Winter time is here again, and with the cold weather and shorter days often comes a case of the winter blues. Seasonal depression affects more people than you think due to many contributing factors.
We experience less daylight in the winter and are exposed to less sunlight due to the amount of time we spend indoors. Lack of natural light contributes to sadness and general malaise. In addition, we tend to experience cabin fever during long winter months. Feeling stuck and isolated is no fun!
The best way to stave off the winter blues is to prepare for them and combat them with some healthy coping skills and lifestyle practices. Here are some great tips to help you power through until the spring time!
- Stay active. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your spirits up. Start each day with some stretching, and incorporate some cardio and strength training into your routine at least 3 days a week.
- Eat well. It can be really tempting to reach for comfort foods during the holiday season and winter months. The problem is, the comfort is short-lived and is soon replaced with guilt and regret. Instead, nourish your body with hearty, healthy foods that make you feel good mentally and physically.
- Light it up. No, we don’t mean that! Make sure your spaces are well-lit in order to boost energy levels and keep your spirits up. Replace harsh fluorescent lighting with softer, warmer lightbulbs. Try out a light therapy lamp that imitates natural sunlight to ward of the effects of seasonal affective disorder.
- Get outside. As we get older, we typically avoid the outdoors in the winter as much as possible. Why not embrace your inner child and welcome the wonders of winter! Have a snowball fight, build a snowman with your kids, take up snowboarding, or go for a winter walk. The snow is going to come; you might as well make the best of it!
- Find some hobbies. The winter is long. Fill your time with healthy and fulfilling hobbies that are fun and benefit you somehow. Kick up your cooking skills, re-decorate your house, try your hand at knitting or go to a cross-fit class! The sky is the limit!
- Love your space. You’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors, so you’re going to want to make your space as comfy as possible. Get yourself organized and do away with clutter. Decorate in a way that makes you feel comfortable, cozy and happy!
- Set goals. A great way to keep the blues at bay is to keep yourself focused. Set goals for yourself and stay motivated. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a slump.
- Stay connected. Don’t let depression cause you to isolate yourself. Stay in contact with your friends and loved ones. A visit with friends can make all the difference!
The winter blues can creep up on the best of us without us even realizing it. Get ahead of the doldrums before they have a chance of grabbing a hold of you!
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