In winter it is common to feel sad and listless. This is a type of seasonal depression commonly known as the winter blues that comes around as the days get shorter. During this time you might also crave carbohydrates, spend more time sleeping and have little motivation to get up and get going. Here are some things that might help you beat these feelings.
Make your home brighter
During this season our body will be craving more sunlight than we’re getting, so it’s important not to lock yourself away in a darkened room. Open your curtains as soon as you get up to make the most of natural light and try to spend some time outdoors. This can improve your focus and lower any symptoms of stress that you might be feeling. Another option is an artificial light box, something that can be as effective as antidepressant medication if used for 30 minutes per day.
Something as easy as walking for about 30 minutes per day, five times per week has been proven to improve the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. If you’re feeling sad in the winter, try exercising under bright lights as this has been known to be a great mood booster. When the weather is cold, you’ll probably prefer to exercise indoors so why not join a class like yoga, spinning or aerobics.
When you’re feeling blue, sometimes all you need is some time alone. Treat yourself to a long soak in the bath, a good book or a chilled glass of wine – all things that you can do without even leaving the house. Invest in a wine chiller and stock up for the winter; those extra bottles are bound to come in handy at Christmas time when flocks of visitors descend on your home.
Plan a vacation
If you’re longing for sunnier days spent lolling on the beach, then the simple act of planning a vacation has been proven to increase your overall happiness. What’s more, during the winter you’ll probably find better deals on flights and hotels because more people tend to travel in the summer. Even a weekend away at a quiet countryside B&B might be just what you need to get out of a slump.
You might be craving carbohydrates but eating healthy foods will help you to feel less sluggish and more alert. During the winter many people will fail to produce enough serotonin, therefore, our bodies will naturally crave it. Chocolate can be a good mood enhancer and can relieve symptoms of anxiety while other types of candy will simply be a temporary relief.
Hopefully, our tips have given you a good idea about how to combat the blues this winter, but if you’re still struggling with seasonal affective disorder, you should contact a GP who will refer you to a specialist.