Health, Wellness and Beauty Lifestyle

8 Tips to Battle the Winter Blues

The winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can have some of us feeling sad, tense, depressed, stressed, moody, and more. The days are shorter and darker, the weather is colder and the landscape is utterly dreary. For many, this Mother Nature funk lasts from November to April and can take a toll on our health. The winter blue struggles can affect our appetite, sleep pattern, energy lever and most significantly our moods. It can make your holiday season ho ho horrible! Here are a few tips to manage your melancholy and lift your spirit.

Seasonal sadness - deposit

Get Out Into the Sun

While our days are significantly shorter, we do have healthy periods of sunshine. Our bodies are craving vitamin D and the best way to get it is to get outside and absorb the rays from above. Experts say that we need 10 – 30 minutes of midday sunlight exposure several times a week. Sunlight releases a hormone called serotonin, which makes us feel calm, focused and will enhance our moods.

Open the Drapes

Sitting in a gloomy dark room will only add to your misery. Pull back the drapes and let the sunshine pour in. Sit near a cheerful window and read while you soak in the warm rays.

Light Therapy

Therapy lamp for winter blues - deposit

A light therapy lamp or box has been used by many as an effective treatment to quash the winter blues. These lights emit 10,000 lux white light with filters to protect our eyes from UV rays. So what is the best way to use these therapy lamps effectively? You simply sit about 3 feet away from one for 20 – 60 minutes daily. Talk to your health care provider for more information about these beneficial lamps.

Exercise

Exercise will benefit those dealing with SAD. Going for a walk, doing yoga or sweating it out in the gym allows your body to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. They generate an overall positive feeling that can influence your mood, sleep pattern and self-esteem.

Eat a Healthy Diet

I think most of us acknowledge that junk food and processed food have a negative effect on our bodies and moods, especially with SAD. Switching to foods that can boost our moods seems logical. Some foods that will help boost our moods are spinach, lentils, bananas, brazil nuts, oats, flaxseed, quinoa, dark chocolate, and even water.

Color Me Happy

There is no mistake, colors significantly influence our emotions, attitude, demeanor, and social grace. Wearing colorful and cheerful colors can help you get into a happier mood. Dark colors like black, dark blue, deep brown and grey can make you feel bleak and depressed. Bright, refreshing colors evoke a positive reaction and make us feel so much better.

Take a Vacation

Warm beach and sunshine -  pixabay

While most of us cannot uproot spontaneously and travel to a sunnier climate, there are those who can. Knowing how winter affects many people’s moods, could encourage us to book a vacation to a warmer, summery climate where the sun illuminates for many hours. You can usually get some fairly good deals between January and March.

Hobbies

Hobbies have enormous benefits. They can take you out of your rut, and expose you to some hidden talents. Hobbies relieve stress, improve mental health, improve creativity, and builds confidence and self-esteem.

46 Comments

  • Luckily I don’t suffer from winter blue though I loved the take a vacation suggestion, though not always possible for those who work. A weekend isn’t really long enough for a trip to the sun unfortunately. I’m off to Europe but there’ll probably only be rain over there!

  • I do take the winter blues but I read and watch a good DVD . I have the Christmas blues right now .And I had to get cancer treatments summer and fall. But I am very lucky to have made it especially for my kids.

  • Great suggestions to help combat seasonal affective disorder. I find exercise really helps me to stay positive during the winter months.

  • great points! i would just like to up and leave on a vacay come february. for not i am lovin the winter all because of christmas 🙂

  • I did look into one of those lights but haven’t bought one yet. I try to get out as much as I can and have some hobbies so I usually do okay with the winter blues.

  • I’m so busy with the holidays now but the doldrums really hit me in January Thanks for the tips and I definitely will pick p on my exercise routine

  • I get the winter blues ! I use a light therapy box and read a lot of great books over the long cold winter ! Really helps !

  • This is one thing that does not bother me, in fact I like the night early means I can go to bed early, but I can see it bothering some people

  • I tend to get my deep depressions often in the winter, but my seasonal depression is worse in the Spring, with all that light and sunshine. Good tips, though, for exercise, hobbies, good eating is always a good foundation for fighting any ailment.

  • Great tips. Love a vacation but I don’t think it will happen this year. Getting out even if don’t want to in the cold does help with the winter blues.

  • Thanks so much for the tips. I think the hardest thing is to get started! What ever it is that helps, just get started. It will all fall into place.

  • I have dealt with this in the past. Sun is really important, vacations are my answer, plus having something to look forward to and plan is so therapeutic as well.

  • I experience the winter blues pretty much every winter. I try to make sure that I get some sunlight everyday and to eat right and get some exercise to help to mediate some of the symptoms.

  • We just came back from Mexico and I wouldn’t mind going back there again to escape this cold and darkness – I need my vitamin D! Ah well, guess I’ll settle with light therapy for the time being

  • For states in the Northern portion of the US this is really important. Vitamin D levels tend to be lower for them. Let your doctor know what’s going on. Stay safe!

  • I actually love winter and don’t suffer the blues but I do find a lot of relaxation and peacefulness in books and puzzles during the winter months

  • Living in the North, it’s dark a lot in the winter (it starting getting light at 9:30 this morning – official sunrise at 10:10 am – it will be dark again by 4). Our local library offer light therapy lamps for use in the library. It’s amazing how it can make you feel better after using one.

  • I do suffer from the Winter Blues, have for many years. I do use most of the tips you have suggested in your article. For years some people did not even believe this was a real ailment, so glad it is now recognized.

  • I suffer from SAD but going outside in winter is not an option for me as I also have Raynauds Syndrome. What I found really helps is Vitamin D3. I take 2 x 1,000 IU tablets every day in the winter & it keeps the blues away.

  • Thankfully I don’t suffer from the winter blues. I do take walks and I love going to the gym to get those endorphins flowing. I always take vitamins and am trying to eat healthier this winter.

  • I try to get out every day, even for just a few minutes to get some sun and fresh air. I also keep my blinds open during the day to let the light in. On gloomy days I listen to upbeat music and make our favorite comfort foods. I also remember that Spring is only a few months away!

  • Winter can be a dreary season with the short days so I take preventative measures. I combat the winter blues with a healthy diet, a Happy Light, taking vitamin D and enjoying hobbies.

  • Great! Thanks for the helpful article.
    I got a new direction from your blog.
    Light Therapy really works??
    Ok, I will try it.

    Thanks, author

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