The mercury is falling, the days are getting shorter, and in some parts of the country, snow is already falling. It’s not uncommon to feel a lag in energy and spirits during this frigid time of the year, especially when you have to wake up while it’s still dark outside, and you return home from work in the gloaming.
If you’re feeling a dip in mood during the change of the season, check out these seven ways to deal with the Cold Weather Blues.
Nothing boosts your energy levels better than a hard workout. But if the prospect of jogging in sub-zero weather has you down, maybe it’s time to revamp your routine. Consider joining a local gym or signing up for a new class. Hot yoga might help you forget how very cold it is outside for a little while, while a music-blasting Zumba class is bound to raise your spirits.
Though it may be tempting to reach for the easy carbs when it’s cold outside, consider nuts or fruit instead. Sugary snacks and those high in carbohydrates will give you an instant bump in energy, but the crash that follows will only exacerbate your blues.
Snow and ice are very easy excuses to avoid social events, but hanging out with friends can boost your mood. Don’t say no–at least not all the time.
Start A Fun Project
Engage your mind in a new activity that will give you joy. Take up a challenging knitting project, start that scrapbook you’ve always wanted to make, get that extra bedroom painted, or take a woodworking class.
If you dress right, you won’t mind the cold. A brisk walk around the neighborhood or through a park stimulates your circulatory system and opens your mind.
Get Some Sunlight
Your body craves light. Make sure you set aside some time to sit next to a window where the sun pours in, take a walk outside, or take advantage of a sun lamp or light therapy box. Everyone needs vitamin D, and many people feel a mood boost after a good dose of sun exposure.
If your winter blues tend to get deeper as the months go by, it’s a good idea to plan an escape. Scheduling a trip to a warmer place can boost your mood just from the anticipation.
About 14% of the US population suffers from bouts of the winter blues, and six percent experience the more marked depression called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). If you think you may be experiencing SAD, don’t hesitate to contact a mental health care professional who can help you manage your symptoms so you feel more like yourself.