When the days are dark, cold, dreary, and short, it’s no wonder most of us struggle with some level of winter blues. Once the blues set in, winter can feel like it’ll never end. For some of us, the blues can knock us down to the point of becoming Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Thankfully, there are some natural and simple ways to help us survive the winter, and maybe even get through it unscathed. If the long winter months are getting to you, try these tips to brighten up your days!
1. Get some Vitamin D
Being low in vitamin D is very common, especially in the winter. One major contributor of vitamin D is sunshine, so being stuck inside for weeks at a time can obviously have quite the affect on us. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression and mood disorders, like SAD. Add a quality vitamin D supplement to your daily routine to help improve your levels. Also, open up all the blinds during the day. Dress warm and brave the cold to get some much needed fresh air. It may not feel like it, but the sun is still shining, so soak up as much as you can!
2. Eat a healthy diet
When we are feeling down, we tend to turn to comfort foods. While sweet treats and carbs can give you a temporary high, the crash that follows can be rough. And in the end, you’ll be feeling worse. Enjoy some dark chocolate now and then, but make it a point to avoid too much processed foods, sugar, and simple carbs. A healthy, clean diet will leave you feeling better both physically and mentally.
3. Exercise regularly
Get the endorphins flowing with regular exercise. These hormones improve both mood and energy which is why people who exercise tend to be happier people. This doesn’t mean you need to work out long and hard every single day. Simply taking a brisk walk for half an hour a day will do the trick, especially if you can walk outside and get the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine. Call a friend and go snowshoeing. If you can’t make it outside, turn up the radio and have a dance party with your kids. The key is get moving.
4. Tackle projects
Having a goal will help motivate you to get out of bed in the morning. And finishing a project is always very satisfying. It doesn’t have to be a major project. Freshen up the paint in your living room, rearrange your bedroom furniture, or organize the closet. Tackle that stack of books you’ve resolved to read in 2018, or jump into an old hobby again. Set that project goal and chase it, leaving your winter blues behind.
5. Dress up and go out
Getting all fancy may not sound appealing when you’re feeling a little depressed, but it’s excellent medicine. Call up your gal pals and go dancing (remember, exercise is also a good idea!), or go to a fancy restaurant with your spouse. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it requires you to change out of your sweats and spend time with other people who aren’t wearing sweats either. Putting on a little black dress, heals, and makeup will feel surprisingly uplifting. Some quality socializing will lift your spirits as well.
6. Take time for you
Remember those things you use to love to do before you had kids? Take a bath with no one calling your name, write in a journal that doesn’t have scribble marks in it, read a book that has more words than pictures… Find what you love to do and take some time for yourself. Get up before the kids are awake or wait until they are asleep and then take that time to really enjoy whatever it is you love to do.
Don’t worry, the winter won’t last forever. If you follow these tips, not only will you make it through but you’ll be happy and healthy when the snow finally melts and spring shines through!