It’s no secret that the winter months can really take a toll on people, both physically and mentally. Often, people feel as though they are trapped indoors for days, even weeks at a time, there isn’t always as much sunshine, the days are shorter, and the cold/ wet/snowy weather can make it miserable to step outside. All of this can lead to you feeling a little blue and hoping that spring gets here sooner rather than later. You may even be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which tends to start in the fall and last until spring.
The reality is that the winter weather is here for a least a couple of months, so why not find ways that you can embrace it and improve your mood in the process? Here’s a look at seven tips that can help you do just that and make it possible to get through winter in a more enjoyable way.
Change Up Your Diet
The first place you may want to start with is your diet. No, that doesn't mean go on a diet, rather, it means altering the foods that you do pick so you choose items that will fight SAD, depression, fatigue, and a lack of focus and concentration.
Some foods you will want to reach for include those high in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, salmon, and flax seeds; lean proteins such as chicken; food high in folic acid like leafy greens and oatmeal; red berries; and food that contains vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin.
Start Taking Probiotics
Another tip is to start taking probiotics to improve your mood - you can find a variety of probiotics here on the Blue Sky Vitamin website. What many don't realize is that much of your emotional and mental well-being is dependent on a healthy gut system. What this means is that if your gut is healthy and functioning at an optimal level, you are much more likely to have a positive mood.
Did you know that almost 95% of the serotonin that your body creates - the happy chemical - is created in your gut? So, if your intestinal tract isn't healthy, it's not producing much of that serotonin. Probiotics are an excellent way to promote gut health and ensure that you’ve got plenty of those happy chemicals circulating.
Tackle a Home Renovation Project
Winter is also a great time to tackle a home renovation project, as you won’t feel like you are missing out on the great weather outdoors. Maybe you want to paint a room, move around furniture, change up the flooring, etc. If you can complete it all before the nice weather starts, you won’t miss a thing.
Get Outdoors and Embrace the Snow
While it may not seem very appealing at first, getting outdoors and actually embracing the snow can also improve your mood. Rather than focus on all the activities you can't do in the winter, try taking part in the ones that you can do. These can include things like sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, ice-skating, a nature walk, ice-fishing, and more. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your mood, and the fact that you are being active.
Set a Reading or Movie-Watching Goal
Then there is the fact that winter is the perfect time to get through those books and/or movies that you've been wanting to check out. Why not make a list and let it act as your winter goal. This can give you something fun to work on.
Invest in a Light Box
For many, one of the most depressing things about winter is the lack of sunshine. The days are shorter, and it can seem like there are more overcast days than sunny ones. This is why it may be helpful to invest in a light box. This box provides you with full spectrum light that can help boost your mood. It is recommended that you sit by it for 30 minutes per day. However, you want to make sure you sure you are only using it during normal, day time hours. Using a full spectrum light at night can alter your circadian rhythm and keep you awake at night.
Start Planning Your Summer Vacation
You can also use this time to start planning your summer vacation. This will give you something to look forward to and get excited about. As an added bonus, if you do all the planning in advance, you are more likely to find great deals and book your first-choice of accommodations and flight times.
Winter Doesn’t Have to Be Such a Bummer
So, rather than look at winter as a real down time of year where you spend months indoors, why not find ways to embrace it and take advantage of the time. Remember, winter is temporary and before you know it the buds on the trees will start, the birds will be back, and the days will get longer.