When the thermostat dips down, many people struggle with feelings of depression and lethargy. Those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are not the only people who wrestle with the feelings of depression during the cold months. Shorter days, cold weather, and grey skies tend to affect many people in a negative way. Everyone who is subjected to winter weather knows how difficult it sometimes is to get out of a nice, warm bed when it’s chilly and the sun is tucked away in clouds, but there are steps you can take to keep yourself from succumbing to the winter blues.
Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to fend off the feelings of winter blues. Exercise has so many positive effects on your body and mental well-being, raising the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is released in the body when sunlight hits certain spots on the retina, so if sunlight is not readily available, exercise is a great option. Exercise is also known to reduce the effects of anxiety, increase energy levels, and gives you an overall feeling of well-being.
Increase Your Exposure to Sunlight
Since the sun goes down earlier in the day, people that work in an office all day are not typically exposed to much sunlight throughout the workday. To counteract this, get up as early as possible and expose yourself to the sunlight. Waking up early will also help you have a better sleep schedule and may even lead to a more productive day.
Find a Winter Activity You Love
Instead of avoiding the winter weather and confining yourself indoors all the time, find an activity outdoors that you enjoy. Activities like skiing and snowboarding are great and allow you to get exercise. It could be as simple as enjoying the night sky and learning more about astronomy. Meteor showers and clear skies often come with the winter months. Another option could be photographing nature and days after a snowfall.
Enjoy Comfort Food
After a long day, it’s nice to come home to a hearty meal. Comfort food is just what the name implies: comforting. Invest in a slow cooker that will allow you to come home to an already cooked, delicious meal. Warm up with soups and rediscover old family recipes. Or cook in season and experiment with ingredients that are in season during the fall and winter like squash, sweet potatoes, and eggplant.
Take Your Vitamins
Being in the sunlight increases the levels of Vitamin D in our bodies, so during the winter our levels will drop. Take a multivitamin that contains Vitamin D to give yourself a boost of energy and nutrients.