I don’t mind winter, mainly I guess because I work from home so don’t have to face going out in horrid weather unless I have to, but for those who suffer a downer during this unfriendly season, there are some ways to prevent the winter blues. Whatever the weather is doing, or how glum your friends, family and colleagues may be, try some of these ways to prevent the winter blues and spread some sunshine of your own.
1. Soak up the Sun
One of the best ways to prevent the winter blues is to go outside in the sun. Not only is the Vitamin D good for your physical health, but it is also good for your mental health. It is difficult to be sad when the nice, bright sun is shining down on you while you enjoy the great outdoors. The fresh air is also a nice break from the stuffy, overheated indoors.
2. Shine a Light
One of the main reasons people suffer from the winter blues is because there is less daylight. This can actually wreak havoc on your body’s circadian rhythm. It also impacts the release of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood. Try opening up your blinds and curtains to get some light into your life. Or you can purchase a blue LED light that has a peak wavelength of 470 nm. These are said to be the best because they produce less of a glare.
3. Move It, Shake It
The extremely cold months of December, January and February are when most women get the least amount of exercise—ten percent less than in the summer time. Do not be like a bear and hibernate from your regular exercise routine. Make an effort to get to the gym or do some type of workout routine at home. The release of endorphins afterwards is sure to get you out of your winter slump and feeling a million times better. It is also a good way to keep some of those extra winter calories in check.
4. Movement and Light
One of the interesting new ways to survive winter is to combine exercise with light. Some gyms, like New York Sports Club, offer a class called “Lighten Up” which uses light therapy meditation with high-intensity interval exercises. You get the benefits of two ways to prevent the winter blues in one, unique class. If no such class exists near you, try exercising near a window with the blinds or curtains drawn or with a blue LED light.
5. Food, Glorious Food
Fruits and vegetables are good for you both physically and emotionally. According to one study, people who ate the most fruits and vegetables were less likely to feel depressed, anxious or suffer from other psychological conditions. In other words—an apple a day can do a lot more than just keep the doctor away. Be sure to stock up on produce the next time you are at the grocery store.
6. Consume Chamomile
Some of the best ways to beat the winter blues are the simplest. Chamomile is said to have a calming effect when you take it. It reduces anxiety symptoms and can help relieve your winter blues. Of course, check with a doctor if you are already taking medications to make sure the supplement does not have a bad interaction with them. There is also chamomile tea that you can drink at night. It is caffeine free and has a very smooth flavor—a perfect way to wind down after a busy or stressful day.
7. Happy Hobbies
Some creative ways to prevent the winter blues may be found at your local craft store, a do-it-yourself magazine or on the slopes. Find something new like baking cookies or cupcakes or putting together scrapbooks. Or, if you are more adventurous, try taking up a winter sport like cross-country skiing or ice skating. You will be so busy mastering a new skill or working on a project that you will forget all about your winter blues.
If you’re busy and occupied, you won’t have time to bemoan the weather and lack of sun. Set an example to everyone around you and everyone will have a sunnier winter disposition! Do you suffer from the winter blues? Maybe you have some tips and ways to beat the winter blues to share with us?