Call it the winter blues or blahs or simply seasonal sadness. Whatever term you use, around this time, many of us start to feel our mood sinking. We feel especially tired and sluggish. We might even feel like the walking dead, moping from one task to the next. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal if they’re already here.
Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight and staying healthy. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those "feel good chemicals" that improve your mood.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. Avoid refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). These foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they zap your energy levels and can affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Healthy foods like whole wheat breads, veggies and fruits, provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.
3. Get Some Sun
Most people know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! Try to spend a little more time outdoors. Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. This in term will improve your mood.
4. Treat Yourself
Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you!
You’re busy! Work, class, family, friends, appointments, meetings—even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditations, or take a yoga class. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay.