words Al Woods
The cold weather blues arrive with the first cold rain or snowfall and tend to stay at least until spring. The lack of sunlight, the unpredictable weather, and the fact that we may be spending more time indoors with family and friends can all contribute to this feeling. Fortunately, there are ways to help you manage and even overcome these winters doldrums. Below are some tips for beating the cold-weather blues.
1. Lighten Up and Exercise
If you find yourself feeling a bit down in the winter, try to put a positive spin on things. Focus on what you can look forward to rather than what you already have. For example, when the weather gets warm again in the spring, go for a walk or bike ride and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. If you look at even the worst of winter’s weather as an opportunity to get outdoors, then your perspective might change.
Exercise can help you meet your overall wellness goals and make you feel physically and mentally stronger. Incorporating more movement into your day will help keep your body warm, so get active! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far away from the store entrance, and push a cart around rather than using a shopping cart. You can also pick up an exercise video or join a group fitness class to get moving.
2. Help Others and Spend Time Around Positive People
Some of the best ways to beat the winter blues are to brighten the spirits of others. If you see someone who needs some cheering up, try to make a little lighthearted joke and offer them a smile. You might be surprised at how much it improves their mood.
Spend time with people who can lift your mood and keep you motivated. If some co-workers or friends do not have a positive outlook on life, try to spend less time around them. You might even consider buying or borrowing some inspirational DVDs to watch with your family and loved ones.
3. Plan Ahead and Stay Active
Why let the winter affect what you do? Take part in activities that brighten up your day, especially those with warm-weather themes. For instance, shop online to find a new pair of plus sized wedges and matching sundress. Not only will you feel better, but your mood will improve once you step out in style and confidence.
If you are stuck inside, try to walk around or stay active by doing housework. Even if it’s only as simple as cleaning the kitchen sink or washing the windows, do something physical to keep your blood flowing.
4. Eat to Improve Your Mood and Sleep More
Instead of eating foods that make you feel sluggish and low, try to eat foods that are good for you (such as protein, fruits, and vegetables) and help improve your mood. For example, if you find yourself bored with breakfast on Saturdays, change things up by skipping the eggs and pancakes in favor of a bowl of berries or an avocado toast.
If you find yourself in the winter doldrums, try to sneak in a nap or two each afternoon. If you get tired when it’s still light out, then turn off all the lights and close your eyes for a short time to let your mind recharge.
5. Keep Your Home Warm
If you are experiencing the blues at home, try to keep the temperature higher. If you live with others, mention that you’d like to have it a bit warmer. If your family is reluctant to keep the heat on, remind them that warm rooms will help cut down on heating and energy costs in the long run.
6. Laugh More
Humor is a great way to brighten your mood in the winter months. Try to watch a funny movie or sitcom or read a couple of the funny comics available every week. If you haven’t already subscribed to a comic strip, now is the time to start. Pick one that makes you laugh and enjoy a few pages each day.
Remember that winter blues are not always a bad thing. If you focus on a couple of the tips mentioned above, you will shift your focus to the positive things in your life. Try taking a walk around the block at lunch or designing an indoor exercise routine for your downtime.