It’s morning. You wake up in your warm bed, open your eyes, peel back the cosy covers and take a peek outside your window. You realise it's suddenly winter, and it’s cold, dreary, and dark outside. Instantly you feel less energetic, less motivated and altogether blue. What’s a person to do?
The winter blues are real and nightmarish. The longer you get stuck inside without the gorgeous warmth of the summer sun, the more stir crazy you become. It’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. You can do more than survive the winter; you can thrive! Here are some of our top tips to making the most of the colder months.
Eat the Right Food
The food you eat is connected to the emotions you feel. Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you should stop eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The truth is that eating too much meat can actually lead to depression! So, though meat is warm and desirable, instead, try eating more carbs, which help you relax, and more fruits and veggies, which boost your mood & overall nutrition.
Further more, try eating fruit and veg that are in season. These foods will be even more nutritious and full of the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you immune system flourishing!
Plan a Trip
Grab a journal and plan a trip. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside your house with nowhere to go. In fact, the winter can be a perfect time to see the world. Heading to the Northern Hemisphere will let you leave the winter blues behind for a dash of summer sun. Even if you decide not to go that far, you can still get away and break out of your normal dull routine. After all, it’s hard to be unhappy on vacation.
When it’s cold a dreary outside, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. However, exercising is important throughout the year, even when it may seem impossible to drag yourself out of bed. Exercise can get your heart pumping and help establish your circadian rhythm, which will help you sleep and feel better in the colder months. When you exercise, you also release endorphins—the happy molecules your brain craves.
If cardio isn't your go and you cringe at the thought of a gym, you might like to try a relaxing yoga class. Stretching, mindfulness and soft movement may be all you need to boost your mood and help you feel instantly more energised.
There is one wonderful thing about winter; you get more hours of darkness. While this might not seem like the best benefit when you're heading home from work in the dark, it can be wonderful for your sleep schedule! Everyone needs a certain number of hours sleep to feel good. If you’re feeling the winter blues, make sure you’re getting the prescribed 7-8 hours of sleep you need. A little bit more sleep can make a HUGE difference.
Make Your Environment Brighter
Speaking of darkness, the general lack of light could be a major cause of your winter blues. Your body craves (and needs) light. Giving your body thirty or more minutes of light per day can be an extremely effective antidepressant. If you can, get out into the daylight on your lunch break or try opening the blinds and sitting close to the window to get more natural light while you work.
Schedule Some Fun
Winter can seem like a dull time. If you’re not a fan of the cold, you might feel like you’re stuck without anything to do. That’s not the case. You just have to think outside of the box. Grab a notepad and brainstorm. You can go skiing, snow-shoeing, sledding, or if those don’t sound like you, invite friends over for a game night around the fireplace, or plan an epic movie night!
When your mood falls as fast as the thermometer, life can seem tough. But just a few lifestyle changes and simple ideas can boost your spirit and help you thrive.