The holidays are over. No more cheery holiday music on the radio or bright, colorful lights. We’re now left with a void that seems to only be filled by eating leftover sugar cookies and sitting on the couch binge-watching our favorite shows.
So do you find you’re feeling a little blue? It’s no surprise if you are. The short, dark winter months biologically affect an estimated one in four Americans – commonly known as the winter blues. As many as 11 million Americans have a more severe form of winter depression called seasonal affective disorder or ironically known as SAD.
If you feel like you’re struggling with a case of the winter blues, check out these seven tips to boost your mood.
7 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues:
- Exercise: Exercising releases endorphins, our bodies natural mood-enhancing chemicals. Getting to class or working out is incredibly important in the depressing winter months to keep you motivated and energetic.
- Healthy food choices. Food affects our moods more than people realize. Between stress eating or eating out of boredom, our food choices tend to mimic our mood. You can imagine if you’re feeling down you’re probably going to go for the comfort food. Choosing healthier foods will help your mood, especially foods with vitamin D (which most people are lacking). Foods to focus on include fish (salmon), fruits and veggies and complex carbs, which take longer to digest. You may also want to ask your physician about if you should be taking vitamin D supplements. Visit our Pinterest page for recipes!
- Get outside! We tend to hibernate in the winter. Yes, the cold weather has a lot to do with that, but it’s important to get out in the limited sunlight during the winter months, even if just for a few minutes. Make a point to take a short walk outside over lunch. Every little bit of vitamin D helps! If you can’t get outside consider getting a light lamp for your desk. Blue light has been shown to help with seasonal depression. Make sure to keep your shades open as well to bring in as much natural light into your house when you’re home.
- Socialize. People seem to go to great lengths to avoid going out in the winter months. Socializing is essential to keeping those winter blues at bay. Consider joining a gym like Farrell’s where you get to work out with friends or make a plan with friends to walk around the mall every week or grab a smoothie together.
- Hydrate. Dehydration is one of those hidden wintertime troubles. Many people don’t feel dehydrated, but are. Make sure you’re getting enough H20 and limit your caffeine intake as that contributes to dehydration. It’s also great for your skin, which also dries out easily in the winter.
- Take a winter vacation. If you can swing it, taking a short vacation, even if it’s to a similarly cold destination, can help boost your mood. A change of scenery and some relaxation can do wonders for the body and soul.
- Set and keep a schedule. Having an established routine or schedule helps fight the winter blues and gives you something to look forward to. Try to keep your schedule relatively busy so you’re staying active and make sure to keep a good sleep schedule and try to avoid oversleeping. Yes, that’s a thing with some negative side effects.
Our comprehensive 10-week challenge is the perfect mood-enhancer, teaching members how to live a healthy and happy lifestyle! If you do feel like your winter blues symptoms may be more serious, make sure to consult with your physician.