10 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

No matter where you live, even if it is sunny, you will at some point in the year experience the winter blahs. Your motivation to do anything decreases and you find your attitude towards life is foggy. As someone who has lived in snowy and rainy areas all of my life, here are a few things I do to keep my spirits up when everything is dark.

1. Exercise – Getting up at 6 a.m. to exercise, especially when it’s dark, is a beastly way to greet the morning. But! If you can get up early, 30 minutes of exercising will give you more energy, improve your mood, and make facing those dark mornings a little easier. If you can’t, hit the gym after work or walk during your lunch hour.

2. Get Outside – It doesn’t rain ALL the time and it’s not 20 below ALL the time so when you do get a rare nice day, get out of the house. Go for a long walk or a hike or go snow-shoeing or skiing. If it’s too cold to go out, sit in the sunniest room of your house and take in the rays.

3. Get a Blue Light – Experts say that the best time to soak up natural light is between 6 and 8 a.m. I bought a blue light this year to help me with the winter blahs. I keep it in my office and use it in the morning when I’m checking e-mail. I’ve noticed my moods are more even this winter and I have been a lot more productive.

4. Stay hydrated – When you’re stuck inside it’s easy to drink warm drinks like coffee, hot chocolate or mulled wine to make you feel good. Don’t forget the water! It’s the simplest way to improve your health and keep the heaters from drying you out. Don’t like the taste? Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into your water or drink tea.

5. Modify Your Diet – Lay off the refined carbs and processed food and get more whole grains, fiber and protein into your diet. Eat more foods rich in B Vitamins and Iron like whole grains, eggs and spinach.

6. Orange – When all you’re seeing is bright white or dull grey you’re bound to get depressed. Orange is a color some healers say, is an energizing color that promotes healing, boosts immunity, and improves the mood. Paint a wall in your house a healing orange color or buy a nice orange scarf or piece of clothing that makes you happy.

7. Get rid of clutter – Nothing can drag you down more than a cluttered home. Go through your things that you never use and ask yourself honestly if you are ever going to use them again. If not, give them away. Bring them to Goodwill or put them in a box and have a big garage sale in the spring!

8. Talk to others – It’s easy to want to hibernate when the snow is blowing and rain is pouring, but make dates with friends to get together for coffee or socializing. Having people around will help get you out of your funk.

9. Maintain a regular schedule – Dark mornings make it easy to sleep too much and make you lethargic. Keep your body’s internal clock in check by getting up and going to sleep at the same time every day.

10. See a Doctor – It’s normal to have down days but if you feel down for days at a time and can’t seem to get motivated to do things you enjoy, go see a doctor.

Anna Alexander, Staff Writer, FamilyAcademyOnline.com
Anna Alexander is a freelance writer and producer. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and cat who lets them pay his mortgage. She can be reached at anna@acloserlookradio.com

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