Here's How To Beat Wintertime Anxiety

Between the frigid temps and fewer hours of daylight, wintertime can bring on some uncomfortable, restless feelings. It's not all bad — with life moving at a slower pace and having time to cozy up inside, but the dreariness can take a toll after a while. According to Mindbodygreen, nearly 20-35% of people reported feeling symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) throughout the colder months. When you use winter as a time to reset and restore, however, it may actually become your favorite new season.

A few new habits can make a big difference and sustain you throughout the cold weather, including getting things heated up. The outlet notes that spending time in an infrared sauna may counteract the tougher aspects of low temperatures outside. Apparently, 15-minute sessions in the sauna every day helped lower depression levels in one study. Getting a sweat going can help release toxins, improve blood flow, and boost your immunity as well, Dr. Frank Lipman explains. Leave your phone outside the sauna, breathe deeply, and relax.

Another new practice to consider comes with needles — but it's incredibly effective and relaxing. Acupuncture can impact your serotonin and dopamine levels, Mindbodygreen notes, and when you book a session, you can reap these mood-boosting benefits. Tell your practitioner what you're experiencing and they'll help move stale pockets of energy.

Switch up your diet in the winter

There's a reason you crave soup and warming foods when it's cold outside: Your body wants to regulate itself. In fact, the skin even craves different nutrients after being exposed to various environmental stressors in the winter. According to Cosmopolitan, smoked salmon contains the fatty acids your body needs to keep your skin healthy throughout the season. Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women, Dr. Marilyn Glenville, tells the outlet that, "As well as being necessary for our heart, brain and eye health, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in smoked salmon play an essential role in the structure and appearance of the skin."

Plus, on top of the skin-enhancing benefits, salmon comes packed with nutrients that nourish your brain, Healthline notes. Vitamin D, omega-3s, and more can help offset feelings of distress. If salmon isn't your thing though, other oily fish can do the trick and supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function well. As far as herbs go, cinnamon may be your winter go-to. "Cinnamon is one of nature's most revitalizing herbs. Filled with potent antioxidants — more than almost all other spices and herbs — it can help to boost your metabolism as well as aid digestion, gently warming your stomach, and supporting the breakdown of your food more efficiently," Dr. Glenville explained. Bananas, cheese, and red peppers are great winter additions as well.

Support your mind and body with new activities and food items throughout the winter to feel your best and stay calm.