5 ways to break up with your winter blues
Winter is a wonderful time of year. When it snows, there’s nothing more magical than watching it from inside, with a hot cup of hot chocolate warming your hands.
For some of us though, winter is like an embarrassing ex who just won’t leave us alone. Every year, when the days get shorter and the nights get colder, our energy seems to fade and we start to feel a little down.
If this sounds like you, guess what? You might have the winter blues! The good news is, we’ve got 5 ways to get you feeling positive and strong during the toughest season of the year.*
1. It’s Time to See Other People
Admit it. When it’s cold outside, it feels so liberating to curl up under a blanket and binge watch Friends on Netflix. There’s no shame in spending a little quality time with your TV!
However, if this sounds like you on the regular, chances are you’ve crossed the line between relaxing and needing to break things off with your winter blues.
It might be hard at first, but forcing yourself to attend parties and continue to go to your regular events is important for your well-being. Spending time with friends and family can decrease anxiety and brighten your mood much more efficiently than if you were to stay at home alone.
2. Get the Hell Outta Dodge
Taking a vacation is a great way to help you forget all about your winter blues. In fact, studies have proven that the act of planning something as simple as a weekend getaway gives a significant boost to your overall happiness.
If you hear the beach calling, head some place sunny and warm to thaw away that chill you’ve been feeling. If snow doesn’t scare you, book some time at a ski resort or cabin. Sometimes, a change in location is all you need to improve your general sense of well-being.
3. Take a Hike!
Exercise or other forms of physical activity are great ways to leave your winter blues in the dust. Many recent studies have proven that there are significant benefits to heading to the gym, going for a swim or even taking a walk. Exercise provides important health benefits such as decreased blood pressure and weight loss. It also boosts self-esteem, confidence, and your overall mood.
4. Sun Kissed
Studies have shown that winter blues are primarily caused by the lack of sunlight the Earth receives during the winter season. We get shorter, cloudier days, which provide a limited amount of sunshine. Oh, and let’s not forget about the chilly temperatures that tend to keep us indoors!
This lack of sunlight affects many people, causing them to feel down, moody, and even depressed. The good news is there are many ways to seek out sunlight – if you know where to look.
Head outside, even for a few minutes at a time. Open your blinds and curtains to let as much sunlight into your space as possible. Sit near windows whenever you can, and change light bulbs to ones that simulate natural light. If you try one of these methods for only a short time every day, you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel!
5. Food is Your True Love
For all you chocolate lovers out there, get excited! Eating chocolate in moderation helps to decrease tension and increase feelings of happiness or pleasure. It means that chocolate is your friend, and it will help you when the winter blues start knocking at your door.
That being said, comfort foods like candy, pizza, chips and pasta, are only pretending to be your friend. A few hours later they go behind your back and invite those blues right on in, making you feel gross, and sleepy. In some cases, these foods increase feelings of anxiety and depression.
Try to stick to whole grains and complex carbs like, lentils, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, quinoa, corn and buckwheat. These types of food promote serotonin in the brain and take more time to digest. They help to keep your blood sugar level, which in turn keeps you feeling happier, longer.
*If your symptoms persist, it might be time focus on your Akasha meditations, or to visit your primary care physician. Over time, the benefits of focusing on your well-being or discussing options with someone who can help will astound you!