I’m not going to lie to you, I am writing this blog post at the end of January, and the winter blues are real right now.
It’s about to hit zero temperatures (Celcius) here in the UK, everybody has spent all their money over Christmas, and it feels like summer is such a long way away that we’re not sure if it’s even a real thing or just a fantasy we made up in our head.
So, with being sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I decided to go online and do some research on how you can beat the winter blues.
Particularly if you live in a cold climate, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real, and pretty common condition which can be managed with just a few changes to your mindset and daily routine.
If you’re like me and are feeling a little worse for wear this winter, then here are some top tips from experts to drag you out of the winter slump and get you feeling uplifted and excited for the months ahead.
8 Tips To Beat The Winter Blues
SET YOURSELF GOALS
There’s nothing you can do about the weather, but there is something you can do about your weight, financial situation, job, level of fitness or anything else you have been meaning to do something about for a while.
So set yourself a goal, plan how you’re going to achieve it and focus your energy wholly on that instead of feeling down in the dumps about the weather.
BOOK SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Whether that be a holiday, concert or even a meal at your favourite restaurant, give yourself something to look forward to in spring time to remind you that you will be out the other side before you know it.
Trying to make it through winter without anything to look forward to can be a challenging thing to face, so even if it’s just the smallest thing, have something to be excited about that is going to help you get out of bed each morning even when you’re shivering beyond a joke.
SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES
Spending time with friends and family is proven to improve your mood no matter what the reason for feeling low.
Trying to make it through a tough time is much more difficult when you do it alone.
Chances are, some of your friends are feeling exactly the same way, so help each other out and arrange to meet up as often as possible for a giggle and chit chat, and before you know it you will feel ten times better.
LIGHT UP THE SPACE
Half the reason I find winter such a challenge is the darkness.
You wake up and it’s dark outside. You leave the office and its dark outside. By the time the weekend rolls around, you have spent the entire week without an ounce of sunlight, and now you have the weekend to go out during daylight, you’re so deprived of vitamin D that all you want to do is lay in bed feeling sorry for yourself.
One way to beat this feeling is to light up your home as much as possible. Bring in additional floor lights and mood lighting to your bedroom and living room, and even consider buying a Seasonal Affective Disorder light box.
Available on Amazon, Lumie Vitamin L Light Box for Effective SAD Light Therapy is proven to improve mood, energy and focus. Place yours on a window ledge in your home, or on your desk at work to give yourself some artificial exposure to Vitamin L to improve your mood and combat the effects of SAD.
GET SPRING CLEANING
Cleaning will have most of us feeling super productive and fulfilled.
Living in a tidy, clutter free environment will help you to think with more clarity, and you’ll have a much easier job of finding what you need when you need it without having to sift through all the junk in your drawers and cabinets.
If you need a hand with where to start, then check out 92 Things You Need To Get Rid Of Now.
As much as your probably just want to hibernate under the blankets for six months – trust me, I get the feeling – that’s actually the worst thing you can do for your mental health when you’re suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Wallowing around in your own self pity is only going to reinforce that down in the dumps feeling.
The best thing you can do is get out and get moving.
Even if it’s just taking a 30 minute walk around you hometown, get fresh air and exercise to release endorphins and dopamine in the body and improve your mood.
Vitamin D isn’t the only common deficiency people experience in winter.
Many fruits and vegetables that would usually be in season during the summer months are hard to come by or are much pricier in winter, so we can find ourselves lacking many important nutrients for good health.
Some of the best supplements for winter health include:
- Vitamin C: boosts immune system and fights against illnesses such as flu and the common cold
- Vitamin E: also boosts immune system and promotes healthy skin, hair and nails which can become brittle and damaged in winter.
- Zinc: boosts the immune system and speeds up the healing process of wounds and skin damage.
EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
Supplements can massively boost your body’s nutrient intake and can strengthen your immune system in adverse conditions, however, they do not count as a replacement for a well balanced, nutritious diet.
Make sure to include the following in your diet for optimal health in preparation for the winter ahead:
- Vitamin C rich foods including: oranges, lemons, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and red peppers
- Zinc rich foods including: leafy greens, fish and beans and legumes
- Heartwarming nutrient rich comfort foods such as soups, porridge, stews and potato based pies – these will keep you feeling warm, full and will stop you filling up on crisps, sweets and junk food in an attempt to lift your mood.
To Finish Off…
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and will be able to take on board some of these tips to improve your mood this winter.
Let me know in the comments below what are your top tips for surviving the winter blues and I hope to see you back here soon for more lifestyle tips and advice!