As the weather changes from warm, sunny weather and long days to frigid, snowy temperatures and short days, it can be tough to handle that quick change in seasons, it’s almost like fall wasn’t even here! With the coldest season comes the winter blues.
There’s no clinical diagnosis, but experts say the so-called “winter blues” are pretty common and usually includes feeling more down than usual, sad, or less energized. According to researchers, it’s estimated that anywhere from 14 to 20 percent of American adults experience such seasonal mood changes. BUT, there are things you can do to lift your mood this winter and beat those winter blues to stay well all winter long:
Make Your Environment Brighter
With the super short winter days and what seems like constant darkness, it can definitely bring down your mood. Our bodies crave sunlight and with a lack of it, it can dampen your mood and make you feel sleepier. Things like opening blinds and curtains, trimming back tree branches, and sitting closer to windows can also help provide an extra dose of sunshine and brighten your mood a bit. A little bit of sun do wonders!
I know it’s sometimes hard to find motivation to fit physical activity into your day, especially during the cold winter months. But, studies have show that getting at least 20 minutes of activity four times a week has been shown to reduce depressive mood. Not to mention there are so many different ways to get some exercise in. Get a gym membership if that’s what it takes to get you working out, but you could also try things like home workouts, group fitness, or even just running up and down the stairs.
Set Your Alarm Clock and Stick to a Sleep Routine
Although it’s so temping to sleep in on these dark winter mornings, it’s best to stick with a regular sleep schedule. This means waking up at the same times on weekdays and weekends. I know what you’re thinking, weekends too?! But, establishing a routine wake-up time and a calming bedtime ritual, if you aren’t already, is important to get in sync with your body. It’s great to get at least seven hours of sleep every night for your overall health. For the best nights sleep, make sure that your sleeping area is comfortable, slightly cool, and free of any noisy distractions.
When we’re feeling down in the dumps it always feels better to eat something sweet. Certain foods, like chocolate, have been shown to actually enhance your mood and relieve anxiety. But, it is also important to eat to feed your body with healthy foods that provide it lots of nutrients.
Turn on the Tunes or Queue Your Favorite Movies
Listening to your favorite upbeat music or watching a funny movie can definitely improve a person’s mood. Just think how hearing a classic hit, one of your favorite jams, or a favorite funny movie makes you feel. Experts think that laughter can actually stimulate processes in your brain that counter depressive symptoms. And since laughing is contagious, it doesn’t hurt to invite a few friends along to spread the laugher and fun!
These are just a few tips that can hopefully help you with those winter blues. Try out these tips to boost your mood!