Blue Monday (January 21st this year)  is said to be the most depressing day of the year.  Why?  It’s when everyone is broke from holiday spending. The days are short and the nights are long.  It’s cold. Our vitamin D supplies are at an all-time low, and it’s just what marketers want us to believe so we splurge on warm weather vacations to escape it all.  The pseudo-science behind Blue Monday (the third Monday of January each year) in the Northern Hemisphere, may feel true, but it’s the result of some clever marketing that was first promoted in 2005 in a press release from travel company Sky Travel who said they calculated the date using ‘an equation’.

Whether or not you believe in Blue Monday or are feeling the January blahs, this time of year is bound to leave us in the humdrums.  At Car Generator we love the great outdoors, but know that bad weather, the 9-5 grind, and life can get in the way.  It’s easy to enjoy getting outside on a warm June day, less so in January.  Here are some tips to brighten things up, even in the middle of winter.

Eat Vitamin D Rich Foods

Adding vitamin D rich foods into your weekly meal planning can help provide the boost many of us need.  Put salmon, herring, sardines, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp, eggs, mushrooms and fortified foods (like milk, orange juice and soy milk) to your shopping list.

Take Your Vitamin D With A Meal

Taking a vitamin D supplement is a good idea.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin meaning it’s absorbed best when taken with some higher fat foods.  A recent small sample study of 17 people found that those taking the supplement with their biggest meal of the day saw a 50 percent increase in their vitamin D levels in just two to three months.  Increasing vitamin D levels is said to lead to better sleep quality, which puts everyone in a better mood.

Plan Your Outside Time

While some people only need 15 minutes of time outside in the sun to get their daily dose of vitamin D, things like cold weather (and layers of clothing), paired with limited time of daylight makes this challenging.  While it is helpful to go out at lunch time or for a coffee break while the sun is shining and soak up some rays, in Northern Hemisphere during particular times of year the UVB rays with all their Vitamin D goodness can’t get through the earth’s atmosphere. Being active in the any time of year is great for our health, but being outdoors in the winter likely isn’t going to make much difference in the amount of vitamin D you’re getting.

Try A Light Therapy Lamp

The purpose of a light therapy lamp is to mirror spring and summer light levels to help ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  You can purchase one yourself or head to the following Toronto Public Library locations to use theirs: Agincourt, Brentwood, Don Mills, Fairview, Humber Bay, Malvern, Maria A. Shchucka, Parkdale, Parliament, and The Toronto Reference Library.

Plan For Warmer Weather

Sometimes starting the planning process for activities and trips in the spring or summer can help you get your mind off of the winter weather, even if spring is still a while away. Try to keep things in perspective and treat yourself to some activities you love and can also enjoy this time of year.  The good news is that we’ve made it through the first month of winter already, and don’t forget Ground Hog Day is just around the corner!