HEALTH REPORT: Beating the winter blues

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaskan winters aren't hard on the body.
In this week's health report, we talk about what you can do to stay mentally healthy during the dark winter months.
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Cold weather can put stress on your body and your mind, and with the lack of sunlight, season effective disorder causes people to feel depressed and unmotivated. Born and raised in Fairbanks, local counselor, Olivia Foote, put together a list of simple tips and tricks to help boost your mood and motivation.
Olivia Foote; Counselor>>: "Getting outside, exercising, watching your diet, knowing what you're eating, socializing, vitamin D, happy light. Like those are the six go to things that I think everyone can benefit from in Alaska."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Olivia believes it's all about catering that list to your personal liking.
Olivia Foote; Counselor>>: "It's really individualized. So there are somethings that I really like doing that I think really support my mood, which for someone else, might not really be the best. So, like one thing for is, I like to go and get a pedicure. I like to put my feet in that hot water and have someone do my toes. And for my husband, that's not really what works for him for self-care. And so find what works for you. Experiment with it."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: She calls it a guide to happiness. Tracking what makes you feel good by writing it down and keeping it up.
Olivia Foote; Counselor>>: "I track these things. I write down what things make me happy and I keep it on my wall. Right, so I can look at that and know, if I'm staying connected with my friends, it makes me feel better and happier."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: It can be easy to isolate yourself in the winter, but taking the time to go outside for just a few minutes or socialize with friends can significantly improve your mood.
Olivia Foote; Counselor>>: "It's really easy to just want to stay at home and cuddle up on the couch. And every once and a while that's a really healthy, positive thing, but when that becomes a pattern I think it can really isolate you. And so it's important to get out into the community and make connections with others."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Ending on a positive note, Fairbanks is gaining over 6 minutes of a light a day. I'm Katie Luper, reporting.