Winter can make you feel lifeless and mopey, with its short, dark days and sloppy weather. Here are some tips on how to beat winter blues naturally and brighten your mood during the cold winter days.
Hi girls, how are you today?
Looking forward to winter?
Well, me neither.
Oh sure, winter has its charms—bright sun on a snowy landscape, starry nights, hot cocoa, and holidays.
But let’s face it: after New Year’s Eve, it’s pretty much downhill—snow, ice, slush, rain, and what seems like endless days of grey, cloudy skies.
But never fear, my friend. There are ways to keep your spirits up during the dreariest months of the year that don’t involve questionable fashion choices or gaining weight.
Check out these best tips for brightening your mood this winter.
Why Does Winter Affect Your Mood?
The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
This decrease in sunlight may lead to less serotonin levels (a brain chemical – neurotransmitter – that affects mood).
This can disrupt your body’s internal clock (i.e. circadian rhythms) and lead to feelings of depression.
If the lack of sunlight and cold weather affect how you feel, this article is perfect for you.
Let’s dive right into 5 best ways to get rid of winter blues.
How to Beat Winter Blues Naturally
1. Don’t Ignore Symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder)
First, recognize that some kinds of winter blahs can be serious.
Seasonal affective disorder, or “SAD,” is a real phenomenon that affects an estimated 5% of the adult population, usually during the winter months.
Experts believe that SAD results from reduced serotonin levels in the brain due to a lack of regular exposure to sunlight.
SAD can make you feel less energetic, hungrier, and uninterested in hobbies and even relationships. This means that for some, and especially for those who are already suffering from depression, the seasonal change can be dangerous.
So if you notice that you’re feeling restless and mopey during the colder months, if you’re losing interest in your hobbies, or your appetite for comfort food has gotten out of hand, check with your doctor.
2. Get Some Sun
Your body naturally produces vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight.
But exposure to sunlight is in short supply during the cold winter months.
So take advantage of those occasional bright winter days to get outside for a walk (just make sure you wear sunscreen in the middle of the day or if there’s a lot of snow reflecting the sunlight back on you).
Exposing yourself to sunshine can lift your levels of serotonin and melatonin, which improves your sleep patterns and lifts your mood. It’s the perfect way to beat winter blues naturally.
This is also a wonderful way to get some more fresh air, which is also sure to positively boost how you feel during winter days. Getting fresh hair increases your energy, reduces stress and depression and improves the quality of sleep.
Some practitioners even prescribe light therapy to treat depression for patients experiencing symptoms of SAD.
Consult with your doctor and determine if there is a particular supplement you may need to make sure your system is balanced and healthy
3. Engage in Some Exercise
Time to overcome inertia, girl! —Get off the couch and move your body!
According to Harvard Medical School, exercise helps “improve moods and mental functioning.”
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day can increase serotonin and release endorphins (those feel-good hormones that explain why runners come home dripping with sweat and always smiling).
Get yourself some of that feel-good energy during the winter with a brisk walk, some skiing, a little ice skating, or even snowshoeing.
Getting outside for winter fun and exercise is among the best tips for brightening your mood this winter.
Plus, if it is also sunny outside, this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone and also get some daily dose of natural vitamin D.
So if you’re struggling to lift your mood and beat winter blues naturally, try doing some more exercises and see how this affects how you feel.
4. Indulge in a Little Self-Care
A bit of pampering never hurt anyone.
Perk yourself up with a bubble bath, a nice cup of tea, or a new winter nail color for a bit of glamor.
Remember, though, self-care goes deeper than surface beauty. Nurture your social connections, stick to a healthy sleep schedule, and pay attention to nutrition.
Eating healthy and sleeping well are two more ways to boost your mood this winter naturally.
With a little attention, we all can get through the gloomiest winter months with our mental and physical health intact. If you need some inspo, we have just the thing for you with our deliciously cozy winter self care routine for cold days.
5. Eat Healthy
I know, I know. Winter is the perfect time to splurge and indulge in fondue, hot chocolate, and junk food in general.
But eating too much comfort food might affect your mood and contribute to feeling sad during winter months.
That’s why another great way to beat your winter blues naturally is simply by making healthier eating choices, even when it’s gloomy outside.
Several fruits and vegetables contain tryptophan, which is a building block to creating mood-boosting serotonin. So if you consume produce that is rich in tryptophan, your body may produce more serotonin.
Fruits That Are High in Serotonin (contain high amounts of tryptophan)
- Kiwi fruit
Plant-Based Sources of Tryptophan
- Leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seed
So if you are suffering symptoms of SAD, think about what you’re currently eating, and make the switch to healthier, mind-boosting options to beat winter blues naturally.
Get Professional Help
If you are suffering and nothing you try is working for you, maybe it’s time to seek professional help to support you.
No one needs to suffer alone and needlessly, and neither should you. If that’s the case, reach out to a therapist, a trusted friend, or family member.
And remember that soon after winter, there is spring.