November 25, 2021 /By: Jassica Mendez
Need some mental health tips to help ease those winter blues?
The days are getting shorter. For many people, this means battling seasonal depression and general moodiness that comes with gloomy weather. If chilly days make you want to stay under the covers all day, you are not alone, and you shouldn’t feel guilty. Instead, you should look for ways to ease the winter blues.
It’s common to experience sadness, fatigue, and insomnia during winter. Fortunately, there are things you can do to beat these feelings. If you want to create a healthy daily routine that will make you feel better, check out the best ways to deal with the winter blues.
What Are the Winter Blues?
First of all, it’s essential to make a distinction between the winter blues and seasonal affective disorder.
Winter blues can best be described as the feeling of sadness during the winter months. Many people experience this due to a lack of sunlight. The most common symptoms of winter blues are:
- sadness during autumn and winter months
- occasional trouble sleeping
- lack of motivation
On the other hand, if the sadness interferes with your ability to function, it might mean you are experiencing SAD (seasonal affective disorder). The most common symptoms of SAD are:
- extreme sadness during autumn and winter months
- frequent issues with sleeping and eating
- the feeling of depression that limits your daily functioning and motivation
If you are experiencing severe issues, it is crucial to seek professional help.
The Following are 7 Mental Health Tips to Ease the Winter Blues:
Luckily, you can take action to lessen the severity of your symptoms. For instance, some might find it comforting to talk to their friends and family, while others might decide to start fresh and move to a new apartment. After a simple relocation, the new views, people, and living space could help you improve your mood.
So, even though you cannot change the weather, practicing self-care will help you feel better and ease the winter blues.
Stay Healthy By Exercising and Taking Vitamins
Physical activity can boost your mood, reduce stress, and alleviate the feeling of depression. You can start gradually with 10-15 minutes a day and build up your exercise routine over time.
You can go outside for a run or use a treadmill or a stationary bike close to a window at home or the gym.
Along with exercise come vitamins. Sunlight is our primary source of vitamin D3. This nutrient is connected essential for physical and emotional health. However, since there is less sunlight during the winter months, you can check with your doctor to see whether you should include this supplement.
Go Outside and Get Some Light
Even though you might not feel like it, going outside during the winter should be a priority. The symptoms of winter blues are likely to worsen if you never leave your home.
If you cannot go outside for whatever reason, you can move a chair, table, or your workstation next to a source of light. You should spend time in that location for at least two hours a day, all at once or broken into shorter chunks of time.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Consuming complex carbohydrates is vital throughout the whole year. Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, kale, and carrots have nutrients that promote overall health and, therefore, a better mood.It’s known that including a lot of protein in your meals can help enhance your mood and decrease sugar cravings.Finally, don’t forget you can consume vitamin D through food as well. Foods high in vitamin D are milk, orange juice, fatty fish and fish oils, yogurt, and cereal.
Stick to a Sleeping Routine
Sleep has a significant effect on our mood. Without adequate and regular sleep, your circadian rhythm is likely to get disrupted.
Experts recommend doing the following to improve your sleeping schedule:
- Wake up and go to bed the same time every morning and night;
- Have a bedtime routine, such as taking a bath, reading with a cup of tea, and finally turning off the lights and falling asleep;
- Let the light in as soon as you wake up;
- The room you sleep in should be dark and cooler than the rest of the home;
- Stop using electronics in your bedroom.
Turn Off the TV to Ease the Winter Blues
Being inside for longer periods typically increases screen time. And if you spend this time watching the news about the pandemic, and other not-so-cheery things, you might quickly find yourself suffering from the winter blues. Limiting your screen time, especially the news, is the best way to minimize the everyday stress.
Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
During the past two years, isolation has become a regular thing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, finding ways to stay in touch and spend time with your friends and family is crucial when dealing with the winter blues. To stay safe, you could hang out at a local park, do outdoor sports, or go for a walk when the weather is nice.
Seek Professional Help
Finally, if these lifestyle modifications don’t seem to help, you should consider seeking professional help.
Psychotherapy is highly effective with depression disorders and will likely benefit anyone suffering from winter blues or SAD.
Final Thoughts on How to Ease the Winter Blues
The feeling of sadness resulting from winter blues can have a negative effect on your physical and mental health. And even though you cannot change the time of the year, you can start fresh and make choices that minimize the blues. So, we hope you refer back to our article and find the tips on how to ease the winter blues helpful.
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