Seasonal depression is no laughing matter, folks! We’re not doctors or anything, but we’d like to offer a little help to combat the winter blues. For a significant portion of the world, around winter time the sun hides behind gloomy gray clouds while the temperature drops and the leafs all clog up our gutters. As pretty as the beginning of fall can be, winter can be a real bummer! Seasonal Effective Disorder—often cheekily referred to by its acronym, SAD—affects millions of people worldwide every year. What works for some won’t work for others, but we’ve put together a list of things that you can do to beat back the blues this winter! We’re certain at least one of these helpful tips can help you beat the winter blues!
One of the biggest contributors to seasonal affective disorder is a decrease in daily exercise. It’s easy to get outdoors and go hiking, camping, or for a fun romp at the beach when it’s nice and sunny outside. But when the sun’s playing hooky and it’s nice and chilly, it can be difficult to find the motivation to enjoy the outdoors.
But if you can walk for at least an hour every day, you’re that much more likely to beat back the blues this winter. Plus, a nice walk every day might just be enough to keep that holiday weight off after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner are done! Getting your cute lil butt to the gym can be a pain in the cold, you can also consider doing yoga at home, or another at home workout!
Enjoy the outdoors
Much like our last tip, this one involves leaving the comfort of your warm home! If it’s bright outside around midday, consider getting outside and soaking up whatever sun you can find. Our bodies need sunlight to produce Vitamin D, so you’ve gotta enjoy those UV-B rays whenever they happen to show up in the winter.
If you live in a portion of the world that experiences heavy, dark winters, you might consider picking up an artificial UV lamp. They’re pretty affordable, and they can help stimulate the same reaction that natural sunlight does.
Make sure that when you’re NOT outdoors, you’re keeping nice and warm. Try to keep your home around 64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18 to 21 Celsius. Eat warm food and drink warm drinks, and wear warm clothes like sweaters and socks to ensure that you aren’t freezing! Staying warm can reduce those winter blues significantly.
This is, of course, an excellent tip year-round, but it’s particularly important in the colder months that you enjoy a nice, well-rounded diet. Balance your carbohydrate consumption with good protein and lots of vegetables! The happier and healthier your body is, the happier you’ll be all around, and the healthier your mind will be. Plus you can snuggle up with some warming food blogs and learn some new recipes!
Consider a new hobby
One of the more rewarding tactics for defeating seasonal affective disorder is to pick up a new hobby! Start writing, knitting, learn an instrument or a new language—whatever activity excites you and occupies your mind. Not only will you be a happier and more occupied person, when the winter ends you’ll find that you have a fun new talent!
See your friends and family regularly
Socializing is another big factor in staying happy during the winter. Make sure that you get a chance to see your loved ones as often as possible, and catch up on each other’s lives, discuss new interests, and generally be happy around each other. You’re sure to brighten each other’s days, and find yourselves less depressive during those times where you’re forced to fly solo!
Well, that’s that! And if this whimsical list doesn’t put a dent in your winter frown, you can seek out professional help to beat the winter blues. There ain’t no shame in phoning in a friend or seeing a therapist. It’s empowering to resource yourself. We hope you enjoy the holiday season!