It is the end of January and it is winter if you live in the northern hemisphere. Maybe you live somewhere where it is all dark all winter. Sometimes I don’t see the sun for weeks, which can be extremely depressing if you think about it. Looking at grey skies gets boring. Maybe you are feeling a little bit down because of this gloomy winter weather. That is why I am giving you tips on how to beat the winter blues.
Note: These are my favourite tips. Everyone is different, so some of these tips might work for you and others maybe not. The best way to find out is to do different things and see what works for you.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
In this blog post, I am mostly talking about ‘winter blues’, but there is also Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD means you have depression during the colder months and this is way more serious than the winter blues. Having the winter blues means you mostly feel a little bit down on those colder and darker days, but you can still enjoy life. When it starts to impact all areas of your life, you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you suffer from SAD, I would recommend finding help.
Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having low energy
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Sleeping problems
- Changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
How to beat the winter blues
- Read before bedtime. It is important to have a little bit of fun, but also to create a great evening (and morning) routine. I like to read in the evening because it helps me to relax and fall asleep very fast. At the same time, it is really fun to read if you pick the right books.
- Take Magnesium and Vitamin D. I take these two because I don’t see the sun for days/weeks sometimes and magnesium helps me to relax and to sleep deeper.
- Dance in the morning. I love dancing and I love music, so in the morning, I put on my favourite songs and just dance for 30 minutes. The dancing wakes me up and moving your body means your brain will release feel-good hormones. Music is just fun and it gets me excited for the rest of the day.
- Taking time for myself. I make sure I can take time for myself and do something I like to do. This is always important, but a little bit of extra self-love/care is even more important when you are feeling down. Watch an episode of your favourite series, bake something or just exercise.
- Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep every night is always important. Without enough sleep, it is harder to focus and feel good. You’re mostly thinking that you’re tired. So go to bed early and get that sleep.
- Write. Journaling can be extremely helpful if you are dealing with something. Buy a journal and start writing about it. Some people don’t like to talk about things, so writing can be a way to release those emotions instead of keeping them in.
- Go outside. Even when the sun is not shining, it is smart to go outside and enjoy the natural light. Go for a walk each day, walk to the supermarket or take your bike if possible.
- Eat healthy. It is tempting to start eating junk food, especially when you are feeling down and have no energy to make a healthy dinner. But you will feel better if you eat more veggies and fruit, you need those vitamins and minerals. And of course, you still eat your favourite junk food every now and then, but not every single day.
- Talk to someone. Sometimes it gets really bad, you don’t want to leave your bed or house and you’re watching Netflix or TikTok videos all day long. Maybe that is the time to talk to someone, maybe first someone you trust or maybe a professional. They can help you.
- Plan fun things often. You create your own life, so you’re in control of how fun your life is. Plan fun things every single week and not just on the weekends. Go to the movies on a random Wednesday or bake on a Tuesday. This way you will look forward to doing those things instead of being focused on how ‘terrible’ this weather is.
- Spending time with friends and family is important too. This prevents the feeling of isolation and loneliness, which can make your winter blues even worse. Spending time with friends/family boosts your happiness and reduces your stress. So go out or just call your friends or family. Invite them over for a dinner party at your house. Organize a movie night
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash