced, but don’t worry. Together, anything is possible. Reversing this feeling is definitely something worth looking into. There are so many things people can do to help with this stressful time. One thing that will always help with the blues is exercise. Exercising releases Serotonin in the brain, the happy chemical!

Another helpful hint is about changing up your diet. Consuming raw and whole foods will help your body feel recharged and energized again. Up to 80% of the body’s energy is used to move food through the digestive system. Enzymes break down the food consumed so the body can benefit from these foods. They turn food into energy for the body to use. The problem is that when food is cooked, these enzymes disappear. Microwaving, pasteurization, genetically modifying foods, pesticides, hormones and chemicals also diminish food of enzymes. This is why it is so important to eat fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits in their raw state.

There are many apps that can help people out of this dreary rut. ‘MyFitnessPal’ is a great app that combines dietary and physical needs. The app helps track calorie intake, exercise, weight and gives many helpful tips to help keep things moving in the right direction. Beating the winter blues seems impossible, but a simple exercise and a slight dietary change can go a long way.

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