We’ve turned back the clocks, and soon we’ll be ushering in another winter season. But just because the days are getting darker doesn’t mean your mood has to dim as well. Here are 5 simple things you can do to help beat the winter blues.
1. Remember that Winter is Seasonal
Winter weather can be unpredictable. But there are 2 things about winter that have not changed since I’ve been on this planet. First, winter always follows fall. And second, winter always gives way to spring. No matter how gloomy and depressing you might think winter is, it is always temporary.
Winter never sucker punches us. We know it’s coming every year. Learn to be proactive instead of reactive. Get your mindset right going into it. Work to see the beauty in the winter season. It doesn’t have to be your favorite, but you can at least learn to be on friendly terms. After all, is it really worth complaining away a quarter of your year? There is no refund on misused time.
2. Keep Up Your Exercise
You are not a bear. You have readily accessible food all year long, so there is no need to hibernate. Don’t use winter as an excuse for inactivity. One of the best ways to overcome the winter doldrums is to keep your body moving. Exercise is proven to boost your mood and to elevate your energy levels. And besides, staying active will help keep you warm!
3. Get Outside
The sun might not be shining as brightly, but it’s still out there. Make the time to get outdoors and soak up some fresh air and vitamin D. Crisp winter air can be really invogorating, and replenishing your vitamin D levels can help lift you out of a winter rut.
4. Go Easy on the Holiday Goodies
America loves it eats. And boy are they bountiful this time of year! Halloween…Thanksgiving…Christmas…New Year’s. It seems that one reason to indulge runs right into the next one. And if your formative holidays were anything like mine, you’re no stranger to the kitchen.
But it is still possible to have a healthy relationship with food. Consuming sugar-laden and processed foods in excess can make your body sluggish and aggravate mood swings. Instead, learn to make a gluten-free or paleo version of your favorite dessert. If you can’t break tradition and have to have Grandma’s pumpkin pie, just limit your intake to a more reasonable serving size. Increasing your water intake during the holidays can help you maintain healthy energy levels and flush your system of harmful toxins.
5. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule
Nothing will mess with your mood and your attitude like lack of sleep or an erratic sleep schedule. There is perhaps nothing more recuperative and regenerative to your body than adequate sleep. Lacking proper rest can set you on a downward spiral that becomes hard to pull yourself out of. Do your best to maintain a consistent bed time and wake time. Continually altering your sleep schedule is like participating in self-induced jet lag. Remember, a well rested body is healthier, more resilient, and more adaptable.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a very real thing for many people. You can’t change the season, but you can alter your response to it, and thus its effects on your body and your mood. And if all else fails, just keep telling yourself that spring is just around the corner!
To Your Health,