January, you sure can be a beauty but you definitely know how to get on our bad side too.
You may know the scenarios: you’re feeling more tired or apathetic, possibly even a little extra flighty. Getting up in the morning is absolutely hellish when it still looks like it’s night time. You’d rather indulge in an array of high-carb or sugary treats curled up in a cocoon in front of the TV. You’ve got the post-holiday blues (disappointment that the holidays didn’t go well or having a hard time adjusting to work/school after leisurely holidays). You’ve already broke about half of your resolutions by now and then there is the holiday weight gain and credit card bills that start to roll in.
“She’s got the blues, the winter blues.”
Yes, this is my current theme song. As beautiful as Winter may be, unfortunately, winter blues is a real thing. And for some, it can be even more of a serious issue. While for most people, the winter melancholy is hard to avoid with tolerable sluggishness and even some food cravings, others can even fall victim to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons and usually begins and ends at about the same time every year.
Here’s a huge reason why according to webMD: The lack of sunlight causes the brain to work overtime producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body clock and sleep patterns and a hormone that has been linked to depression. That’s why all things considered, the farther north from the equator you live, the greater the risk you’ll have some degree of winter depression. Only about 1% of Florida residents have some winter-specific discomfort or depression, compared to about half of those living in uppermost parts of the U.S. or in southern Canada (that’s me!).
Thankfully, there are many simple ways that we can help ourselves get out of that funk and get back to enjoying the beauty in Winter and back to our normal selves!
8 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
1) Make your house brighter
The lack of sunlight outdoors may be daunting but if you can get in as much natural light as possible, you can reap the benefits! Keep your blinds and curtains totally open during the day. Use bright colors on your walls and light-colored upholstery. Clutter can be mentally discouraging, so clean your room and house as often as possible.
See the light! Have you considered a Light Box? Light therapy has been reported to work in 80% of all cases of SAD. Some research shows that blue light may be slightly more effective at reducing seasonal affective disorder symptoms than other types of light.
Doctors recommend sitting near your light box for 30 minutes each morning.
2) Get some exercise
I know the thought of hitting the treadmill may not be on the top of your priority list when you’ve been hit with the blues, but those magical endorphins really do help!
Physical exercise is a proven depression buster, so don’t use winter as an excuse to miss out on all those awesome mood-enhancing endorphins and neurotransmitters.
3) Pump up the jams
Along with boosting the endorphins from exercise, music also works wonders. Play music you love and that makes you feel happy and energized. Play it while you’re working out, around the house while doing some chores, at the office (if it’s allowed), first thing in the morning when you get up, or while you’re headed home in the car or on the train after a long day.
4) Take your vitamins
It’s not very easy to function daily (let alone get in a good cardio sesh) when your body is lacking the nutrition it needs. You may think you eat well but many of us are definitely lacking essential vitamins. One a Day Gummies helps with this, plus it helps that it tastes like a treat!
Don’t forget about the munchkins. My daughter is proof that winter blues can hit the little ones as much as they can the adults. FLINTSTONES Active Kids Gummies can help bridge dietary gaps as a source of vitamins and minerals in a convenient and tasty gummy, and are great for picky eaters.
Nostalgia, much? Who else remembers FLINTSTONES vitamins growing up! *raises hand*
5) Eat a seratonin-boosting diet
If you’ve got the winter doldrums, you may find yourself craving and eating more sugar and refined carbohydrates than usual (guilty).
A healthy diet should emphasize vegetables, fruit, protein sources, and healthy fats, but you don’t have to completely give up eating carbohydrates.
In fact, there is a dietary “trick” that raises levels of mood-boosting serotonin by strategically eating healthy carbohydrates unaccompanied by protein (YAY!).
How about this bright, refreshing winter fruit salad?
6) Ward off the sickies
It’s inevitable that you or someone in your household (which means it will get to you sooner than later) will come down with a nasty virus during the winter. There’s nothing worse than feeling the winter blues and then getting sick.
Along with taking your vitamins, eating well (up that vitamin C!), and exercise, sometimes you just cannot escape it.
Alleviate those pesky nasal cold symptoms with hydraSense Daily Nasal Care. I swear by this and I use this for my entire family, especially when winter months bring on multiple colds and also have you cooped up in often drier homes due to the heating system.
It’s effective at relieving nasal congestion, making it easier to breathe and having you taste that delicious mood-boosting dish again.
7) Cross an Item Off Your “To-Do” List
Is there a project or task you’ve been putting off? First, add it to your to-do list.
Don’t worry about the size of the task. Even a task as small as clearing out your junk drawer or even just folding all that accumulating laundry qualifies.
Then after you’ve done it, cross it off your list.
Accomplishing any goal, be it big or small, provides a burst of dopamine, the brain chemical behind motivation. Low dopamine is linked to apathy, boredom, and general lack of zest for life — all common signs of the winter blues.
8) Get out of the house
We spend much more time inside during the winter. Not only is all that sitting unhealthy, but it’s isolating and not mentally stimulating to spend many hours in your own house or apartment. A simple change of scenery can change your perspective on things. Be sure you get out every day no matter if it’s for a walk around the block, to a new restaurant, or to an appointment.
I hope these tips help you to move yourself towards more energy, happiness, and peace of mind as you get ready to make this one of your best years yet!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.