Beating the Winter Blues

As we all know, it is winter. The days are still short, the weather is cold, and we are lucky if we see the sun more than a few minutes a day. During this time of year, it is very common to experience the ‘Winter Blues’ and feel things such as fatigue, irritability, depression, hopelessness and other negative emotions.  The list below will help you combat those feelings!

  • You’re not the only one.
    • Remember that it is normal to experience what you are feeling, especially this time of year.
  • Watch what you eat.
    • Though heavy “comfort foods” are also good this time of year to lift spirits and stay warm, remember to make sure you are eating fruits, vegetables, and other healthy necessities.
  • Steer clear of alcohol and drugs.
    • Though these substances may seem to make you feel better at that time, they really only make you feel worse afterwards… especially when it comes to anxious or depressive feelings.
  • Sunlight will help
    • The sun is vital in helping us feel good in the winter time. It has vitamin D which helps with mood and just naturally lifts spirits. It is important to let the sun hit your skin for at least 20 minutes when possible (and when it’s not too cold!). If direct sun exposure is not medically appropriate, you can get Vitamin D from food sources and supplements. In addition, there are special spectral light bulbs you can buy which can also have similar effects, if sunlight is lacking.
  • Surround yourself with healthy things you enjoy.
    • This could be people, pets, music, hobbies, foods, and many other things that may help with your mood.
  • Talk to someone if you need to.
    • This can be family, friends, a partner, pets, a professional, a caregiver, a religious or spiritual figure, a coworker and many others. Even a diary or journal can help!
  • Try some new winter activities or give some old ones a new chance.
    • It is easy in the winter time to sit inside where it is warmer but trying out winter activities may spark an interest you didn’t know you had, are healthy and active, and may lift your spirits.
  • Stay Active
    • Exercise of any kind is good for you, especially during these colder months. Join a gym, take a brisk and refreshing walk, give your residence a nice cleaning, or play with pets. There are many creative ways to get some exercise!

      So there you have it, a good list of tools for you to use to get through these few tougher months. Get creative and see what else you can come up with!