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Fight Winter Blues with the Power of Steam

Across the country, millions of people struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. Seasonal depression can have a debilitating effect on people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. As the sun rises later and often remains masked by clouds throughout the day, many feel more fatigued and less energetic. As sundown comes earlier and temperatures drop, many experience difficulty concentrating, being more irritable, and feeling less inclined to be social. It's also common for feelings of hopelessness and anxiousness to set in, with those emotions giving rise to negative and toxic thoughts. Seasonal depression may make completing everyday activities quite a struggle during the colder months. And many turn to various cures, some healthy and some not so much, to get through each day. 

If you search online, there are dozens of cures for seasonal depression that you may try. Some are free (though often time-consuming) activities. Others come with a (sometimes substantial) price tag. But one of the most effective cures involves a daily activity that comes at no additional cost. The simple steam shower is a great way to battle the winter blues. 

Radiant Warmth for the Soul 

Before you can tackle seasonal depression, it's essential to address the cold first. Relentlessly cold weather can seep into every pore of our bodies, fueling the negativity we feel. And, of course, chilly weather may lead to chills, whether from a cold, flu, or other common malady. Being sick while suffering from the winter blues may be tremendously tough. But getting your core temperature back to a normal range after an hour or more outside may reduce your risk of getting sick. 

Not only may a steam shower help us address fall and winter's physical impacts, but steam is also a perfect remedy for our emotional malaise. Picture yourself peeling out of your clothes and stepping into a warm steam cocoon after a long, cold day. The mist that envelops you is inviting and soothing, giving rise to feelings of calm, comfort, and safety. Just as the cold seeped into your pores, so too does the steam, but rather than cold's harsh grip, the steam offers your skin a warm massage. Truly, a good steam shower may be the balm your soul needs on a dark winter day. 

Endorphin Release and Mood Upliftment 

A lack of sunlight fuels seasonal depression. That lack of sunlight decreases our serotonin levels, contributing to our bleaker temperaments. Serotonin is a chemical that helps us regulate our mood. In winter, serotonin levels are further depleted by a lack of vitamin D, which our body produces when exposed to direct sunlight. Given how much time many of us spend inside, many already have vitamin D deficiencies, which winter compounds. 

The fatigue-like symptoms are believed to be fueled by melatonin, another chemical our body produces. Melatonin is a critical element of sleep, and in winter, our bodies are believed to produce too much of it, making us drowsy during the daytime. The combination of increased melatonin and decreased serotonin levels is quite disruptive to our body's ability to regulate our mood, sleep cycle, and activity levels.

Steam may be a great way to combat these chemical imbalances. A steam shower may release endorphins, our body's natural mood-enhancing chemicals. When our bodies release endorphins, we feel a rush of well-being, and our moods are uplifted. Hearing music we love may help fuel the endorphin release, while appropriate lighting, both in the steam shower and elsewhere, may help ensure we maintain the proper serotonin levels. Both chromotherapy and music therapy (using lighting and music, respectively, to help combat illnesses) are excellent supplements to steam.  

A Sanctuary of Tranquility 

A complementary approach to combating the winter blues is taking time for ourselves. It is difficult to handle a busy day when your mind and body are holding you back. Yet you have fifty things to get done on your to-do list, and you're draining your already depleted well of energy by just tackling the first few. Taking a step back and creating space for yourself is an essential step in dealing with seasonal depression. And when we consider steam and mental health, we may see one having a powerful yet understated effect on the other. 

As much of a struggle as it may be, when we're sick, we must take proactive steps to relieve our stress. Stress may prolong illness, in addition to making us miserable. A steam shower may be just the right kind of self-care we need. The endorphin boost that may come with a hot shower may help improve our mood and elevate our energy levels, which may, in turn, boost our immune systems ability to fight our illness.

Along with the right steam shower, chromotherapy, music therapy, and aromatherapy, aromatherapy is another aid you should try. Aromatherapy is the centuries-old practice of using scents from essential oils to improve health and well-being. Coupling aromatherapy with these other approaches can create a sanctuary of tranquility that offers you the respite and endorphin boost you need.  

Respiratory Relief for Holistic Healing 

The perfect steam shower, complemented with these holistic approaches, will offer you respite from the outside world and trigger feelings of calm and well-being. It may also help relieve the burdens of your overtaxed respiratory system. Even if we are not actively sick, our bodies may be working overtime to prevent us from becoming so. The colder months are a breeding ground for germs of all kinds, and our immune system works hard to prevent us from falling victim to respiratory illnesses. 

A steam shower may help us breathe more easily while serving as a protective haven from the germs of the outside world. Our respiratory systems may relax and realign themselves with our body's norms for a while. When we feel the boost of endorphins the right shower offers, we are also often inspired to engage in activities, like exercise and eating healthy, that may aid our body's immune and respiratory systems. 

Self-Care Rituals for Empowerment 

It's easy to approach illnesses as something to be endured. But we enjoy better health outcomes when we actively address what ails us. Taking deliberate steps to heal ourselves is empowering and not only helps us stave off the feelings of powerlessness that come with depression but may help us heal quicker. 

Knowing that seasonal depression is a mood disorder lets us know that addressing it effectively requires us to take deliberate and consistent steps to enhance our mood. Self-care rituals at regular intervals may help us maintain our body's natural chemical balance and improve our mood. Of course, your shower may become your self-care haven when you incorporate a regular steam shower routine. Integrate chromotherapy, music therapy, and aromatherapy for the best results. By prioritizing self-care, you may take control of your mood, stave off the wither blues, and actually experience joy throughout the coldest months. 

Winter seasonal depression may be a struggle, but you may overcome it with the power of steam. Its therapeutic benefits may transform your winter and help you enjoy a more positive, upbeat, and productive season. To leverage steam to its fullest, MrSteam offers a range of high-quality options to enhance your winter wellness routine. Contact us today to learn more about how steam may help you tackle the winter blues. 

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Topics: Benefits of Steam, Health & Wellness