7 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
Winter is rough.
You can likely relate - especially if you clicked on this article.
The motivation to do anything seems like a huge amount of effort. I mean - it’s cold out (in a lot of places). The effort it takes to leave the house is substantial in itself. The bundles of layers. Mitts and a hat. Boots. It’s just not like summer where you can slip on those sandals and just go.
And it’s not all in your head. The days are shorter. You get less sun during this time of year. Most people are less active.
Truth be told - everyone gets a little down this time of year.
But there are ways you can beat it.
So, get ready to grab a hold of that motivation to get out there and live your life again. Here are 7 ways you tackle those winter blues!
1. Brighten Up!
It gets dark early. You might start to feel drowsy. It’s only 4 o’clock and you’re ready to hit the hay. What’s going on?
When it gets dark, the body naturally releases the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is why you feel tired. It gets your ready for bed. But when you wake up in the morning, exposing yourself to light first thing decreases your levels of melatonin - ultimately waking you up. Your body is falling into it’s natural circadian rhythm.
And normally this is okay - except you have another hour of work to do and maybe a few other things to get done after work.
Consider investing in an artificial light. There’s a lot of therapy-type lamps out there. You just have to Google it (I just did by typing in ‘artificial lights for winter blues.’ There is a ton!). Don’t forget to read reviews to find out the quality of each product. Also, during daylight hours, expose yourself to sunshine as much as you can. It’ll help.
You can also brighten up your surroundings with light colours. Think red, yellow, oranges, and greens. Having a little office plant by your side can’t hurt either.
2. In the Words of Olivia Newton-John, Get Physical.
Partake in regular physical activity.
But how do you get the motivation to get active you ask?
Here are a few tips. Find something you love. It’s much easier when you actually enjoy the activity. And today, there’s so many to choose from. Try a handful of activities before you settle on your thing.
Don’t forget to schedule your workout in. Planning ahead limits your excuses and guarantees that you have time for it.
You can even explore new winter activities. There’s fat biking, snowshoeing, winter hiking, skiing, snowboarding, skating, and more! Again, find what you enjoy and stick with it. If you get bored, switch it up - don’t give up.
3. Start Planning Your Next Getaway
Planning a vacation can do wonders for your mental health. The anticipation plays a big part. You have something to look forward to. You have something to work toward.
Also, make sure you plan it so that it is enjoyable. Don’t leave last minute trip errands until the last minute. And make sure to plan for an appropriate amount of time to relax after your back. There’s no worse feeling than getting back from vacation only to realize you have to return to work the very next day.
The eventual vacation can further help break up that long winter. Go somewhere warm for a week or 2. Take a break from the cold. You’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
4. Throw on Upbeat Music
Cheery and upbeat tunes can greatly impact your mood. Music can stimulate memory recall and feelings associated with happy thoughts.
Not sure what to put on? We’ve got you covered.
According to science, these 5 songs are the best ones to throw on when you’re feeling down:
Give ‘em a listen! Then, see how you feel.
- Clair de Lune by Debussy
- Adagio for Strings by Barber
- Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor (The Tempest) by Beethoven
- First Breath After Coma by Explosions in the Sky
- Adagio for Strings by Tiesto
Normally, you get vitamin D from the good ol’ sun. Yet this guy is sorely lacking in the winter months. Many doctors and health professionals recommend that you take a vitamin D daily during the winter. It can help keep your bones, teeth, and immune system in tip-top shape. And keep you feeling great.
6. Eat Better & Smarter
Carbs and junk food can weigh you down. They might make you feel better at first. Yet, the fall from the top is always the worst. That sugar crash blows. Instead, make sure you get your healthy fill of veggies and the good stuff.
Comfort food is definitely more appealing in the winter - but always think before you eat! If your gut doesn’t feel good, chances are you won’t either. Take care of it.
7. Just Get Outside!
Bundle up and just get out there. You’ll feel much better for it. On those days where the cold is still tolerable, go for a brisk walk. Or participate in any number of fun winter activities. If you have kids, take them tobogganing. You’ll get outside and that walk up to the top will offer a challenge you wouldn’t get sitting on the couch at home.
Don’t Let Winter Get You Down!
Your mood doesn’t need to decline with the temperature. In fact, the change in activities can provide loads of fun - for you and your family. Plus, a lot of the above 7 ways that you can beat the winter blues are scientifically proven.
So, instead of wallowing in a bag of chips or mashed potatoes, consider the above advice. Take back control of your mood and your life. Find that motivation to get out of your rut. You can. And you will. These feelings are temporary. Winter will pass. Soon, you’ll be back in those glory days of summer.
Start to appreciate the changing of the seasons. Write down why winter is beautiful and why it’s as wonderful as it is. I bet you’ll find a silver lining. Try it out today.