We often think of winter as a time of both joy and stress. We rush around to family and friend gatherings, hustle to get our homes ready for the holidays, and battle the crowds for the best presents. Winter brings such complex emotions! When the hustle and bustle is quiet though, we often feel a bit more sluggish and bummed in the winter. The cold and dark days have us staying in, lazing around the house in our PJs all day, and eating junk food. We always want to feel our best, even when it’s not all sun and fun outside! Below are a few tips to battle the blues and feel bright all year round!
- Go outside! Wait, what?! It’s so cold! This seems counter to what we actually want to do, but getting outside in the winter gets us access to the sunshine, which helps us produce vitamin D. Even a few minutes makes a difference in our mood! This can be as simple as taking the dog or the stroller for a slightly longer walk, doing a few outdoor chores on a sunny day, or taking a short walk around the parking lot at work during your lunch. Vitamin D supplements and light boxes also might help if you’re struggling to get outside! Your best bet is to hit the outdoors within two hours of waking up to maximize the benefits. Bundle up and soak up the sun!
Your best bet is to hit the outdoors within two hours of waking up to maximize the benefits.
- Stay social! After the holidays end, people usually hermit up in their homes and would rather marathon Netflix than meet up for dinner with friends. Resist the temptation to crawl into bed and instead hit up some friends or go on an adventure with your family. We feel better just being out and about rather than cooped up at home, and our friends help boost our moods.
- Exercise! It’s so much easier to skip the gym if you’re already feeling blah. Skipping exercise will only make you feel worse! Notice how your mood improves after a solid exercise session? Let that motivate you! Exercise improves your mood naturally and helps you feel more confident in the way you look, helping you get into a positive routine. Keep this going in the winter by signing up for a new class (hot yoga, anyone?!) or buying some warm new gear for your daily run or walk outside (hey, a two-for-one tip!).
Exercise improves your mood naturally and helps you feel more confident.
- Make a sleep schedule! Mmmm, it’s sometimes so nice to stay in bed until noon on a cold, dark day! However, if this becomes a habit, it can really pull down your mood. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to steady your mood and keep you from staying in bed all day. You’ll be more likely to accomplish your daily goals and even get tips 1-3 into your daily routine.
- Break open your essential oils – There are several oils that can be mood uplifters. Diffusing oils like wild orange, lemon, frankincense, grapefruit, and blends such as the joyful blend and the invigorating blend not only make your room smell good but they support you emotionally.
- Increase your fruits and veggies! There are so many yummy veggies and fruits that we can get during the winter to spice up our diets and benefit our moods. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins from fruits and veggies to sustain your body’s needs throughout the year. Try out some new recipes to get more healthy foods into your winter diet. Check out my recipe for a vitamin packed smoothie and my root vegetable medley for a veggieful dish this winter!
- See your doctor! Many people deal with a more serious condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and might continue to struggle with the blues beyond these tips. In this case, you might want to visit your primary care physician or naturopath who can make more recommendations to you and help you find even more options for you.
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