Let’s talk winter blues. Winter can be a difficult season to trudge through, especially when the excitement of the holidays die down and the cold just seems to be getting colder. I personally think January is the WORST and longest month of all time because of this. (But I’m trying to change my outlook.)
Days are shorter in the winter and if you work in an office, you’ll hardly see the sunshine. This can lead to SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, or just feeling like a hermit.
Although I’ve never dealt with severe depression or SAD in the winter, I definitely have more “meh” days than normal when I would rather just curl up in a blanket and binge watch Netflix all day than do anything productive.
This year, I want to be different. I want to make the most of these cold, snowy months and take advantage of the fact that I live 20 minutes from some of the greatest snow on earth.
But even if you don’t live close to the mountains, there are still things you can do to make the best of winter and to help beat those winter blues.
How to Beat the Winter Blues
- Schedule outdoor time.
I totally get that when it’s cold out, the LAST thing you want to do is go out into the cold.
However, if you dress appropriately, getting outside and breathing the fresh, crisp air might just be what your soul needs.
Try taking up a new winter hobby like snowshoeing, skiing, or just plan a few walks or jogs outside each week. If it’s sunny, especially try and take time to get out even if its just for a minute to soak up some mood boosting vitamin D!
2. Take some time to exercise.
Again, when it’s cold it’s really hard to change out of warm clothes and into workout clothes. Me and my hubby joke all the time that it’s the hardest part of any workout!
But keeping up a regular exercise routine can help boost endorphins, energy, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
If you don’t think you can make it to the gym, just get in a quick workout in the comfort of your home! Check out my Instagram page for tons of at home workouts with minimal equipment.
3. Be mindful of your processed sugar intake.
I’m all about enjoying treats and goodies, but during the winter months it may be wise to not overdo it when it comes to processed foods and sugar.
Too much processed sugar has been linked to mood swings and mood disorders, so it could be making your SAD worse.
If you’re in need of something sweet, try some fresh fruit or these healthier avocado brownies instead.
4. Turn off the TV.
This is definitely something I need to work on in the winter, but spending less time binge watching and more time with friends and family can really boost your mood and make those cold nights more enjoyable.
Fight those hermit tendencies and call up some friends for a game night in, or go out and enjoy an activity together.
If hanging out isn’t an option, do some yoga, practice meditation, or read that book you’ve been wanting to. Keep that brain active and healthy!
5. Research supplements that can help.
One of the most common reasons for the winter blues is a deficiency in vitamin D from the sun.
Taking a vitamin D supplements in the winter may help, but do your research or talk to your doctor so you know which kind and how much is right for you. You may also need a magnesium supplement along with vitamin D so your body can use the vitamin D properly.
You can also look into getting a light therapy box that would mimic the mood boosting effects of the sun. Different boxes may address different problems, so again do some research or talk to your doctor first.
Hopefully these tips help make winter more enjoyable if you suffer from winter blues. Spring will be here soon, but let’s make the most of winter!