You know, the dreaded winter blues – when cabin fever sets in, along with those annoying urges to eat carbs, sleep late, or hibernate for weeks on end. And that’s not even mentioning lethargy and a general lack of motivation.
It’s no surprise that weather-related fatigue and depression are the highest during January and February. We can all blame it on freezing temperatures, nasty weather, seemingly endless cloudy days, and not near enough sunshine.
Whether you’re feeling just a little bummed out, or you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it can negatively affect your self-esteem, relationships, performance, and productivity. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to feel better.
That’s why we put together some resources to help get you started – we hope they help. Take a look, hang in there … and remember that spring is coming soon.
1) Find out if you have SAD. According to HelpGuide.com, seasonal affective disorder affects about 1 to 2 percent of the population, particularly women and young people. A milder form of winter blues may affect as many as 10 to 20 percent of people. You can find out the signs and symptoms of SAD here, plus you can answer some questions that can help you know if you have it.
2) Or do you have the winter blues? There is no medical consensus as to what causes winter blues, according to BrainFit.com. But there are lots of things involved having to do with the brain … like neurotransmitter levels and circadian rhythm. You can learn more about brain chemicals and other scientific explanations here.
3) Turn to science. This list from Real Simple has nine scientifically-backed ways to beat the winter blues, including dawn simulators, volunteering and giving your skin some TLC. Take a look and see what the research says.
4) Go shopping. In the mood for some light therapy? How about an essential oil diffuser? Here’s a list from HGTV of ten products that may lift your mood and spirits.
5) Practice mindfulness. If you know anything about us, you know we’re all about mindfulness and meditation apps – because every little thing you can do throughout your day to help relieve stress will improve your overall health and well being – no matter the time of year. Check out our favorites.
6) Eat foods that boost. No, we’re not talking about potato chips and tubs of ice cream. Did you know there are certain foods that can boost your mood and give you more energy? Here’s ten of them from activebeat.com.
7) Embrace the cold. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. At least that’s the first tip in this list from ThriveGlobal.com. Their advice? “One thing you could do is wrap up and go for a winter walk somewhere nearby, maybe through a wintry forest or along a frozen lake.”
8) Try new activities. When was the last time you tried a new hobby? What about keeping a bullet journal, or creating a new playlist? Here is a list of activities you can try from PopBuzz.
How Do You Fight the Blues?
Are you feeling down due to the winter blues or SAD? If you have any advice or tips on how to cope, we’d love to know – please share them in the comment section.