Although we seem to be having a mild winter (at least compared to past years!) it’s still easy to catch yourself with those awful winter blues. You may not be suffering from actual seasonal depression (although that’s a very real thing that lots of people have to endure) but chances are winter tends to put a damper on your mood, especially since we live in the cold Northeast.
1. Don’t become a hermit crab. You may not be lucky enough to plan a trip somewhere warm and tropical, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and mope around! Make sure to stay social and plan fun activities with your family and friends. Since the days are shorter and we seem to be more exhausted after the work week during winter, lots of people choose to stay home on the weekends. Don’t! It’s okay to binge watch Netflix and stay in bed every once in awhile, but even planning stuff like going bowling, ice skating or just dinner with friends can really improve your mood. Planning group gatherings (some examples: weekend getaways to a bed and breakfast or the casino with your BFFs) can definitely keep your mind OFF winter and keep your mind on something fun that’s coming up. Before you know it, those group gatherings will turn into beach and camping trips.
2. Take some Vitamin D. We get a lot of our vitamin D intake from the sun, so naturally during the winter when the days are shorter, we get less of this essential vitamin. Making sure you go outside for at least half an hour each day is a good way to keep getting some sun in, but if that’s not possible for you or you feel like you need more, you should definitely add taking vitamin D to your daily to-do list.
3. Keep a fresh vase of flowers around. I’ve been buying myself a fresh bouquet of flowers every couple of weeks or so and I can’t even begin to explain what a difference it does to my mood! Maybe you’re not really a “flower” kind of person, but there are other ways to brighten up your room and keep it fresh. Buy a candle that has one of those “summer” smells (like sand and ocean…mmm). Keep your shades open when there is sun out. Surround yourself with bright colors. Every little bit counts.
4. Make an upbeat playlist for your work commute. Sometimes getting into your car in freezing temperatures is the biggest struggle of your day. Help yourself out a little by making an awesome and upbeat playlist for your commute. DO NOT listen to sad love songs! Put songs on there that you know will pump you up. Don’t be afraid to sing along and dance in your car while you’re stuck in traffic. If anything, it will make the person next to you smile and spreading some cheer is always a good thing, right?
5. Don’t overeat. It is so, so easy to pack on the pounds during the winter. Our bodies probably even need the extra food to keep ourselves warm. But neglecting your nutrition is not the way to go. It’s definitely okay to indulge every once in awhile and honestly probably comforting on those long and tough days, but don’t let it become a habit. You don’t want to suddenly wake up in the springtime and realize you need to lose that winter weight ASAP before bikini season. Ugh!