The Canadian winters can be extremely long, dark, and cold. It is tempting to snuggle up, bed down and indulge in a season of streaming television and movies. Yet mental health and stimulation are linked to our overall well-being, and it is important to keep your brain active. Below, we give ways to keep your mind motivated throughout the winter months.
Sunlight is well known to lift your mood. It releases serotonin in the brain, which helps boost mood and increase focus. This is why you feel spritelier in summer and often lack motivation in winter. However, for many people, this is just not possible if they live in an area where daylight is scarce.
One option is to get a sunlamp. These simulate natural light and can be set on a timer, coming on in the morning to simulate the rising of the sun. You can also put it on in the evening if the sun goes down quickly. This will help stave off seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Try taking vitamin B tablets in conjunction with it, which will replace the vitamins you would usually get from sunlight.
When you work on puzzles, you build connections between your brain cells. They do not have to be huge, time-consuming ones either. A quick crossword or sudoku done every day can keep you ticking over. Dopamine gets released in the brain when they are completed, which is a hormone that can help with concentration, and memory and essentially, make you feel happy. You can find puzzles easily, by looking online, buying magazines, or completing the ones in local newspapers.
A similar problem can be solved by completing certain casino games. Ones such as poker and blackjack, where you have to weigh up probability and use a degree of mathematical problem solving will help. This link has a selection of the best on offer, with rankings based on key features. By finding the right welcome offers, you do not have to spend a lot of money to get started either.
Get Out and About
When the weather is bad and it is cold outside, it can be very tempting to hide away from it all. Yet pushing yourself to go out keeps the mind and body active. First of all, you get the benefit of what little sunlight is available. There are plenty of places to walk in Canada so not every walk has to be a huge hike. Check out the local nature trails close to your property, so you can do short, revitalizing excursions every day.
If you really do not want to venture out into the cold, then make sure you are getting some sort of exercise. The gym and home exercise help the body, but to get the most you should try ones that blend social and exercise activities. Book into a local class or get together with friends to work out.
You do not have to be strict with these tips. Doing them every few days or when you can reap huge rewards. Staying fit and healthy has never been more important, and you can do it any season.