5 ways to beat the winter blues

December 1, 2014

b474089671b6cce632afc169b28bdbd5It is the first day of December! We are 3 weeks away from the first day of winter (even though in my mind it has been winter for a while) and thankfully 3 weeks away from the shortest day of the year. The whole getting dark at 4pm is not working for me – I find myself in my pajamas, glued to the couch and wondering where the day went earlier and earlier. While it is not always a bad thing to give into the desire to do absolutely nothing and be lazy for a day, doing it all winter is not okay. Here are five ways I have found help me to overcome the winter blues. What would you add to the list?

 

1. soak up the sun – even if it is just for 15 minutes, getting some sun can increase your serotonin and dopamine levels, leaving you in a better mood. Ideally, try to get outside for some actual rays (added bonus of vitamin D which helps fight depression!), but if not, try to maximize natural light in your home by opening all of your curtains and spending some time in those areas of your house. If that’s not an option, you can buy your own the sun – in a box.

 

2. get moving – exercise, take a walk, go dancing, take a hot yoga class, anything that will get your body moving will help to boost your energy for those times when it has been dark for 2 hours and you are ready for bed even though it is only 6pm. I know that if I fully give into hibernation mode, it would way too easy not leave my couch and/or bed all winter. But sticking to an exercise routine helps me to clear my head, get my blood pumping, and not feel so guilty for those New Girl marathons that are still bound to happen!

 

3. get outside – buy a warm winter jacket, warm wool socks, and bundle up! Whatever it takes to get yourself outside, do it! It is worth the investment in proper winter attire to help you feel comfortable outside when temperatures drop below freezing. The sunlight and fresh air will revive any stale or stuck energy and getting out in nature always helps keep things in perspective when you get to feeling cooped up inside all day.  And you know you are lucky enough to come back to your warm house.

 

4. socialize – it may be easy to keep this up during the holidays, but make sure you are keeping up with those important relationships in your life, not just the obligations for this time of year. Spend time with those people that light you up and  inspire you – watching friends episodes on repeat does not count. Make plans with friends will give you something to look forward to as well force you out the house even though staying in pajamas at home may sound cozier (plus, if they are your true friends, they won’t judge you if you leave the house in said pajamas).

 

5. eat well – comfort food is pretty much all I want this time of year, the more carbs/cheese/sugar the better. Especially after the holiday indulgences, it is hard to get back to a balanced way of eating, even though I know I will feel more energized if I do try to eat healthy. When you are feeling sluggish and glued to the couch on a cold winter’s day, a healthy meal may be just what you need for extra energy. Make it a point to try out a new recipe or simply add in some greens to your eggs or smoothie in the AM for an extra kick of nutrients.

 

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