Can using a hot tub help you beat the winter blues? When hydrotherapy is part of your winter wellness routine, you may start to notice a shift. If anything, just the act of doing something kind and rejuvenating for yourself can work its magic on your mood. The following will examine some of the ways hot tub use can enhance your well-being and put a little sunshine back into your life during the winter months.
WINTER BLUES & SEASONAL DEPRESSION
It’s not just you; colder weather and less daylight can put a damper on your mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an affliction that strikes many at the onset of autumn and disappears at the return of spring (and longer daylight hours).
According to the Mayo Clinic, these are some of the symptoms that accompany SAD.
- Feelings of depression
- Lower energy
- Problems sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in appetite
What are the causes of SAD? While they’re are not fully known, these are identified as three possible culprits.
- Less daylight can cause a drop in serotonin levels, a brain chemical that influences feelings of well-being and happiness.
- A disruption of the biological clock, which is known as the circadian rhythm. Exposure to less sunlight can mess with your body’s ability to stick to its sleep schedule and get enough shut-eye.
- Third is levels of melatonin. Scientists believe seasonal changes can affect how much melatonin the body makes. When that disrupts sleep, that only adds to and compounds the negative effect on the mood.
Research suggests that submerging oneself in hot water might do the mind a lot of good. A 2018 New Scientist study shows a correlation between hot baths and less depression. The warm water soakings had an effect of strengthening the circadian rhythm, and that helps the body do a better job of releasing melatonin.
But that’s not all; other research shows raising the body’s temperature can prompt the brain to release more serotonin.
Anecdotally speaking, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t feel a mood lift after a pleasant experience, like soaking in a hot tub. If it also makes your brain release more of those happy chemicals and set you up nicely for a good night’s sleep, imagine how this can turn your winter blues around.
HOLIDAYS AND STRESS RELIEF
During the holidays, pressure mounts, and deadlines loom, because there’s a lot of shopping, events, baking, entertaining and gift wrapping to get done.
As that stress and pressure builds inside your body, it triggers that “fight or flight response” in your body (also known as the sympathetic nervous system). Your heartbeat quickens, your breathing increases, and your muscles constrict.
Enveloping your skin in the warmth of spa water can be the antidote you need in the form of a full-body relaxation response. According to the research, this act slows your breathing, lowers blood pressure, and kicks off a release of endorphins.
When you think about everything you do to make everyone’s holidays wonderful, don’t you think you deserve a little spa therapy in the comfort of your home?
A HOT TUB IS A GREAT WAY TO GET OUTSIDE
During the summer, evening walks, bike rides, camping trips, festivals, outdoor sporting events are just some of the fun things that lure you to the great outdoors. Winter is an entirely different story. When the temperatures fall, the sidewalks get ice-covered and the nights arrive early, and these make staying inside the safer, easier option.
Research tells us that any effort to get outside and get in touch with nature can have a marked impact on depression alleviation, and mood.
Listening to sounds that come from nature can lower your blood pressure and cortisol levels, while calming your sympathetic nervous system, according to a study cited by Harvard Medical School.
Another study suggests that merely looking at natural scenery clears the mind and helps your thinking abilities.
If you can’t go for a walk, a soak in your hot tub may give you what you need to reap the getting outside benefits.
Now that you know the many well-being benefits that come from enjoying the use of your hot tub in the winter, learn more about what you need to know about buying a hot tub. Check out “How to Buy a Hot Tub” and visit Backyard Leisure in Lethbridge to help you find a hot tub that’s perfect for creating your backyard winter retreat. They can help guide your search and point out additional features you may not have known you wanted.
Discover how wonderful your winter can be!
To learn more about the wide range of hot tub options available, you can learn more here.