5 Ways to Fight the Winter Blues
Ever wonder why you feel so much more glum in winter? Well, there’s a reason for it – Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is (appropriately) known as SAD for short and is caused by a lack of sunlight in the daytime that massively reduces your vitamin D intake, which affects your serotonin levels and makes you feel that little bit gloomier. Take a look at some of the ways you can fight back against the winter blues and inject some much-needed happiness back into your life.
Since sunlight is the main cause of Vitamin D, you’re going to want to soak up as much as you can when it’s out. As tempting as it can be to sit in abject darkness and feel sorry for yourself, be sure to open your curtains as soon as you wake up and go out for a daily walk to make the most out of what daylight you’re actually getting. Unnatural light can also help with this, so using the lights in your home can imitate the effects of sunlight in your home. Be sure to wrap up warm too by whacking the central heating on, or if you’re a bit short on pennies, get those thermal clothes on so you’re nice and toasty.
We all know the desire to sit indoors and eat nothing but junk food all winter – our ‘hibernation’ phase as we like to call it. Doing this, however, is massively counterproductive to your overall happiness. Sure, you might get a short hit of happiness for a while, but you’ll soon crash again. Austin Powers hit the nail on the head: “I eat because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I eat…it’s a vicious cycle.” Learning to cook healthy, nutritious meals that incorporate plenty of fruit and vegetables will load you up full of the necessary vitamins to keep you feeling healthy and happy.
Exercise is a fantastic way to keep up your serotonin levels during the winter months. If you take up winter specific exercise (like skiing, hiking or ice skating) you might even start to enjoy the winter months! You’re also more likely to eat healthier then too, if you’ve just had a really intense workout session you’re more likely to look at anything loaded with fat and think to yourself, “it’s just not worth it, is it…”
It may sound obvious, but if you dedicate more time into doing what makes you happy you’ll notice a difference. Put aside more time to going out with friends, there’s a reason they say laughter is the best medicine: it’s proven to increase your serotonin levels. You could also book a holiday, get away and soak up the sun in a foreign land. Even something as simple as taking a long hot bath can help your outlook on life, just make sure you have a proper circulation pump for hot water, nobody wants to sit there in lukewarm water on a bitterly cold day.
Winter can feel like it goes on for years, mostly because you feel like there’s nothing to look forward to. If you start mixing things up in your routine then you’ll feel a bit less stagnated. Take up a new hobby, shake up your look, or do that thing you always said you would in the summer but never got around to. If you have a calendar that’s stocked full of upcoming events you’ll constantly have something to look forward, rather than sitting there miserable googling, “when does Spring get here?”