The winter blues are real. Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder or just feel a little blah this time of year, there are some easy ways to make yourself feel better.*
- Staying warm is a simple way to kick the winter doldrums. So wear warm socks out or slippers at home. And why not pop on a pair of fun socks. I know it sounds silly but a pair of fuzzy socks or bunny slippers around the house or a pair of colorful, thick, cotton socks for going out will keep your toes toasty and put a smile on your face!
- It might seem like fun to hunker down in bed on snowy winter weekends, but if you are suffering from the winter blues you should resist the urge. Instead stay on a schedule–you don’t need to get up as early as you do for work, but don’t sleep away the day. That will help your mind and body stay healthy and you’ll sleep better even when the sun isn’t giving you normal day/night cues. Or as Carole King says, “you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face…and you’ll find you’re as beautiful as you feel.”
- Speaking of Carole King, put on some music. Don’t listen to talk radio on your ride to work or sit in a quite house at night. Turn up the tunes! Listening to upbeat music has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
- Orange, bergamot, and other citrus scents can lift your mood, so try aromatherapy. Or draw yourself a nice bubble bath with a citrus-y soak. Finish off your spa time with our luxurious Presence by LMB Ageless Skincare Antioxidant Creme, full of citrus to brighten your mood and your complexion!
- Who hasn’t tried to justify eating chocolate? Well now you can! Chocolate actually triggers a reaction in your brain that can calm and lift your mood. Make sure to eat high quality, dark chocolate though and avoid chocolate candies. The sugar and other ingredients in candy can give you the initial boost but will also wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, ultimately leaving you feeling worse than before.
- Get outside! If it’s cold, bundle up. I know it isn’t always fun going out in the winter, but taking a walk every day can improve your mood, help you focus better, and lower stress levels.
- Get outside! Yes, I just said that. But I’m repeating myself, because it’s important. Whether you walk in a winter wonderland or not, go out with friends. Socializing can be a huge boost to your mood. But don’t just call them on the phone–go to a bar or a coffee shop or a museum. Something stimulating and out of the house.
- If you stay in, stay warm and out of bed. Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate (use good cocoa powder or even melt in real chocolate if you want to double on those chocolate benefits) and read good book by the fire. Or rent a movie. It doesn’t really matter as long as you are doing something. Just don’t allow yourself to stay in a rut.
- Let there be light! Light boxes have been shown to help with SAD. And even just opening your curtains in the morning to let in the weak rays of winter sunlight can lift your mood and help let your body know it’s time to get up and start your day.
These are some of my favorite ways to beat the winter blues. They are small changes–but they can make a big difference. Do you have any tricks you use to get out of your mid-winter rut? Let me know, I’d love to hear them!
*Remember, if you are concerned about your mood or think you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you should talk to your doctor about treatment options.