While the winter many be best-known for jovial holiday festivities and a sense of togetherness, it can also be challenging on an emotional and mental level. If the cold and long nights have got you feeling blue, there are some easy ways to boost your spirits and stay positive through the winter.
Determine if you have SAD
Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. SAD is a form of depression that only affects you at certain times of the year, most commonly winter. If you notice that you have a lack of energy, have little interest in things you normally enjoy, or struggle to fall or stay asleep, you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Once you know whether or not you have this condition, you and your doctor can work together to combat it and improve your state of mind and quality of life.
One of the best ways to stay upbeat is to stay active. Depending on where you live, it might be too cold to exercise outside, but that doesn’t mean you need to need to be a couch potato all winter long. You can join a gym or exercise from the comfort of your home. If you don’t own a treadmill, elliptical or weight set, you can use any of the dozens of free workout apps available on your smartphone or online.
Enjoy time with your family
Nobody knows you better than your family, and winter is a great time to spend some quality time with them. Whether you’re watching movies or TV together, playing games online or just giving them a call to catch up, being surrounded by loved ones is a surefire way to stave off the wintertime blues.
Change your diet
Between the decadent meals spread out over the first half of winter and our biological tendency to want to hibernate during the cold season, it’s easy to fall into a comfort food rut. It’s well-known that a healthy diet can improve your overall level of happiness, so practicing smart eating habits during the winter can help you stay positive. You can even turn learning and cooking healthy meals into a family activity and a fun new hobby.
Give yourself a break
While keeping busy with exercise and family is always a good idea, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit during the winter. Take some time to do things you enjoy. Finish that book you’ve been trying to get through, catch up on your favorite TV show, start a puzzle or get outside and try those snowshoes that have been collecting dust. There’s no better opportunity to take a load off and indulge in some you time.
The winter may try to get you down, but there’s no reason that you can’t enjoy the season to the fullest. If you stay active, eat well, enjoy the company of your family, and relax a little bit, winter can be the happiest time of the year.