With shorter days and plummeting temperatures, it is not hard to fall victim to a serious case of the winter blues. Whether you have full-blown seasonal affective disorder or simply find yourself feeling depressed and lethargic during the winter months, you are not alone. In fact, it is a well-known fact that a large percentage of the population struggles with mood changes during the winter.
Beating the Winter Blues
If the winter months get you feeling down, you do not need to suffer. There are several ways to manage your symptoms on your own without seeking professional help. Some of the best ways to beat the winter blues are simple things that are easy to incorporate into your everyday life. Try these tips to make getting through the winter a bit more bearable.
1. Change Your Light Bulbs
The decreased amount of daylight you are exposed to during the winter is one of the main causes of seasonal depression. While you can’t do anything to make the sun stay out longer, you can make the lighting in your home or office more natural. Replace your existing light bulbs with bulbs that mimic natural sunlight.
2. Take Vitamins
Take vitamin D during the winter to help make up for getting less vitamin D from the sun during these months. To help fend off minor depression, start taking St. John’s Wort.
3. Wear Bright Colors
Snow and bare trees create a barren and depressing landscape during the winter. Brighten things up a bit by dressing yourself in bright, cheerful colors. Adding a little bit of color takes away some of winter’s dreariness and boosts your mood.
4. Pamper Yourself
4. Pamper YourselfCold winter air is hard on your skin, and wearing heavy winter coats and shoveling snow takes its toll on your back and shoulders. If you feel winter wearing down your body, plan a trip to the spa for a facial and massage. Pampering yourself eases the physical effects of winter, and when you feel better physically, you also feel better emotionally.
5. Be Social
Though staying indoors and hibernating seems like a tempting prospect during the coldest months of winter, doing so it not good for your emotional well-being. Take time to meet with friends or join a club. Getting out and socializing with other people passes the time and improves your mood.
6. Pick up a Winter Sport
If you are stuck surviving the winter, you might as well make the most of it. Pick up a sport like skiing or ice skating. This gives you something to actually look forward to during the winter months. Participating in winter sports also keeps you active and gets you out to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
7. Keep the Blinds Open
Closing the blinds and curtains helps with energy bills during the winter, but it tends to make the winter blues worse. Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day to let in those few precious hours of daylight. Close them when it’s dark to save on heating bills.
8. Eat Healthy
The winter months are a prime time for unhealthy eating due to the holidays. Maintaining a healthy diet, however, improves your mood and boosts your energy levels. Most importantly, avoid refined and processed foods as they actually contribute to worsening depression.
9. Go for a Walk
A quick walk gets your heart pumping and releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Going for a walk also forces you to spend a bit of time in the sun which will also help lift your spirits.
10. Buy Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers breathe fresh air into any space, and the burst of color works to improve your mood. During the winter when it seems like everything is dead, the sight and smell of fresh flowers is a reminder of life and spring.
11. Learn Something New
Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or learning more about something that has always interested you, expanding your knowledge is a good way to make the most of your winter. Learning something new takes your mind off of the negative parts of winter, and it gives you something of which you can be proud.
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How do you beat the winter blues at your house?