Winter can be a difficult month for a lot of us, but it doesn’t have to be. Read more to learn how you can beat the winter blues and thrive during some of the coldest months of the year.
What are the Winter Blues?
A wave of low emotions that come on as a result of the cold, dark winter months.
D you get the following...
Feels difficult to get out of bed
Avoiding talking to your loved ones
Losing interest in the things you used to enjoy doing before
Life feeling overwhelming
Using inappropriate ways to cope, Ex. substance use, self-harm
If none of these symptoms resonated with you but you don’t feel your best during the winter months, then it still might be time for you to get support.
w to Beat the Winter Blue
Step 1. Perspective Shift
The meaning you give winter matters. You can have winter mean sadness, boredom, cold, dark, scary, or give it any other negative connotation. Or you can have winter mean a time for rest and rejuvenation. The choice is yours. It’s possible for you to actually enjoy these winter months if you want to.
Next time you feel yourself thinking about how horrible winter is, see if you can use that moment to take a perspective shift and think about all the good things that winter brings. Can’t think of any good things? How about cozy sweaters, hot chocolate, fluffy snow that makes everything look pretty, and let’s not forget, more time to Netflix and chill because it’s colder outside.
Step 2. Create a Joy List
What are the things that bring you joy? Take a minute right now to think about them and write them down. Now what I want you to do is to actively choose to do at least 1-2 of these things every single day. The easiest way to bring more joy into your life is to actually do the things that bring you joy on a daily basis. For me that includes running, reading an inspiring book, baking doughnuts, talking to my loved ones, and educating others on the topic of mental health.
We should all aim to love winter as much as Java does!
Step 3. Get MOVING
The simplest way to get a rush of all your feel-good hormones is to get moving. This doesn’t meant that you have to do an intense, vigorous workout for an hour until you’re drenched in sweat and can’t move anymore. It simply means that you need to get moving, whether that be by going on a 10-minute walk or doing some stretches on your chair during a break at work. Whatever movement looks like to you, just do it. No one has ever regretted doing a workout, but everyone regrets NOT doing a workout.
Step 4. Optimize Your Sleep
Take advantage of the longer nights to really optimize your sleep and get the rest your body truly needs. You should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep/night. The difference between a bad day and a good day can easily be related back to the amount of sleep you got the night before. A happy person is a well rested person. A quick tip to optimizing your sleep is to avoid technology 1 hour – 30 minutes before going to bed. You should be using that time to unwind so that your body can get into a restful state to go to sleep.
Step 5. Check Those Vitamin D Levels
One of the most difficult parts about the winter months is the longer nights, which means all of us are sunshine deprived. Vitamin D has an extremely important role in regulating our mood, immune system, and enhancing our bone health. It’s crucial that you get your levels checked by a doctor and supplement accordingly. Sometimes an increase in vitamin D levels is all you need to start feeling better.
Step 6. Get Some Nature Therapy
When nothing else seems like it’s working, I turn to nature because it never fails me. Countless research studies have started showing the positive impact of nature on low mood. If you don’t have time to drive to a nearby trail, that’s okay. Stepping outside even for a few minutes can be enough to boost your mood.