Along these same lines many people also begin to suffer from what's been coined S.A.D, or seasonal affective disorder. S.A.D is characterized as a type of depression that's correlated with changes in seasons and can zap your energy and make you moody. All of us struggle in some ways with the winter blues but here are some tips to fight S.A.D--hopefully before you find yourself cooped up with an empty ice cream container next to you!
Slight Disclaimer: I'd like to note that this post is in no way trying to discount or make light of those who suffer from other types of anxiety or depression. This post is designed for those (including myself) who occasionally find themselves struggling with the winter blues that can be treated with slight behavior modifications and lifestyle changes.
1. Let there be light! It may be dark outside but you can brighten up your surroundings by opening blinds to let more natural light in or using non-harsh artificial lighting options.
2. Exercise! Exercise is proven to increase your dopamine levels (naturally). Join a new exercise class, take your dog on a long walk, or drag a friend to the gym!
3. Vacay! There's absolutely no better feeling than jetting off to the beach during a miserable winter. Some time in the sun will recharge your batteries and refresh your spirits. Plan ahead and schedule your vacation for the winter months instead of in the summer. Don't have much time? A change of scenery weekend getaway will also do the trick. I love taking advantage of cheap Allegiant flights for quick trips.
4. Clean up your diet. We're approaching prime holiday eating season. By all means enjoy this season with the food that you love but if you start to feel a bit sluggish mentally and physically it may be time to cut back. Check out these foods that help boost energy! I'm also pretty partial to this lightened up spinach dip perfect for the holidays.
6. Get a hobby. Keep your mind stimulated by trying something new or making time do something you've been putting off. I'm pretty pumped about the online cooking class I'm taking through The Great Courses!
7. Volunteer. Helping out others or causes you feel passionate about is a great way to lift your spirits. Helping out animals is my poison so I plan on filling my winter fostering dogs!
8. Talk it out with a therapist or friend. We all need guidance about issues in our lives. Confide in a close friend or counselor when you feel overwhelmed with life. Saying it out loud is always the first step!
How do you fight the winter blues?