With the temperatures dropping and the days getting shorter and darker, it is very common for the winter time blues to set in. This is also commonly called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it affects millions of people every year. Here are some ways to help beat the winter time blues from getting you down and out all winter long.
1. Eat some chocolate. Yep, you read that correctly. Eat a little bit of chocolate as it has a mood enhancing quality about it that also promotes relaxation and helps decrease anxiety. Be careful to not over indulge, though, as too much can lead you into a depression slump. So just a little bit is good for you.
2. Exercise. Exercising is proven to help boost your feel good endorphins as well. Feeling stressed or angry? Lifting weights or doing an intense cardio workout can help displace those feelings. Practice yoga or pilates and help calm your mind and body down while toning your body. Really, working out is a win-win!
3. Shed some light on it. Sun and light therapy has been a long time recommendation for those who have depression, especially those who experience SAD. Sitting next to bright light or a light box for 30 minutes can help brighten your day. Open up your blinds during the day and try to get as much daylight as you can.
4. Get out of town. Traveling to someplace that has more sunshine can always help. If you can’t afford a big vacation to someplace tropical, try to plan a little trip to a more southern state that is more likely to be sunnier and even warmer.
5. Go outside. I know, it’s cold and miserable outside in the winter, but the fresh air and changing your surroundings can be very beneficial to your state of mind. It can also re-energize you.
6. Help others. When you are feeling down and out, doing things to help others will help lift your own spirits. The generous act of kindness it two-fold and focusing on others who need assistance and help will help remind you that you are a great support system for others, too. What goes around comes around. Helping others helps you!
7. Get a massage. What better way to relieve stress, tension, and to relax your own mind than to get on a massage table and let someone else soothe away the blues? Massage is great at not only promoting relaxation, but also at stimulating the mood boosting endorphins and reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
8. Pump up the volume. Play some of your favorite songs, especially those that make you feel more upbeat. If a song makes you smile or want to dance, play it. Stimulating your mind with upbeat music has an uplifting effect that can help break up those blues that you may be feeling.
When the winter time blues start to set in, try some of these tips to help overcome and beat being in a slump all winter long. If you are battling depression on a deeper level, please seek help from a medical professional who is experienced in helping people who have depression.