Winter Blues Got You Down?

As I type this, I am freezing and both my index fingers are blue.

I am so over winter!

Which makes want to move to the nearest tropical island and forget about all the frosty white stuff on the ground. Who's with me?!?

Well, as much as I'd love to do that, I don't think it's very realistic for most of us, so I guess our time would be better spent on making the most of winter time. 

For some of us, that may be easy to do. For others, the winter can lower our mood, and leave us with fatigue and cravings for chocolate and carbs (see, your mac n cheese craving is totally not your fault).

 Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reclaim your mood and energy:

1. Change your mindset: Focus on winter being a time to take a step back, relax more, spend time with friends and family, plan for the year ahead, look more inward, and reflect.

There is a whole movement around this called Hygge, common in Scandinavian countries, where the focus is on coziness, contentment, and well-being. So get your Hygge on!

2. Consider light therapy: Light therapy can involve a light box or a dawn simulator. A light box emits very bright light, and can be used indoors upon waking for 20-30 minutes. Similarly, a dawn simulator is a device that gradually increases the brightness of the lights in your bedroom to mimic natural sunlight, making it easier to get out of bed.

Essentially they mimic natural daylight we would get from the sun and can improve your energy and mood.

You can find both of these on Amazon, where you can literally find everything!

3. Add Supplements: Often our lack of energy and low mood in the winter stems from vitamin deficiencies. Common ones are Vitamin D, fish oil, and tryptophan.

4. Move more: Create or continue a consistent exercise routine. This can be incredibly hard when you feel down already and have little to no energy. However, you must use energy to create energy.

Moving your body not only also has calming and positive effects on the brain, but also has been shown to consistently lift your mood and increase your energy.

5. Seek support: Seeing a therapist or wellness coach is one of the best forms of self-care. Who doesn’t need or deserve an hour a week or every other week or once a month to talk through what’s on your mind, gain valuable insights, learn better communication and coping skills, improve your health, or simply vent about what’s going on in your life? 

6. Schedule something to look forward to: Having something that excites you can be helpful in warding off the winter blues, particularly if you schedule it for the winter time. For some, that could be a weekend getaway, a vacation, or a staycation. For others, that might be a 5k, a concert, or a new hobby.

7. Heat up: Being constantly cold can lead to fatigue and depression. Keeping warm blankets around, wearing a robe or slippers, and using an electric blanket can all help to alleviate the cold.

Eating warming foods like soups, chili, or stews, and drinking hot beverages like herbal tea or hot cocoa can also help warm you from the inside out.

For more tips on boosting your mood and energy, check out my Feeling Fab. Friday self-care tips.

Laura Albers