If the colder weather and darker days are getting you down, you’re not alone. The “winter blues” is defined as a short period of time when a person may feel down or not like themselves due to weather changes, like in the fall and winter when daylight hours are shorter, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The winter blues are more common than you probably think. Even in more mild climates, like in California, getting less mood-boosting sunlight can have dramatic effects on our moo and outlook.
So what can you do to beat the blues when the short, dark days are getting you down? Here are a few ideas to combat the winter blues this season:
Because seasonal depression can be brought on by the lack of sunlight, it is more important than ever to get outside in the sunshine, ideally in the morning when the sun is strongest. Combining time outside with exercise or meditation is also a great way to boost your mood.
Get Plenty of Light
Give yourself every opportunity for daylight, even when not outdoors. Try placing exercise equipment or your work area near a window to increase sun exposure throughout the day. Lamps that simulate natural light can also help.
Make Time for Loved Ones
Making an effort to connect with loved ones may seem trying during a global pandemic that makes it so hard to do so in-person, but it is crucial for people struggling with their seasonal blues. Whether that means scheduling a socially-distanced outdoor walk, having a Zoom or phone call or doing an activity together virtually, like baking or having a coffee.
Wear Bright Colors
Though it sounds silly, wearing bright colors is an easy way to boost your spirits. Take advantage of your time at home and wear bright, comfy, feel-good clothes to improve your mood and brighten your day.
Make a Book and Movie List
Winter is a great time to get to those books and movies you’ve been meaning to read and watch. Take this a wonderful way to feel cultured, productive and cozy. You can find a complete Pandemic Movie List here.
If you are struggling with the winter blues, be sure to find healthy ways to boost your mood and brighten your spirits. If these ideas don’t work, seeing a therapist is another great option. Speaking to a professional can help you train your brain to think more positively, which can also make you feel better physically.
Our team at Flourish + Live Well wish you nothing but health and wellness this winter season. If interested in other holistic remedies and ideas to boost your mood and wellness, please contact us.