It’s normal at this time of year to feel sad, irritated, or lethargic in the winter. For some, it could be due to the weather or having trouble getting up on a chilly morning. However, for others, it could be because of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition caused by the lack of sunlight during the winter.
There are several ways to get you out of a winter rut or to prevent SAD. These will help you feel more energetic and positive during the cold winter months. Here are some tips to combat the feeling of being down when it’s chilly outside.
- Stay active
Even though it can be challenging to motivate yourself to move and be active, it is one of the best ways of feeling more positive about winter. Get regular exercise because physical health and mental health are linked, and being active can help fight against depression.
Staying healthy is incredibly important, but this is more difficult in the winter. Not only will your mental health depend on it, but your body will be in better shape to endure the winter. That’s why it’s even more important to stay active even when it’s cold and dark outside. Hit the gym, join a yoga class, or exercise at home to make yourself feel better.
- Keep warm
Being chronically cold makes you feel more depressed, so staying warm will definitely boost your spirits. Winter is an excellent excuse to snuggle up, get cosy, and enjoy hot drinks and food. Keep your house warm at a comfortable temperature between 18°C and 21°C, bundle up in layers, crawl into some thick, comfy blankets, and keep the warmth close to you.
When venturing outside, make sure to dress appropriately to keep from getting ill. Even though you’ll be out in the cold, you need to stay warm to keep your physical health, and thus your mental health in check.
- Try a new hobby
In the winter, it’s easy to feel lazy and just stay curled up on your sofa all day. Now, this is beneficial in moderation, but it’s also crucial to keep your mind and body active. Taking up a new hobby or doing something that you enjoy, such as buying west end tickets to your favourite show or booking a holiday, will help keep your mind off the things about winter that gets you down.
- Go outside more often
During the day, try to get as much daylight as you can. This is especially important for people affected by SAD, but it will also have a significant impact on those who are not. On gloomy mornings and dark evenings, it may help to turn on lamps and lights to help you feel more energized.
- If possible, choose bright or light colours in your home. Colours affect our moods, so use this to your advantage. Light colours will reflect light from outside and can make rooms look much brighter. Also, when the sun is out, try to open up the curtains to let in the light—it’ll help warm up your home too!