Boosting Your Mood During Winter Months
Whether we like it or not, the winter months bring more darkness and cold weather to most of us. This winter climate can be a time when people struggle with their mental health, since they don’t have the option of spending time outdoors in the sun to relax.
Furthermore, ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ is a real thing. Many of us experience a lack of motivation, sadness and a general feeling of hopelessness during the winter months. Although SAD should be treated the same way as regular depression (i.e: with medications and certain types of therapy), there are still things we can do to make winter more bearable.
There are some simple steps we can all take to boost our mood until spring rolls around:
#1: Get as much exercise as possible. Although it’s not as easy to get outdoors for a run or a walk in the harsh winter weather, there are still great ways to get exercise. Consider getting outdoors during daylight hours, or joining a gym to exercise when it’s too dark to be outdoors. It is extremely well-known that exercise produces mood-boosting endorphins.
#2: Don’t abandon your social plans. Summer might be a busier time in your social calendar, but resist the urge to hibernate during the winter! Although your home is cozy and warm, your mood can be lifted greatly by maintaining regular social interactions with friends and family.
#3: Maintain a balanced diet. Christmas and the rest of the winter period is often a great excuse to eat plenty of comfort food. While you should definitely let loose and enjoy this, be sure to maintain a varied diet full of vegetables, fruit, protein and healthy fats. Your mood will be sure to thank you!
#4: Travel for some winter sun. As well as having something to look forward to, it could be a great idea to travel somewhere which is sunny and warm. This will help give you your fix of vitamin D before summer arrives.
#5: Make the most of natural daylight. While it might be more brief, there is still plenty of sunlight to take advantage of during the winter. Open your blinds and curtains to let as much of it flood into your home as possible.
#6: Get a healthy sleep schedule. As hard as it might be at first, you should try to avoid using blue-light emitting electronic devices before bedtime. These can disturb your sleep pattern since the brain does not know how to make sense of the fluctuating light levels. Try to keep things dark before bedtime, as well as going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
Written by Jack Vale