By

Sofia Lockett

| 11/28/2017

5 Helpful Ways to Feel Better and Defeat Winter Blues

5 Helpful Ways to Feel Better and Defeat Winter Blues

Do you feel more tired, down and moody than usual during the winter? If so, you may have what’s known as seasonal affective disorder. This condition is a type of depression that is triggered by the changes of the seasons. Symptoms usually begin in the late fall or early winter months when the climate becomes cooler and darker. Common signs include weight gain, excessive sleeping, the inability to focus, and a loss of interest in social activities (1). Most often, the low moods go away once the sunny days of summer and spring begin.

If you’re struggling with any symptoms of seasonal depression, mild or serious, there are many steps you can take to help you feel better. Here are 5 ways to defeat the winter blues.

Find a Hobby

It’s important to keep your mind and body active when suffering from seasonal depression. Find an activity that interests you, whether it’s playing sports, doing pottery, knitting, painting, making a healthy meal – like a soup or broth, writing in your journal or just reading a good book. This will give you much-needed relief from your everyday winter blues and give you something to focus on and look forward to. Why not try charity work? Volunteering will allow you to put your mind and energy into something meaningful and worthwhile. The fact that you are making a difference will help you to feel good about yourself.

Brighten Up Your Home

The lack of sunlight during the winter months is thought to have an impact on your body clock, which can play a role in mood changes. Therefore, one of the best things you can do to prepare for winter depression is to maximize the amount of light in your home. During the day, keep all your blinds and curtains open to let in as much sunlight as possible.

Exercise

Doing regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to feel better and defeat winter blues. Working out will warm you up and make you feel more energetic during the gloomy days of winter, which can help to improve your overall mood. It can also help prevent weight gain which is a common problem for people suffering from winter depression. Look for some good home gym equipment and start working towards your fitness goals. Once you’ve started your exercise regime, make sure you actually stick with it. Pushing yourself physically is a great way to take your mind off any stress.

Spend Time Outdoors

It’s tempting to stay inside all day when it’s cold outside. However, this does no good for people suffering from the seasonal affective disorder. Sitting indoors all day can be isolating, which will only make the problem worse. Staying active outdoors is essential for a healthy lifestyle. So instead of sitting in front of the TV all weekend, take advantage of the bright times of the day by going for a walk around the block or playing a winter sport that you enjoy. Make it a point to get out of the house and be around other people. Some fresh air and a brief change of scenery can really help to shift your perspective.

Travel

When you’re really feeling the winter blues, sometimes all you need is a fun, sunny escape. If you have the means, book a trip overseas with a group of your closest friends to somewhere warm. The excitement of planning a trip will help to lift your spirits. Once you’ve spent some time away in a warm, sunny climate, you will likely come back feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

Sofia Lockett is a freelance writer from New Zealand, who is also a passionate traveler and foodie. Sofia often focuses her pieces on travel, health, and lifestyle. You can read more articles on her Tumblr.

Sources:

[1] Mayo Clinic

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