February 18, 2016
Vancouver is the most beautiful city in world roughly three months of year. The other 9 months when the city’s beauty is covered in clouds we do our best here to stay out of the rain.
We spend a decent amount of time and money keeping our bodies dry, warm and comfortable during the rainy seasons, but it’s really easy to forget about our emotional well being which can lead to things like seasonal affective disorder or SAD. It’s not uncommon to hear on a sunny day “Wow, I forgot how good the sun feels”. You can watch as the sun therapeutically washes the stress off of Vancouverites faces by going outside on a nice day. It’s incredible.
So, if something as simple as a sunny day can improve our mental health and have us feeling so great, what can we do to keep that feeling when it hasn’t been seen in weeks?
1. Cover The Science
Being in the sunlight does more than make us feel good and light up our environment, it actually gives us vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to aches, pains, and seasonal depression. Before looking into the lifestyle changes you can make to help you through the season, it’s best you start with getting yourself a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is a cost effective solution that can be one of your first lines of defence against SAD and other seasonal mental health issues.
2. Pick Up An Indoor Form of Exercise
Now that your body is getting the right vitamins, you want to start using it. Although exercise might be tough at first, it’s proven to release chemicals that will make you feel better and keep depression at bay. Look for alternatives to summer activities. Yoga is very popular here, so finding a studio nearby is pretty easy. Other great exercise alternatives in Vancouver include ice skating, swimming, indoor soccer, and basketball for example.
3. Plan Something Fun
Going on an adventure is exciting, preparing and planning for it can temporarily transport you there. The extra time indoors you have during the rain can be used researching and planning out your next adventure, keeping you excited and focused on the bright future.
4. Stay Connected With Friends and Family
Loneliness sucks regardless of the weather, but loneliness when it’s gross outside is a terrible feeling. Staying fit and healthy are important, but a good laugh can get you started feeling better faster than almost anything. Plan some events with your friends, invite them for a night out or in. As adults we always need a reason to get together: a dinner, a birthday, a celebration of some sort or a meeting. A lot can be said for the child like philosophy of “I’m bored, let’s hang out”.
5. Embrace The Season
The Vancouver fall/winter/spring can be a long haul don’t get me wrong, and escaping to somewhere warm isn’t always possible, so learning to love it is a must in this city. Feeling particularly dreary? Steep some tea, throw a log on the fire and grab your favourite novel. Come summer you may actually miss the solitude and down time.