Tips For Beating The Winter Blues
As I’m writing this post it’s a gloomy and rainy day here in Austin. This, however, is not a usual occurrence. In fact, the city of Austin’s official website says that we get over 300 days of sunshine a year. Having nice weather like this was not always the case for me personally. I grew up in Pennsylvania and the winters there were often cold, long and dark. I found myself feeling gloomy and unmotivated during these times and many people I knew suffered from seasonal depression. Now I enjoy the occasional rainy day.
If you do, however, find yourself feeling down, here are some tips that have helped me beat the winter blues.
- Exercise. This is hands down the best way to lift your mood. Exercise gets your blood flowing and also increases your endorphins. Even just taking a 15 minute walk can help.
- Take fish oil and Vitamin D supplements. This was suggested to me by a counselor when I was experiencing post-partum depression. Lack of sunshine can potentially lead to a Vitamin D deficiencies and Omega 3 fatty acids are known for aiding brain and heart health.
- Make plans for warm weather. It may sound silly, but planning your beach vacation during the cold months of winter may trick your brain into thinking you’re already there.
- Smell essential oils. People have been using essential oils for hundreds of years for a variety of reasons. Lavender is a common oil people use to relax. I also enjoy cedarwood, lemon and peppermint.
- Watch your favorite (funny) movie or show. We all know laughter is the best form of medicine!
- Get out of the house and be with people. Book stores or coffee shops are the best places to go on a cold and/or rainy day.
- Write down the things you ARE thankful for. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day I get stuck in a loop thinking about negative things. It’s good to stop and think about the positives in your life too.
We all have days when we are feeling sad or blue but if you find yourself depressed more than usual you could have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). There are treatments for SAD that include counseling, light therapy and/or medication. For more information, check out this website for more information and resources.