Tips to help you get through the next couple cold months and fight the winter blues!
I am not a winter person. Many people have tried to tell me that it’s mind over matter- if I tell myself over and over again that I like winter, that it will magically forget. Somehow I won’t remember that I hate the cold and it makes my back ache, or that I am klutzy and have fallen on the ice way too many times, or that it slows down Chicago traffic to a snail’s pace, and so on. It is easy to start sinking into the Winter Blues, but there are ways to fight the Winter Blues off! Here are some techniques that I rely on to stay motivated and happy during the long couple months ahead.
All studies show that exercise and activity can help boost energy and your overall happiness. It doesn’t really matter what you do – an at-home exercise video in the morning, an afternoon walk, a dance class with your partner or a run on the track. Just move!
Keeping active can also mean getting a new hobby or going back to an activity you love. Find something to keep yourself busy!
Spending time with friends and family is always healthy, but it will definitely help you focus on the positive aspects of life. Enjoying a coffee with friends, hosting a game night, or having family over for dinner – whatever the event, you will more focused on planning and enjoying yourself and forget getting down about the weather.
Don’t have a lot of friends or family around – volunteer or join a group using a site like MeetUp. Sitting alone will never help you beat the blues, so find a way to be around people.
If you live in a cold environment, invest in cold weather gear. This might seem like common sense, but I see it all the time in even the Windy City. Spend the money to have a good winter coat that will last years and actually keep you warm. This is the winter jacket I have and love! Plus, have good hats, scarves, gloves, etc. Being comfortable out there makes it easier to handle but it is also a matter of safety. Frost bite is a real thing. If you have never heard of Hand Warmers before, go buy now! They are a life saver. They are little air activated heaters that work perfectly in gloves.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Eating nutrient rich food will help you feel less drossy and sluggish. As much as I find a hearty pasta dish comforting, it does make me feel tired afterward. Lighter, fresher meals that focus on the produce of the season will help you feel more capable of being active and will give you the healthy vitamins your body needs to be balanced. There are lots of resources out there about the right foods to be eating, including Super Foods to Boost Your Mood, but here are some things to consider:
- Eggs, spinach, and salmon are all great sources of folic acid and vitamin B-12.
- Salmon, tuna, herring and other fish as well as walnuts are great for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fruits and vegetables are needed to keep your whole system working properly and are an excellent source of vitamin C for staying healthy. Oranges may have great PR when it comes to vitamin c, but berries, kale, broccoli, and kiwi all have more vitamin c per serving. Great for me since the smell of oranges can sometimes trigger a migraine.
- Nuts and seeds are good for Vitamin E.
- Plus dark chocolate is known to be a good mood booster, but a little bit goes a long way. Win!
This one is hard for me, but finding ways to actually enjoy winter will help you beat the winter blues. Consider playing in the snow with your kids or nieces/nephews, going sledding, or just enjoying a walk on a more temperate winter afternoon. Not only will it help you focus on the silver lining, but it will also give you some needed vitamin D that I discuss more below.
Get Vitamin D.
The obvious way to get Vitamin D is by the sun, but that can be harder in the winter. 1 – it’s not always easy to go outside to get sunlight when it’s negative degrees out because you are all bundled up. 2 – there is just less sun to go around. I am not a doctor by any means and can’t give you official medical advice. Many people find success, however, with Light Boxes, Vitamin D rich food, and vitamins. Even sitting in a window with light coming in can be beneficial for you!
When you really think about the reasons we stay up late, almost every single one of them will be unimportant. We stay up late on our phone or watch a few too many episodes on Netflix. Sleep though is needed for us to feel balanced and healthy and to help beat these darn winter blues. Set a bedtime and stick to it, leaving technology out of the bedroom as much as possible!
A Dawn Simulator can also be a great way to help your sleep, especially if you struggle waking up in the sun. Our bodies wake up more naturally when light begins to come up and brighten the room. Dawn Simulators will slowly increase the light in your room as it gets closer to your wake up time.
What else do you do to beat the winter blues?!
You might be interested in the following:
- Light Lamp or Portable Light Lamps for travel
- Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation
- Columbia Omni Heat Long Hooded Jacket <— the coat I wear in the cold, Chicago months
- HotHands Hand Warmers and Toe Warmers
- Super Foods to Boost Your Mood
- Winter Blues, fourth edition
If you like this post, you might like my other posts on starting the New Year off right!