Every year it’s the same old story. The days get shorter, the nights get darker, it gets harder and harder to get out of bed, and even more difficult to get out of the house. Reduced sunlight and horrible weather have a brutal impact on our mood in the winter, and that was a fact well before there was a global pandemic and we all had to stay inside as much as possible without seeing our loved ones.
Every year we go through the same hard times, and every year we say that we’re going to do things differently. So, now is the time to make good on that promise to yourself. Here are a few tips to help you find your way to a better mood and to banish those winter blues.
Try And Get Some Sunlight
This can be hard during the long winter months, especially when you’re working from home. We’re all tempted to wait until the last minute before rolling out of bed and clocking into work, but it’s so important to get out and see the sun even if you’re tired. You might also want to look into getting a light box for your desk at home, which gives out light that’s roughly 10 times stronger than your standard home lighting. Many people find that sunlight, or the lack of it, has a major impact on their mood and it’s really important not to write it off because of the weather.
Now, just because the sun isn’t out, doesn’t mean that getting out of the house is a waste of time when it comes to lifting your spirits. Not only does exercise keep your body in tip top shape, it also helps release those chemicals that improve your mood. If you stay wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa through the winter, you’re putting yourself at risk of health issues down the line and your immune system could be weakened. If leaving the house isn’t an option (hello, pandemic) then you can always follow an exercise program at home that suits you.
Consider Some Supplements
While sunlight and exercise are vital, you can also give your mind and body a helping hand with some supplements. Many supplements are aimed at increasing your ability to study for longer, improve your concentration and give your motivation a boost, but there are several out there that help to repair and maintain the receptors in your body that work to deliver dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that helps to give you a push and get active, and it plays a big part in how we feel pleasure. Addictive activities can harm this system as your body experiences higher and higher levels and adjusts accordingly, making it harder to get the same reward, which is where the supplements come in. For more information on how to increase dopamine with supplements, you can visit The Optimizing Blog, which offers reviews and round-ups nootropics to explain what you should be looking for.
Watch Your Diet
Winter is a time for comfort foods, when we respond to bad weather and bad moods with a lot of quick-fix snacking shortcuts to pleasure. However, over-reliance on junk food is not the answer for seasonal depression, as overdoing it on refined sugar and heavy carbohydrates leads to bigger crashes and increased lethargy later on. What you want to be looking for are those nutritious foods that help you feel like you’re at your best, so we’re looking at fruits, vegetables and nuts, in addition to lean proteins.
Fish and chicken are the most reliable sources, with the omega-3 fatty acids found in the former proven to be an invaluable addition to your mood boosting arsenal. No one is saying that you shouldn’t treat yourself (indeed, giving yourself a reward is really important at this time of year), but try and plan your meals and think carefully about what you’re putting in your body.
Keep Your Mind Active
If you’re feeling the effects of seasonal depression, it’s only natural that you would fall back on the same old comforting activities. However, while we all enjoy a binge watch every now and again, finding a rewarding new hobby is a much better way to keep your brain active and find new avenues of entertainment, engagement and pride at a job well done.
While you’re thinking about how to plan your meals better, think about adding some new recipes you’ve always wanted to try. Thinking about watching that new French TV show everyone is talking about? Maybe it’s time to learn the language, and use the series as a supplement for familiarizing yourself with it. If you’re missing games nights with your friends during lockdown, think about getting them to take part in a role-playing game you can enjoy over a video call that will keep you sociable and keep you engaged.