Let us Put “Heat” to the Cold, How to Enjoy Winter?

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Winter and cold are generally related to sadness or loneliness. However, and paradoxically, this season is when we share most with those we love, such as friends and family, which invites us to be happy and have wellbeing during this year-end season.

This season usually starts at December 21 and finishes on March 20, during this time we can see falling snow and freezing cold temperatures; strong winds also blow all around; it has short days and longer nights; people wear thick clothes during winter; trees and plants do not grow during winter season, to survive the cold weather many animals hibernate; yet other animals migrate away to warmer places, etc [1] .  

However, as sad as these sounds, there are advantages during this season. According to Insider [2] , 10 surprising health benefits of cold weather exist: Cooler temperatures boost your brain, it might help you burn calories, it increases brown fat, it improves allergies, winter can lower inflammation, it can lower risk of diseases, you will sleep better, it can help you fight infections and it can improve your heart health.

There is another weapon against the seasonal slump: keeping active. According to Dr Andrew McCulloch, an executive of Mental Health Foundation, “there is convincing evidence that 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three times a week is effective against depression and anecdotal evidence that lighter exercise will have beneficial effect too [3] ”.

On the other hand, according to Cleveland Clinic [4] , winter depression affects about 5% of American adults, while 10%-20% experience a milder version called the “winter blues”. Some other factors can also lead to seasonal depression, such as sunlight reduction which can lower serotonin output and reduce levels of vitamin D [5] ., causing changes in your biological clock (which can impact mood).

In conclusion, do not allow that winter embrace you, but rather enjoy it. Decide to share with your family, reflect on the benefits that cold has for your physical health (as we wrote in this article) and allow yourself during the winter to improve your emotional wellbeing.







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