It’s natural to feel a bit down when the days get shorter and the cold winter weather keeps everyone cooped up indoors. Whether it’s a general sense of sadness, or a full blown case of the blues, the link between a reduced exposure to sunlight and melancholy in winter is a well-established fact. Happily, you don’t have to wait until spring to beat the winter blues. Lift your mood and brighten your outlook with these simple winter blues tips and strategies!
Experts compare beating the winter blues to a bear coming out of hibernation. You have to shake off that tired, sleepy and withdrawn feeling and get moving. Exercise and physical activity release feel-good hormones like endorphins that give you the positive lift you need to feel like yourself again. Something as simple as a 30-minute walk each day can be enough to boost your spirits.
Researchers studying how to beat the winter blues have observed an increased appetite for carbohydrates among those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Substituting fresh fruits and vegetables for foods like pasta, cakes and cookies can help you break the cycle. Because it’s hard to get enough of the sunshine vitamin D during the winter, you may wish to take supplements too. Ask for your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet.
See the Light
Getting enough natural sunlight can be challenging during the winter season, but there are light therapies you can try at home that may make you feel back in the pink when you’re hit with a case of the winter blues. While regular indoor lighting won’t help, artificial sun-box lights have been proven effective for people with SAD. A 30-minute exposure to these special fluorescent lights in the morning might be enough to alleviate your symptoms.
Frequent visits from friends, family and co-workers during the holiday season can leave you longing for some alone time, but solitude isn’t the best strategy when you’re dealing with the blues in winter. Spending time with the ones you love helps give you the emotional support you need to shake off the winter doldrums. Give, and get, as many hugs as you can. Studies have shown that hugging releases the “cuddle” hormone oxytocin, which helps build strong and nurturing relationships.
Try Something New
Researchers have found that keeping your mind engaged with a new hobby can be effective at warding off the winter blues. From learning how to play a musical instrument to writing a journal or taking an art class, anything that keeps you focused and interested is worth pursuing. Make a New Year’s resolution to broaden your horizons this winter by trying something different and new.
Housecleaning and clearing away the clutter in your home can give your emotions an unexpected lift. A home where there’s a place for everything with everything in its place can give you that sense of control and organization you need to move forward. Keep in mind that you don’t have to tackle household chores yourself to reap the benefits of a spick-and-span home. For help getting everything clean and tidy, give The Maids a call at 1-800-THE-MAIDS.