Almost half-way through the first month of 2018 and some people are still suffering the January blues. Gloomy skies, chilling weather and the almost always dark outside can't dampen the mood quite easily.
More commonly known as winter blues, it's no secret that most of us struggle to even get out of our beds in the morning. And while for some it might be pure laziness, studies in the past have shown a significant rise in depressive tendencies during the winter.
Also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, (as the name fits!) this is a type of depression where the symptoms worsen particularly in winter. A study of 150,000 people had also revealed that women suffer far more than men during this time of the year.
This intensity can range from just sadness to plummeting moods, where we end up feeling tired, stressed and enjoying much lesser than we usually do when it comes to things we love, as reported by Daily Mail Online.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow believe that the reason the female brain is more sensitive to the cold and dark is the increased production of the stress hormone cortisol. A greater inflammatory response to environmental factors is also at fault.
But worry not – instead of vegetating away in the comforts of our bedroom, there are certainly other steps that can be taken to combat the January blues. And that includes sipping on banana skin tea and immersing oneself in housework. Even mushroom is a saviour you can count on!
While mushrooms might not look like the warrior you'd count on to fight your winter blues, these are indeed magical when it comes to dosages of vitamin D – something that is usually acquired from sunlight.
The fungi that mushrooms are made of can provide as much vitamin D as any health supplement, making them a great item to boost the immune system, in turn helping fight off coughs and colds from the body. A healthier functioning body means a healthier mind too.
Also read: Magic mushrooms can treat depression
This happens due to the enzymes that mushrooms are plenty of. They convert UV light from the sun into stores of vitamin D, which gets released when mushrooms are eaten. Scientists have also accounted for the fact that there's no impact on the level of the vitamins they contain, even after cooking.
However, it is recommended that taking them out of the packet and leaving them outside for half an hour before eating can definitely enhance their mood-boosting capabilities.
Also, if you're a fan of beetroot, it's an added bonus for you due to a chemical found in it – called Betaine – which increases levels of the happy hormones, namely dopamine and serotonin, in the body.
Other activities like indulging in housework or planting a potted plant can also boost your mood, as Daily Mail reported, all that moving around, doing chores, produces chemicals that trigger positive effects in the brain – similar to going on a run. Potted plants, on the other hand, keep the air inside the closed houses during winters from going stale.
At the end of the day, it's about forcing oneself to be active and reach out – taking the extra effort to smile and adding lots of colours to the wardrobe that will actually scoot away from the stubborn blues that comes with the cold winds and just won't seem to leave!