While the winter blues might sound like some cool sub-genre of music, it is in fact, a condition that affects millions every year when the nights become longer, grey clouds fill the skies, and a chillier temperature fills the air.
The winter months make it harder for us to go out, socialise and take part in the activities that we love.
However, with a little guidance, you could embrace the winter months and overcome the barriers to your happiness. Take a look at how you can banish the winter blues for good.
While it might be positively Baltic outside and your home is all warm and cosy, it’s vital that you still make an effort to get outdoors.
Wrap yourself up in a winter coat, get your thermals on and whip on a scarf to ensure that you are fully prepared to encounter the elements.
Being outside is important for mood. While you might not realise it, natural light is a great body clock regulator and helps the production and release of the happy hormone, dopamine.
Being cooped up indoors for days at a time, while cosy, isn’t necessarily healthy. Take a walk to the local newsagents, go for a stroll in your local park and meet up with pals over coffee at a local cafe.
Making a concerted effort to go outside when it’s dry will allow you to embrace the brisk air and enjoy staying active.
You won’t want to head to the gym in the winter, so maintain a walking schedule instead. Even a thirty minute brisk walk around the block once a day can lift your mood, help your sleep routine and leave you feeling more refreshed and content.
Boost Your Immune System
Winter is the season when cold, and flu viruses emerge at their most active. Make sure you have everything you need should you encounter the lurgy.
Try to get ahead of the game and boost your immune system. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, leafy green vegetables and whole grains. Drink some orange juice, take a vitamin D supplement to account for the lack of sunlight hours and keep warm. Ensure that you have your heating on, maintain a clean home and relish the chance to cook some one pot hearty meals.
By trying to stay healthy and active through diet and exercise, you’ll boost your immune system to hopefully ward off the colds. If you can, head to your local surgery and get yourself a flu jab for ultimate virus protection this winter season.
Sometimes the winter season can affect our mental health in a more detrimental way.
Our mood can lower, we can begin to feel stressed and suffer from depression. If you feel like your thoughts are becoming more negative or destructive, it’s important that you talk to somebody about how you are feeling. A problem shared really is a problem halved. By voicing your emotions, you will feel a sense of release.
Those people you talk to may also validate your feelings by confirming that they have felt something similar. By sharing your issues, you are ensuring that you don’t ever feel isolated or alone.
Depression can make you feel disengaged and disinterested with what is going on around you. Take your time, but try and push yourself to do small tasks. Have a shower every morning, get dressed and consider what you want to do with your day.
Consider trying something new like taking up a new hobby. If you have always wanted to learn a new language, enrol on a beginners course. If you’re going to learn how to decorate cakes, check out the evening courses at your local college. And if you love reading, why not join a book club? It will take a lot of motivation, but if you have the courage to try something new, you could lift your mood and feel more positive through the winter months.
The winter blues can be a testing time for many. If you feel low or recognise that your intense emotions are a little too out of the ordinary and are having a destructive impact on your life, seek medical help, talk to a friend and take some time out for yourself.
By following this guide, you will hopefully be able to banish the winter blues for good.