It’s been a long winter. The cold weather, short days and gray skies can leave you feeling blue. February is usually the month where SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) peaks for many people. The holidays are over and although spring is just around the corner, it seems sometimes as if brighter days will never arrive.
It’s time to snap out of it and lift your spirits. We’ve got 7 tips to help you stay sunny during the winter doldrums.
- Stay Active. It has been scientifically proven that exercise reduces the symptoms of depression by increasing the endorphins that generate positive feelings. Whenever possible plan your physical activity for the morning. It has been shown that morning exercisers, burn more calories throughout the day, report better sleep, and have lower blood pressure. You’ll also love the way you look once you finally can put those warm-weather clothes on!
- Get your D. Also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, studies have shown that most people need to increase their intake by up to 500% in the winter months. Vitamin D is not only critical for essential body health but researchers have also found that it improves mood.
3. Show your bright side. It has been shown that the more down in the dumps we are, the less able we are to distinguish colors. Gloomy gray skies and long nights don’t help. When you add color to your wardrobe such as red, orange, yellow, and chartreuse your mood will actually improve. You could also give a room in your house a makeover with a splash of color by painting the walls or accessorizing with bright cheery décor. This gives you a happy place to spend your inside time.
4. Eat light. During cold, dark months our bodies instinctively crave carbohydrates and “comfort foods”. Not only is this type of diet unhealthy but it also provides a false sense of happiness. These simple carbs will give you a short-lived energy boost and feeling of satisfaction but it’s only a matter of time before it all wears off and your left feeling worse than you did before. Instead choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins which are mood-boosting foods. Your waistline will thank you too!
5. Put your toes in the sand. While taking a vacation is not possible for everyone if you have the means and the time off we highly recommend a warm beach getaway if even for a few days. The time off, the energy from the sun (use sunscreen), and the relaxation it an instant moor booster. If taking off to a tropical paradise isn’t in the cards, consider spending the weekend at a water park or spa. Any getaway can turn that frown around.
6. Smell Citrus. Yep – you read that right. If you’re feeling blue or lack energy, cut an orange or lemon or light a citrus candle and take in the scent. A study published in the Journal NeuroImmunoModulation found that when patients suffering from depression were exposed to citrus smells their moods were lifted. The smells likely stimulated sensory systems which provided a much-needed boost of
7. Bring in spring. One of the best parts of spring is when everything starts to bloom. A sure fire way to bring your out of your funk is to surround yourself with fresh flowers. Nowadays you can buy reasonably priced, beautiful bouquets at most grocery stores so pick a few up and place them around your home where everyone can enjoy them. It’s one of our favorite things to do! We can’t make spring come any quicker but we hope these tips will help you get through the next few weeks until Mother Nature decides to send Jack Frost away until next year.
If you have go-to remedies for the winter blues, we’d love to hear them. Post them in the comments or head over to our Facebook page and share them there!