Come the winter, the cold weather and the shorter sunlight hours, it can be no wonder that people suffer from the winter blues. These winter blues is a real thing. It can mean feeling down and sadder during these months, more lethargic, anti-social (if you’re normally social) or having sleeping troubles. A more intense version of this is seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
With our first month or so into winter, you could be very well experiencing the winter blues. While we can’t do much to change the weather, there are other changes that you can make in your life that can lessen the symptoms of the winter blues so that it can make getting through winter all that much easier.
1. Make sure you get your vitamin D
Vitamin D comes from the sun and in winter, yes, there’s typically a short supply of it. However, where you can get vitamin D from the sun, then ensure that the food and/or drinks you’re consuming contain enough of this important nutrient.
Eat an array of vitamin D rich foods so that you can be getting the sunshine nutrient and all its benefits—even without the sunshine. These include:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Canned tuna
- Egg yolk
2. Try something new
A great way to mix up things in your life and get excited again is to try something new. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or exposing yourself to new experiences, it’s a great way to get some excitement into your life.
If you really don’t want to venture outdoors because of the weather, then there’s an array of activities that you can still consider that’ll work around you. Try learning a musical instrument, calligraphy, sketching, knitting, the list goes on.
3. Start a project
If trying something new doesn’t interest you, then consider working on a project. It could be something like home renovations such as re-painting the walls, re-organizing your house and/or de-cluttering the entire space.
By tackling a big project that you work on during the winter months, it’ll give you the motivation to do something, give you a purpose to work towards and when you finish it, you’ll be rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment.
4. Keep your routine
It’s easy to spend your days in bed, but while that may seem good at the time, the lack of stimulation can really throw you off. Instead, try keeping to a schedule so that you body becomes used to a consistent routine and you’ll be able to keep your body and mind moving.
Maintain an exercise regime
One surefire way to fight the winter blues is to keep up with your exercise. It’s no secret that exercising is a great way to lift your mood, generate endorphins and serotonin, not to mention, work your physical and mental health.
There are fitness tools available that mean you can have training sessions at home, like Aaptiv. Or, if you can brave the cold, then even going out for a walk and getting some fresh air and light (however limited) can really make a difference to how you feel.
5. Stay connected with your loved ones
Surround yourself with a support system, whether that’s your family or friends or partner/s or anyone else you can trust and have fun with. Keeping in regular contact with your support group means that you can minimize feelings of loneliness and/or isolation and feel connected to others, even if it’s just through messages or a phone call.
6. Create your own light
A major part of the winter blues is the lack of light. While we may not be able to get as much natural light from the sun a workaround is to create your own artificial light. It’ll generate similar benefits to sunlight such as decreased melatonin levels and works as a mood booster.
For the best results with light therapy, use your light box at the same time on a regular basis for 30-60 minutes. It works even better if you use it earlier in the morning, such as before 10 am. If buying your won light box is something that isn’t available to you at the moment, try looking into some facilities that offer light box/therapy rooms.
Finding a little happiness from the winter blues
Winter can mean warmth and comfort for some, but for others, it can really bring the mood down and leave you feeling sad until the sun comes back. While we can’t make winter leave any faster, try the steps in this article to generate even a little happiness from the winter blues.