The 'Winter Blues' are not just some fictional notion thought up in women's magazines, but S.A.D, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real thing, along with things like vitamin deficiencies and countless bugs that contribute to the feeling of the 'blues' during winter. With shorter days and longer, darker nights, it can soon get us down and as much as there can be a lot to look forward to, when there's something going on internally we can't control, the winter blues can soon kick in and make us feel very, very low.
There are things we can try though to keep on top of the winter blues and stay in a better mental state through the colder months. With just a little effort we can over come this and keep ourselves feeling on top. Here's ten small things we can easily incorporate into our day to whip those blues away until spring.
Having something to look forward to can really give you a boost when you're feeling low. Why not book a holiday for next year or even some winter sun in the new year? From a solo treat like a facial or spa day, special family day, a party or trip to somewhere new, anything you can arrange, pencil in or get booked right now will give you a little light at the end of the tunnel to focus on, lifting your spirits and shifting those blues a little.
Practise Self Care
As always, self care is so important and although it can be a hard thing to instill in ourselves when we have families to care for, you cant feed from an empty cup, so looking after ourselves ultimately means we can look after others better too. As well as running better for the day to day tasks we face, you will feel better about yourself, more relaxed and even healthier depending on how you like to spend your 'you time'.
Embrace The Outdoors
Even though it's the easiest and most appealing option to stay home sometimes, to bundle up in a blanket fort and glue ourselves to Netflix, getting out in the fresh air and daylight can do wonders for our mental health. Whether it's a walk with the kids, taking the dog out or venturing out for something you enjoy like photography, running, gardening, just get outside and make the most of the light we do get, take in that fresh air and get moving to keep healthy and get those feel good endorphins going strong.
The main thing that affects us in winter is the lack of light. If you work full time, the whole leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark routine can feel really depressing after a while and play real havoc on our emotions. Try and let in as much natural light as possible and outside of daylight hours, just fake it til you make it with suitable lighting and perhaps even create a faux sunrise with a glow clock on a timer for a more natural wake up.
Helping others does make us feel good. Knowing you've put a smile on someones face in any way is guaranteed to spread a smile on your chops too. There are lots of ways to help others this time of year particularly, so get stuck in where you can and make someones day.
Listen To Music
Music really is the perfect soul fodder and makes a huge difference to the way we feel. When you listen to music whilst cleaning or exercising, you get a surge of energy from nowhere and your emotions can be completely flipped in an instant with certain songs. Pop on some of your preferred feel good music, perhaps something that reminds you of summer, being outdoors or a time in your life where you had a crazy amount of fun and get singing along and dancing. Your mood will soon lift. Go make a play list, now, go!
Eat Well, Drink Well, Supplement The Rest
Eating well indubitably enhances our well being, but it's really important in winter to keep healthy and get what we need. Getting the right food can help to keep our immune system strong, help us fight off germs, keep our energy levels up and even effect our mood.
Hermit life can feel like the best life at times, but really does it do us any favours? As much as it can feel easier and mean less venturing out into the cold, spending time with those that make us happy can really boost our mood. Try and say yes more to those invitations and get sociable when you can. Even giving it a try and leaving early if needed is better than writing the whole thing off from the start.
If you're feeling low, then don't keep it to yourself. It always feel better knowing you're not alone and there's always someone that can relate to how you're feeling, offer help with things you're struggling with or simply understand why you may be a little absent at times. Although a cliche, a problem shared really is a problem halved and the winter blues is a very common problem for many of us, so get talking and those that matter will understand. Maybe, those that don't understand don't matter so much anyway.
Keep yourself warm and comfortable as much as you can. Feeling cold can trigger a response in our bodies to want to run and get what we need, so by keeping warm you'll feel a lot more settled and content. By simply feeling more comfortable, i.e warm in this case, we'll feel happier in ourselves as well as preventing our muscles from getting achy.
Whatever helps you get through the winter blues, just make time for it and don't be afraid to reach out and talk or ask for help if you need it too.