Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight on bare skin, maybe it’s the shorter days, or maybe it’s even a last trace of some prehistoric hibernation instinct, but there’s no doubt that many people feel more than a little low during the winter months. At the extreme, this can turn into Seasonal Affective Disorder, a genuine medical condition, but for most people it shows itself as a straightforward case of the winter blues. What can you do to put some verve back into your winter self?
Get Out and About
The winter weather may not be as welcoming as high summer, but it can help your mood to make as much as you can of whatever sunlight there is. The combination of natural light and fresh air can give your spirits a lift, especially if you get the chance to indulge in fun winter activities such as building a snowman with the kids, or even letting your hair down with a frantic snowball fight. While it may take an effort to rouse yourself out of your cozy home, the energizing effect on your mood means you won’t regret it.
Lean On Friends or Coworkers
The simple act of talking to a friend or coworker can provide a great lift, no matter what the topic of conversation. However, it can also help to discuss the low mood you’re enduring – the chances are you’re not alone in feeling the winter blues, and it’ll give you a boost to know you’re not trudging along alone.
When you’re feeling low it can be easy to get stuck in the emotional habit, with a lack of energy causing boredom and depression in a vicious circle. It’s easier said than done, but if you can break out of this loop by thinking positively, it will stop your mood from spiraling downward. Try making a list of the upcoming events or occasions that you can look forward to, or look through photos of your last vacation when the weather was sunnier and your mood was brighter.
Lastly, your diet can have a massive effect on your emotional state. While you may be tempted to lift your mood through comforting indulgences such as chocolate or chips, eating too much of these foodstuffs will usually have exactly the opposite effect. By all means treat yourself occasionally, but back up these fleeting pleasures with a healthy diet rich in nutritious vegetables and energy-giving grains.
In a long winter, it’s natural to feel a little down from time to time. However, there’s no need to spend the colder months in a trough of despair – a few small changes in your lifestyle could give you that little extra boost you need to see you through to the welcome arrival of spring.