The winter blues are completely normal. Around one in three people experience some form of seasonal depression every winter. This can range from feeling a little low and noticing a dip in energy levels all the way to a debilitating depression that makes it hard to enjoy your usual activities. Of course, if you are suffering from severe depression, you should seek help from your primary care doctor. But, if you are just feeling a little sluggish and have noticed that your mood is lower than usual, there might be a lot that you can do to help yourself.
Taking steps to beat the winter blues can mean that you can fully embrace and enjoy the magic of the holiday period and that your immune system can protect you from all of the winter bugs and illnesses that are doing the rounds. Here are some of the things you can do to beat the winter blues and enjoy the season.
Get into Good Sleep Habits
Low energy is a big problem in the winter, and one of the easiest ways to combat it, while also boosting your immune system is with extra sleep. But, that’s not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you are stressed out or tense.
Getting into good habits and building a healthy sleep routine can make it easier. Start after dinner by cutting caffeine and sugar and limiting the amount of time you spend working or social media. Try watching something that makes you happy or reading a book instead. Then, leave your phone in another room overnight, and start going to bed at the same time every night.
Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
If you live somewhere that’s particularly dark and grey in the winter, you are more likely to suffer from seasonal depression caused by a lack of vitamin D. Even in the winter, getting outdoors is your best chance of seeing some natural sunlight. But, if it’s very dark, you might also want to start taking a supplement, or investing in a lightbox, to increase vitamin D levels in your body.
Talk to Someone
If you are depressed, talking therapies can be incredibly beneficial. But, even less formal talking is excellent. Keep in touch with friends and family. Even if you can’t see them, ring them for a chat, send messages, and generally keep communication lines open. Try to spend time with people that make you feel positive, laughing, and having fun, and avoid overly critical people or those that are always negative.
Even talking to people on social media has benefits to your mood. Again, try to keep negativity off your feeds instead of enjoying the content that makes you feel happy or peaceful.
Get Help with Underlying Conditions
Sometimes, our winter blues are the result of an underlying condition or concern. You might have a health concern that’s causing you anxiety. At this time of the year, many of us are worried about money or work, and more people are struggling with addiction or unhealthy habits. Confront these worries by making an appointment with your doctor or getting help from https://enterhealth.com/. If you are worried about money, there’s a temptation to ignore it. Don’t. Confront your bills, assess your finances, make some cuts, set a strict budget for Christmas gifts, and speak to a financial advisor if you are struggling. Whatever is wrong, don’t suffer in silence.
We don’t always feel like exercising when it’s cold and wet. We’re not feeling our best, or when we’ve got a cold. But exercise will usually help. Exercise reduces stress, eases tension, and boosts blood flow. Even if it’s just a gentle walk or relaxing yoga practice, daily exercise can help you feel more confident and less stressed and reduce tension. Try to get into good habits with exercise, and stick to a routine as much as possible, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s typically once we start making excuses that regular exercise becomes difficult, so don’t let yourself do this.
When we’re suffering from the winter blues, it can be easy to feel trapped in a negative cycle. Getting out and spending time with other people would make us feel better, but we don’t want to. Exercising would boost our energy levels and improve our mood, but we just can’t motivate ourselves to do it. Often, it’s small changes that start to make us feel better. Set yourself small goals, and make small lifestyle changes, taking one day at a time, and before you know it, it will be springtime.