5 Little Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself as the Seasons Change
Without using a therapy lamp
You’ve already brought out your plushest sweaters and put your pumpkin-decorating skills to use. But make sure to do these five things for your body (and mind) to fend off seasonal affective disorder as the leaves start to fall.
Adjust Your Skin Care Routine
You probably already do this in winter, but keeping your moisture levels balanced now means less damage control come December. (And keep in mind that dehydration doesn’t just lead to dryness; it can cause breakouts if your pores overcompensate with sebum—yuck.) Try swapping your regular cleanser for a mild cleansing oil: It’ll wash the city off your face without stripping.
Load Up on Mood-Boosting Nutrients
With fewer hours of sunlight in the day, it’s important to get vitamin D from other sources (cheese, egg yolks, orange juice) to keep your immune system humming. Meanwhile, omega-3s (found in chia, walnuts and leafy greens) are a great defense against seasonal depression. Fatty fish like salmon is high in both, so a trip to Russ & Daughters is basically doctor’s orders.
Keep a (Somewhat) Regular Schedule
Much as we love that extra hour of sleep, the end of daylight savings (November 6, FYI) always does a number on our internal clock. And with the days shorter overall, getting up in the morning is no minor challenge. If you’re hitting snooze on all six of your iPhone alarms, try a wake-up light that mimics the sunrise: Unlike a jarring ringtone, the gradual brightening actually convinces your body it’s time to get up (and get to that 7 a.m. spin class).
Get Outside—Even When It’s Cold
You know those benefits you get from being in nature? Well, they’re still true, even when the last leaf in Central Park has hit the ground. And the colder months are actually a great time to visit the city’s most peaceful green spaces: They’ll be devoid of tourists and still totally lovely.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Watching the sun go down earlier and earlier is a major bummer (especially when you’re still stuck at your desk). Make a point to schedule after-dark activities you’ll look forward to, like meeting friends to check out that new wine bar, catching a talk at 92Y or tackling a new recipe at home.