The winter season will be here before you know it, and you might find yourself dreading it. If you’re someone with seasonal affective disorder, commonly abbreviated as SAD, it’s vital you take steps to boost your mood and outlook during the colder months of the year. Here are a few suggestions to get you started to better ensure you beat the winter blues.
Brighten Up Your World
One of your biggest problems with the winter season might be the days are shorter, which means you may not enjoy as much sunlight as you might like. You can invest in a light box to replicate daylight when the sun starts to go down at 5 o’clock in the evening. Basking in the glow of artificial light can be just as effective as taking an antidepressant.
Take Your Workout Outside
You might prefer to stay inside where it’s nice and warm as much as possible during the winter, but fighting this urge can be good for you. Rather than go for a jog or run on a treadmill, bundle up in a few layers and keep exercising outside like you usually do. While you may not feel like you have much motivation to get outside in the cold, doing so is a good way to keep from packing on a few winter pounds. Something else to mull over is the fact that you might find you actually like exercising outside.
Proper nutrition is important during any time of the year, but especially so during the winter. Foods that can help boost your mood when the weather gets colder include whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. These foods have been shown to help keep depression at bay and boost your body’s ability to create serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you with depression, concentration, anxiety and getting enough sleep.
If you’ve never been one to indulge in luxuries like electric massage tables, a day at the spa or a shopping spree, the winter season is the perfect season to start. Not only are massages and time at the spa a great way to relax, they can boost your mood, and the same is true of buying a little something for yourself every now and then. When you feel yourself start to cave in under the shortened days, cold and lack of sunshine, focus on the simple pleasures in life.
Crank Up the Music
Nothing lifts your spirits and changes your mood faster than listening to your favorite music. Revisit old songs you used to jam to a few years ago, check out your current favorite artists to see if they have any new material for you to dig into and find new artists to listen to. One of the great things about music is there’s always something new to sample, and you can spend all winter wrapping your ears and mind in great tunes that can lift you above the winter blues.
Spend More Time With Your Friends
Even though the cold might make you want to keep warm in the comfort of your own home, you owe it to yourself and your mood to get outside and visit with your friends. Socializing with your friends over a meal, a few drinks or inside someone else’s home can keep you in an upbeat mood while you all make some great memories. You could even make some new and exciting friends by venturing outside and braving the cold.
Drink Plenty of Tea
While you’re eating healthy, you can also drink healthy. Studies have shown that drinking black tea can beat depression. Find yourself feeling anxious? The theanine contained in tea can help even out your emotions. The next time you’re in the grocery store, look for green, herbal and black tea and some honey if you’re in need of a sweetener.
Plan a Vacation
Maybe it’s time you get away to somewhere warmer this winter instead of staying where you are. Planning a vacation to a warm beach can brighten up your mood before you even leave. Imagine the warm sunshine, picture yourself walking in the sand and anticipate the symphonic crash of the waves.
Don’t let winter get the best of you. Put these tips to good use to keep your spirits high until the warmth returns.
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