I’ve had a real case of the winter blues this year. The cold weather, gray skies and bare trees can make me feel as though I’m trapped inside a Gothic novel with no ending in sight. I know I’m not alone for sometimes wishing we could fast-forward to spring already.
Winter is a difficult time of year for many of us. Cold-season depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a major problem for about 4 to 6 percent of people, and a mild problem for another 10 to 20 percent. SAD is most common in young adults and women.
For me it’s not all about the cold weather, but about managing a hectic work schedule, pressure around the holidays, and the homesickness I always experience at this time.
I’m working hard to keep myself happy though the colder months, and I want you to be happy too! Whatever your problem with winter is, these activities are sure to bring a smile to your face.
1. Get Some Sleep
It’s gets dark early at this time of year, so take that as your excuse to get some extra shut-eye. If you have trouble falling asleep, trying listening to an audiobook or a relaxation track.
2. Exercise — Even If It’s Just A Little
Don’t use cooler temps as a reason to stop working out! An indoor, feel-good activity like a group fitness class is perfect for this time of year. If you’d rather keep it simple, wrap up warm and go for a walk outside.
3. Eat Your Fruit & Veggies
It’s so important to eat healthy to stave off nasty colds and flus—and because it will put you in a better mood than a sugar crash. Whip up a fresh fruit smoothie, warm yourself up with a hearty soup or stew, or check out which foods will naturally help with your mood.
4. Get A Happy Light
My friends swear by the power of a Happy Light Energy Lamp, which provides an extra boost of natural light when you need it most. Start your day by getting a dose of sunshine for improved concentration and more happiness.
5. Keep A Journal
Writing in a journal gives you the space to ask yourself questions about what’s bothering you and to find solutions. If you’d rather have more structure, try a guided journal like The Grass Is Green Enough, which comes with pretty images and questions to reflect on each day.
6. Think Of Others
Sometimes the best way to deal with being down is to focus on someone else. Call your family, do something nice for a friend, or volunteer for a cause you really care about.
7. Bake Something Delicious
Is it just me or does winter have the best recipes? Get thee to a kitchen and try your hand at gingerbread, sugar cookies (made with literary cookie cutters, of course), or mince pies. Plus, using the oven will keep your house nice and warm.
8. Drink Tea
Where I grew up, tea was a solution to everything. But seriously, there’s nothing better than a warm cuppa when you want to relax—and many types of tea actually do boost your mood.
9. Spend Time On Your Couch
10. Change Up Your Surroundings
Don’t let your home be as gray as the skies outside. Make it colorful! Take some time out of your busy schedule to decorate for Christmas, or tweak your house to be as cozy as possible with blankets and scented candles.
How do you beat your winter blues? Tweet us @LitDarling!
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